Case Study: BBC2's The Baby Has Landed

BBC Two's new prime time series produced by the talented team at The Garden, involved following six families over their first laughter, love and chaos-filled weeks of parenthood. The families were each filmed across six weeks, with a combination of fly-on-the-wall fixed rigs and single camera shooting. What resulted was a heart-warming, honest and emotional insight into one of the most intimate times of parenthood.

The rig show followed several families across the first six weeks of parenthood The rig show followed several families across the first six weeks of parenthood

Operators could get a wide variety of shots from the 16 camera rigs Operators could get a wide variety of shots from the 16 camera rigs

The Garden is renowned for their knowledge of fixed-rig and how to make the technique work creatively for excellent storytelling. As the makers of 24 Hours in A&E and 24 Hours in Police Custody, their story-telling is impeccable, so it was a real joy to have been asked to help find a solution to capture this delightful series. The Garden knew they wanted organic content and asked us to develop bespoke 12-16 camera fixed-rigs which were installed in contributor homes across the country.

Due to the sensitive nature of the project, the on-site production had to be stream-lined, and crew kept to a minimum. We carefully selected each element of the installed equipment to be both as reliable as possible whilst being easy to use. The production teams were trained by us, enabling the crew to run each rig entirely self-sufficiently. We wanted to ensure as smooth a process as possible for The Garden so offered a 24/7 remote technical support line, where we were on hand to help with any questions or provide support if required.

Each individual family required impeccable planning and pre-production as the rigs were brought online as the babies were born - and with the timing of the births being a constantly moving target - the systems and teams had to be prepared and ready to run at a moment's notice.

"If the success of a fly-on-the-wall documentary hinges on two factors — just how access-all-areas the filming really is, and how interesting the subjects actually are — then this show gets it right."

The Evening Standard

"Weepy and well-paced, it's an emotional rollercoaster that will soften even the hardest of viewers."

Ammar Kalia, The Guardian

"I've watched a lot of moving television this year, but few moments have floored me like a hospital scene 15 minutes into episode three of fly-on-the-wall show The Baby Has Landed."

The Evening Standard
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In total, WilkieTV provided six fixed-rigs and mini-rigs (12-16 cameras, 4-6 lapel radio mics, 10-18 ambient microphones and full gallery per rig) and all installation and support across the 36 weeks of shooting.

The rigs ran during the day and night, making sure the small moments were captured as well as the big moments. Cameras and bedrooms were equipped with Infrared Night Vision for operation in complete darkness. Our team carefully and meticulously installed cameras in each residential home, and worked thoughtfully with the director to ensure his vision was realised. The rig really came into its own throughout the development of each of the families, capturing many perfect moments, such as the interaction between a sleep-deprived mother and their newborn baby at 2am.

The results were deeply rewarding, with emotive, authentic and eye-opening real life stories sensitively told.

Sixteen Panasonic AW-HE130 PTZ Hotheads awaiting installation at one of the families homes Panasonic AW-HE130 Hotheads awaiting installation at one of the families homes

Four Camera Mini-Rig systems deployed for portable use when a full fixed rig was not an option Four Camera Mini-Rig systems deployed for portable use when a full fixed rig was not an option

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