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Series Director Jon Richards used Procam TV’s expertise to achieve a high-quality look on a modest budget for The Incredible Mr Goodwin.
The Incredible Mr Goodwin first hit our screens on 7th March 2013 and saw daredevil escapologist Jonathan Goodwin perform a range of death-defying stunts that amazed and shocked the nation. One memorable stunt saw Goodwin hang upside-down by his feet from the London Eye on a burning rope locked in a straitjacket – certainly, not your average day at the office. Jon Richards, Series Director, needed to work with crew and kit that would allow him to capture these amazing stunts first time. There would be no second chances.
His brief as series director looked challenging from day 1 – to film a series of impossible sounding stunts first time in a series of challenging locations – on lakes, in the desert, even on a speeding car. In addition to this, Jon wanted to create a series that looked as expensive and as filmic as possible, taking inspiration from the look of Made in Chelsea but the excitement of Bond and Batman films. The answer for Jon? “Turn to Procam! The team’s support and expertise proved invaluable from day 1.”
Throughout the series, the team faced many technical hurdles with Jonathan performing unbelievable stunts on a daily basis. For example, Jon’s favourite stunt centred around a 360 degree car climb: “Jonathan went out a window, over the roof and back in again, with his witnesses in the car freaking out. He then went out the window again, and with a worlds first, went under the car and back in. How do you cover this? Only one way I knew of and that was with a Russian Arm on a 130mph AMG Mercedes, the ultimate directors toy.”
To capture these challenging shots in the required look, Jon consulted with Procam TV to draw on the company’s expertise in delivering quality productions on modest budgets.
Jon Richards said “It was critical that the look of the show was not compromised despite the budget constraints. This was the brief I set Procam, and the team delivered”
It was decided that fewer crew would be used to film the project but would film on the highest quality equipment. The series was shot predominantly Handheld on Sony PMW-F3 cameras with PL glass and Pix240s. Handheld was selected to ensure that this cinematic look wouldn’t undermine the stunts reality and make them potentially feel unbelievable – like a feature film. Using handheld cameras also meant a high volume of behind the scenes footage could be shot including filming Jonathan and his family’s journey as he tackled these once in a lifetime events.
Although the project involved fewer cameras than originally expected, it was by no means small scale. On some of the stunts there were up to 15 cameras rolling as Jon chose to record everything, even including rehearsals and keeping a camera rolling on the blocking out. Filming such dangerous stunts, he wanted to make sure that nothing was missed and use these rehearsal shots to add exclusive behind the scenes footage to the series.
For Jon, Procam’s expertise was vital to the success of the series: “Their commitment to excellence and quality, and their highly experienced assistants were essential to solving it and getting the job done. Procam is a one stop shop for me, they stock the latest brand new kit, if you want something, they’ve got it, if they don't have it they will get it in. They remind me of the A Team - if you've got a problem, they'll solve it!”
Jon’s most recent project was a covert filming show with Procam using their Sony PMW-F55 cameras, which is due to air later in the year. He is currently directing Top Gear.