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Category/ Case Studies

I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse

Tuesday 03rd March 2015

A Huge Battle for the Survival of the Fittest

Tiger Aspect’s I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse for BBC Three is an ambitious twist on the reality format. The series centres on 10 people trapped in an abandoned shopping centre surrounded by marauding zombies.

I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse is set six months into a zombie outbreak where a group of survivors have to take refuge in an abandoned shopping centre. All they need to do is avoid the zombies.

Tiger Aspect has breathed new life into the reality genre with I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse, making viewers feel they are in amongst the action, escaping the zombies alongside the contestants.

To help achieve this, DoP Saul Gittens turned to Procam for advice on all aspects of the shoot; from project management and bespoke location gallery setups to the extensive camera kit and supporting equipment used on the production.

Consultancy expertise

Procam’s consultancy began very early, collaborating with Gittens and the Tiger Aspect production team pre-production to establish the most appropriate workflow for the pioneering show. Following this, Procam’s hands-on involvement continued throughout every step of the production process.

The production took over an abandoned shopping centre in Scotland, as well as its surrounding outdoor areas, and one of the key challenges for Tiger Aspect was to ensure a camera covered every corner of the location. This meant accommodating some pretty tricky camera angles.

Saul sitting in a helicopter

Huge amount of kit

The sheer amount of kit on set was huge, with over 50 cameras of all shapes and sizes being used to capture the action. Procam provided everything including the cameras and lenses, all the housings for the outside cameras, extensive lighting and sound equipment, 14km of cables, technical services and full project management, from initial consultation through to post production support. It also supplied a technical crew of 15 to the production.

The nerve centre of the shoot was the control room, which included over 20 different screens monitoring the goings on in the shopping centre set. It was, however, impossible to use cables to connect the cameras to the control room as the contestants were free to explore both inside and outside the shopping centre as much as they wanted.

The solution was to use Anton Bauer HDRF systems to feed footage wirelessly from the cameras to the monitors. These were coupled with breakout boxes in various hides throughout the location to ensure the reliability of every connection.

Together with Procam, Gittens made sure the entire crew walked around the set before filming started, to familiarise themselves with how each box connected to each camera. All this preparation meant there was no disruption to the picture throughout the shoot.

Smooth-running production

Tiger Aspect’s Executive Producer Sebastian Grant says Procam played a key role in the production’s success: “Procam were able to respond to the challenges of filming in an old derelict shopping centre in remote Scotland. Offering key technical support to the director and production team, their crew provided a seamless and thorough operation across a complex camera set up.”

Meanwhile, for Gittens, the production wouldn’t have been possible without Procam: “A shoot like this comes with many demands and Procam’s expertise allowed it to go off without a hitch. As far as I’m aware, no piece of equipment failed throughout the shoot, which is testament to Procam. The team was with us every step of the way, from the very early stages of planning to making sure we had all the kit we needed, through to ensuring the entire live production ran smoothly with no technical errors.”

Case Study c/o Televisual 

angenieux, Leitz, Blackmagicdesign, Sony, ARRI, Canon, ZEISS, Panasonic, SIGMA, Cooke, RED

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