Sky One’s new show Carnage, produced by Primal Media has stunned everyone this year with their vision of what a combination of high octane, post-apocalyptic atmosphere and epic car battles should look like. The enormous extent of the project encompassed construction not only of the whole set of ‘gladiator like’ arenas or the desert race track, but also the infrastructure needed to facilitate everyone and everything within the scope of this high-end contemporary production. If that’s not impressive enough, this immense compound was built over 2 hours drive away from civilisation. To best represent the show’s original theme, the South African desert was chosen as the shoot location.
This choice, in turn, created the challenge of working in extreme weather conditions in the middle of nowhere. Not only did the equipment needed to be able to handle exposure to extreme conditions it also needed to be fully operational and capable of working under such circumstances all day every day.The epic smash ups, so greatly captured by the show, required a complex network of safety procedures to ensure everyone was protected during those fantastic battles. One essential part was having a live wireless camera feed from inside all six cars to monitor the drivers’ safety.
The image from inside the cars was sent live to the gallery where both the director and the Health and Safety officer could see exactly was happening inside side the vehicle at any given point and to ensure the safety of all involved. The show’s director Richard van’t Riet, who has more than three decades of experience working on such shows as “Stand Up To Cancer”, “A League of Their Own”, “BigHeads”, “Beat The Star”, “The Cube”, “The Voice”, “Deal or No Deal” needed to find a very reliable yet straightforward and versatile wireless video transmission solution to ensure the best prospect of success on the shoot. Looking at the list of challenges for the wireless element of the project and, having worked with a range of products by Boxx TV over the years, Richard decided to use a Boxx system again.The extreme conditions of the South African desert, amplified by the interiors of the battle cars with no air conditioning meant that microwave links installed inside the vehicles needed to handle temperatures of at least 60 Celsius.
Boxx Atom transmitters worked flawlessly throughout even the most protracted filming schedules. Small but essential touches such as the ability to regulate fan cooling speed allowed the Boxx Atom transmitters to deliver over and above what could reasonably be expected of any wireless system.As every team crafted their own unique vehicle, battle car design differences required various individualised fast deployment methods as only a specific number of contestants would battle at the same time. Therefore the configuration needed to be able to move continuously between the vehicles throughout any given day. It was clear that the wireless solution needed to be simple to use and easy to install. This particular set-up could only be classified in one way, mission-critical, multi-camera wireless. In that regard, to make things a tad more challenging, the solution needed to incorporate the ability to operate concurrently for up to seven wireless cameras so that the various feeds could be seen instantly and at the same time. London based hire company Zero Division managed to comfortably meet all requirements by providing a system designed, from the ground up, to tackle all of the above. Zero Division supplied seven Boxx Atom wireless video transmission systems, a wireless telemetry solution and professional RF engineering services to match.
The Steadicam was also an essential element to the production and needed to be able to roam around the whole compound freely without signal loss. Such manoeuvrability with simultaneous monitoring and camera control capability required support by a reliable and robust wireless signal. Many things have already been said about those practical yet very spectacular automobiles, and rightly so. The cars came in in a variety of sizes, construction and installation options. Due to a small form factor of Boxx Atom transmitters is their overall simplistic design, the whole wireless rig could be moved from a car to a car within a matter of minutes. Furthermore, minimal system configuration meant that, once a rig was moved, all that remained was to manually change the channel by pressing the single button on the transmitter. The operation and performance of this solution proved to be essential to filming a competition comprising of many participants together in real-time. All of the above and much more has contributed to a very successful production and a now-viral Saturday Sky One series. Zero Division is extremely proud to be able to say that we took part in the making of this groundbreaking show. Staying at the forefront of wireless video transmission we use only the most reliable and robust solutions and wireless transmission systems Boxx TV’s Boxx Atom systems were up to the challenge.