Fly-Away Portable Production Unit Spreads Human Rights Day Message To A Global Audience

WilkieTV recently produced a multicamera live stream of BeFrank Theatre’s performance Like Enemies of the State in collaboration with US based Falling Whistles to mark Human Rights Day. Wilkie TV used their latest high tech miniature OB Portable Production Unit to produce a broadcast quality live production and reach a global audience.

The challenge was set, with a tight setup and rehearsal time of one hour, a very small theatre studio space, and staging in-the-round. This required some innovative and creative thinking from the Wilkie TV team. The staging was personal and inclusive, with the audience in extreme close proximity to the action. There were two audiences to consider, both with different needs. The cameras needed to be placed in a way that did not distract from the performance, but still included rather than excluded the online viewers in the theatrical experience of theatre-in-the-round.

The performance was captured using four of WilkieTV’s Sony cameras and was mixed live from a separate control room. The feed was recorded in HD and streamed using the Ustream HD platform to a worldwide audience viewed in over 15 countries. Coupling their 8-camera HD Outside Broadcast rack with Blackmagic fibre converters and Sony NEX cameras allowed HD coverage to be streamed live from the event as well as recorded for future distribution.

The live production took place at midnight in Central London which also posed further challenges with regards to logistics and equipment movement. Wilkie TV owns all the kit required so there was no waiting on sub-hires to be delivered and all equipment has been pre-tested and pre-prepped before turning up at the venue. The entire 4 camera broadcast’s worth of equipment can comfortably fit in the back of a car and be carried by hand into the venue.

Due to the requirements of the show we were unable to rig each actor with an individual radio mic, therefore capturing sound was another challenge. WilkieTV rigged a 360° ambient microphone setup to capture the actors voices moving round the circular space. All this was accomplished in less than one hour of get-in time for the crew.

Wilkie TV’s extensive use of fibre-optic links to the cameras allowed HD video, operator talkback, microphone audio and tally information to be sent and received over a single lightweight cable; reducing the time and effort required for the rig and derig in the theatre space. The vision director was in constant communication with each operator and was able to tune the shots during the performance. The benefits of this technology were essential for the fast turnaround required in this performance.

If you have an event you feel may benefit from live streaming video or multi-camera recording, then please contact Wilkie TV through their website or on (0)1483 377001.

For more information about the show, please visit JustBeFrank’s production site at