Gearhouse Broadcast is back in the Australian jungle this month after again winning the contract to provide ITV with broadcast equipment and technical expertise for hit reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!
And with the popularity of the series showing no signs of waning and new areas of the jungle being added to the show, Gearhouse Broadcast’s technical team has been called upon to provide project solutions to ensure none of the action is missed by its millions of viewers back home.
The biggest change to this year’s coverage is a wholesale switch over to professional HD broadcast technology.
Gearhouse Broadcast has upgraded the principle cameras to Sony HDC 1500’s, allied to two EVS XT2+ servers and EVS X files in order to manage the increased storage required for HD.
And, with the addition of new areas to the show, the enhanced camera coverage has been matched by professional audio solutions that extend radio microphone capabilities throughout the challenging and variable outdoor set.
These include a custom built Rf 25-aerial combining and distribution system covering the two celebrity camps, the challenge areas and the TV Studio, a massive area coverage particularly bearing in mind that most of this coverage is in dense and very Humid Jungle conditions.
The second system Gearhouse Broadcast specialists have installed is a comprehensive fibre optic audio network, with up to 11 nodes linking each camp, the challenge area and five audio consoles.
Being in the jungle, waterproofing the systems has become something of an art form with the regular audio crew, now into their 10th series of the show, developing some ingenious solutions to the often wet and humid conditions, including the extensive use of self-amalgamating tape and Scotchguard drain piping plastic covering.
Water does get everywhere and so the technical team always make sure they’ve got generous supplies of spare microphones and parts to hand.
Helen Kruger Bratt, ITV Production Executive, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Gearhouse Broadcast again on Series 9.
“It’s no mean feat having to produce over 40 hours of live programming over 3 weeks from the Australian bush. We have reality cameras filming 24/7 out in the jungle in all weathers and terrain: torrential rain, hail storms and lightning strikes can be frequent occurrences in the Australian Outback.”
Among the other pieces of specialist professional broadcast equipment being supplied to the hit reality TV show are flyaway facilities that create a large Production Gallery, an MCR area, a CCU area, a VTR/EVS Room, two big Audio Control rooms and a Comms area.
Working with the latest technology, including Sony MVS vision mixers and a Calrec Omega with Bluefin audio desk, Gearhouse Broadcast can ensure coverage for both the ITV 1 and ITV 2 shows and has provided a technical team offering round-the-clock onsite engineering support.
Eamonn Dowdall, Gearhouse Broadcast Managing Director said “We’re delighted to return to the jungle for Series 9 of ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!’
“Once again we have been presented with many challenges working in the tough jungle climate, but we are confident that we have the experience and expertise to deliver the technical facilities required to meet ITV’s needs.”