Director Jon Richards Takes Anton/Bauer Atop London Eye to Capture Stunt
LONDON—Jon Richards, director of “The Incredible Mr. Goodwin,” utilized Anton/Bauer’s new Gold Spectrum Wireless Kit and AB Direct VU handheld confidence monitor/COFDM diversity receiver to film dare devil Jonathan Goodman’s escape from the EDF Energy London Eye ferris wheel.
For the stunt, Goodwin was hung upside down and trapped in a straitjacket 200 feet off the ground from one of the EDF Energy London Eye’s capsules, with only minutes to escape from a burning rope attached to the pod.
The production team utilized three Sony F3 cameras equipped with Sound Devices PIX 240s to maximize the resolution bit rate, Canon 5D Mark IIIs, GoPros and a HELI-cam with a Canon 5D as well. The F3s were placed on a nearby hotel balcony, with one camera placed within Goodwin’s pod, as well as one on the ground to capture onlookers.
“The technical challenge for me was how could I see what is going on when I’m stuck in the capsule with the stunt team—60 meters off the ground with my cameras a great distance away,” says Richards.
The Gold Spectrum Wireless Kit is comprised of the AB-HDTX transmitter, AB-HDRX dual diversity COFDM receiver and/or AB Direct VU handheld receiver/monitor. The AB-HDTX transmitter sends its signal directly to the AB-HDRX dual-diversity receiver or the Direct VU. It has an RF output of 100 mW and is capable of accepting HD/SD video formats along with embedded audio from the camera’s HD-SDI output.
MPEG-4 compression enables the signal to travel half a mile in line-of-site applications. The system offers users the flexibility to choose between 12 different channels in which to transmit, ensuring the least amount of interference. This allows multiple cameras to transmit to one central receive site.
A director can monitor different shots and make adjustments in real time from Anton/Bauer’s AB Direct VU. The receiver/monitor displays COFDM video transmissions using an internal nine-inch 16:9 format screen. The bright, high-res 1200-NIT, 1080i HD LCD screen is suitable for ENG/EFP, cine, OB, film production and sporting events. The LCD screen is easy to read in daylight and features a menu-driven interface.
“I was blown away at how crisp, clean and flawless the image was,” Richards said. “Especially because I was inside what is effectively known as a Faraday cage. They’re notorious for breaking up radio, transmission, audio and video signals and the like. The fact that the signal was strong enough to get through the cage that the EDF Energy London Eye capsule created was really impressive in itself.”
This stunt to appear on the April 4 episode at 9 p.m. on the U.K.’s Watch channel.