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Reaching the parts an OB truck cannot reach!

Light entertainment shows aren’t always studio based, they often have whole series, episodes or segments broadcast on location from pretty much anywhere – a cave, a beach, a festival site, or anywhere else that fits the theme of the show. By providing portable production units (PPUs) and flyaway video equipment, the Trickbox team can reach any location that an OB truck can’t, which is a huge benefit for broadcasters.

For professional broadcast projects the sound facilities are just as important as the video facilities , which is why Trickbox works in collaboration with Terry Tew, an audio hire company specialising in broadcast TV and events, for these types of jobs.  Owned and run by professional ex-BBC Sound Engineer Terry Tew, the company provides sound flyaway systems for the broadcast, recording and live sound sectors. Trickbox and Terry Tew have worked on several recent projects including the Rated Awards 2018 (Channel 4), the Live This Morning Wedding from the Royal Albert Hall, The Wave (W) and the Deal or No Deal Tour (Channel 4).

A sound flyaway generally includes a sound desk, radio mics and comms equipment. “We’ve got various sizes of sound desks starting from 22 channels up to 200 channels,” explains Terry. “We select the system depending on the requirements of the job.” At the recent Rated Awards 2018 at the Eventim Apollo in London, Terry Tew dealt with comms for the floor team, the sound crew, the lighting team including  the follow spot operators. The company integrated with Trickbox for the video OB, as well as the live sound show team. Terry says,  “We used the Eventim Apollo’s comms system, the Trickbox comms system and we bolted additional Terry Tew comms and all the walkie talkies onto it. For this event they had an in-house company that looked after the live sound and we took feeds from them for the recording for Channel 4, which went out a few days after the event, we also provided the sound for the live feed for GRM Daily and Channel 4 YouTube channels.”

Trickbox and Terry Tew integrate seamlessly. For the Rated Awards, Trickbox provided its state-of-the-art, bespoke 12-camera portable production unit (PPU) flyaway for the live stream and the recorded Channel 4 show. The expanded PPU flyaway, which can be rigged or de-rigged in minutes, is built to the highest broadcast specification and delivers a cost-effective solution providing all the tools required for a full-scale production, again without the need for an OB truck.

On Thursday 4th October 2018, Trickbox and Terry Tew provided video and audio flyaway services to ITV Daytime for the Live This Morning Wedding from the Royal Albert Hall. Part of This Morning’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, the wedding saw former Marine Shane Maddison and Sarah Roustoby say, “I do” in front of family, friends and the This Morning presenting team, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This is the first time that a wedding has taken place at the iconic venue’s 150-year history.

Trickbox supplied ITV with a multi-camera fly-away solution that included six HD fibre camera channels, and a fly-away control area with positions for the ITV Production team and Trickbox engineers. Trickbox also managed all the connectivity for the live broadcast, which included three independent circuits to ITV (a main and two backups). Terry Tew supplied a Studer Vista 1 32 fader desk, two Studer stage boxes, one for the foyer and one for the main hall, 16 radio mics with duplicate receivers in the foyer and main hall, six presenter talk back systems, four duplex base stations and 60 walkie talkies and Schoeps mics and fold back for the Kingdom Choir and a PA system for the congregation.

Trickbox has also worked with Terry Tew on The Wave for W, which was broadcast earlier this year. The five-part series, hosted by popular presenter Rylan, sees pairs of contestants work together to win a cash prize. One contestant stays on the shore answering a series of questions with Rylan, whilst the other swims between six pontoons in the sea. If they get the question right, the pontoon earns them extra prize money, if they get it wrong they win a 1kg bag of pebbles to swim with to the next pontoon. But that’s not all; to win the money they then must race the clock to swim back to shore and join their partner.

Filmed on location in Portugal, Trickbox supplied production company, Primal Media with a full OB fly-away solution including: a beach-based control room, five Sony HDC-1500 cameras, a 100:1 box lens; a boat-based RF camera set 300m – 400m from the shore; and the technical crew. Terry Tew supplied all the radio mics, walkie-talkies and base stations so that everyone could communicate. Terry says, “We had radio mics and effects mics on all six of the pontoons. All the contestants wore radio mics, as did Rylan who also had talk back so that he could hear the director. It was a fairly complex set-up because the contestant on the pontoon also had to hear Rylan and the other competitor and vice versa.”

Every show is bespoke, for Trickbox from a video perspective and Terry Tew from a sound perspective, and there are often challenges. Terry says, “It’s normally a logistical problem. Sometimes there’s limited access to the venues, which means everything has to be carried in but that’s also a benefit because it means that we can get into places where an OB truck can’t.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with Trickbox on these projects. We have a very similar working style and we look forward to more collaborations in the future.”

“We’ve really enjoyed working with Trickbox on these projects. We have a very similar working style and we look forward to more collaborations in the future.”

Terry Tew