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We're Watching You - Love Island's Remote Cameras

by Admin | Jun 05, 2019 | Technology |

Summer is looming which means it’s that time of year again. At 9pm, 3.5 million of us religiously tune in to watch ITV’s Love Island. Would it even be summer if we didn’t get our daily fix of drama, ‘muggings off’ and ‘crackings on’? 

This well-documented and thrilling fix of reality TV has become a staple of British popular culture and a global success, with rights to the format being sold around the world. It has picked up numerous awards, including a BAFTA along the way. But with great success comes the mammoth task of capturing all of the drama. So how do they do it? 

Love Island is captured by an exciting array of more than 60 remote hothead cameras, five mini cameras in the dressing room and bedroom and two remote waterproof poolside dolly-mounted cameras. This set-up offers full coverage, ensuring no moments are missed, and it means that the nearly 70 cameras don’t need to be manned. Just two operators are required to control the robotic cameras. 

So, how can these cameras be used in the events and live experience world? As broadcast technology grows rapidly, we can be certain that these latest developments and applications will be transferred to other sectors, such as events, to bring the live experience closer and to ensure we always deliver compelling content. 

Remote cameras are very accessible. In the case of Love Island, their gallery is located in the villa, with links being sent to the Edit Village, 3.2 kilometres away, via RF link. In the case of limited back-of-house space at events, we have the option to apply this remote practise, using remote cameras backed up with a video gallery located elsewhere, while still having full control of the cameras for live editing and streaming. 

We recently got the opportunity to use hothead cameras for our work on O2’s Got Talent. The cameras were employed to shoot a live feed so that O2’s employees could watch the talent show on their internal social network. The talent show took place in the atrium of O2’s head office, so once it was filled with people, space was tight. Also, we didn’t want to block the audience’s view with big cameras on tripods and camera risers. The hothead cameras have such a small footprint yet still pack a punch. With 20x zoom and the ability to shoot at full-HD, they’re ideal for this scenario – delivering a high-quality live stream, without compromising the audience’s view.

As for Love Island, with the series only just kicking off, we have eight weeks of coupling-ups, break-ups, make-ups and drama to look forward to under the watchful eye of those remote cameras. 

The Sledge video department are always here to help so if you've got a project to talk about get in touch Hello@sledge.co.uk