Dr Christian Will See You Now had a big impact on viewers last year, so following it up with a second series was an absolute pleasure. The Complete Camera Company wanted to emulate the same set up, whilst improving on anything that had been learnt during Series 1. It was important to them to help the production team create a similar atmosphere in which patients had opened up to Dr Christian Jessen with their unusual and sensitive symptoms.
The ability to explore these subjects had moved and informed viewers so The CCC were keen to recreate the conditions in which the subjects had been discussed. The location used during Series 1 had since been redeveloped and could not therefore be revisited, so the team at Firecracker had to find another suitable space. The priority was choosing somewhere with a medical license so that the Doctors and Nurses could practice fully, administering all the tests, treatments and drugs required. The design element still stood with regards to the patients receiving high-quality private medical care, so with that in mind the new location had to live up to the standards set in the previous year.
Director Ben Hoffmann travelled with one of The CCC’s Unit Manager’s, Steve Lintern, to a floor of Guy’s Hospital in Central London to do an initial recce and it was agreed that the location was ideal for shooting the second series. The whole floor was out of use for the duration of the filming period which meant that the crew could film without disturbing visitors to the hospital itself. It also meant that there would be minimal impact on the staff in the hospital; once the floor was rigged the team and their patients would be isolated, which also provided privacy for the visiting patients.
During the recce The Complete Camera Company agreed that 22 Panasonic AW-HE 60 cameras would need to be installed in order to cover the location effectively. This was an increase of cameras from Series 1 and meant that the footage recorded could be further improved by offering the Directors and Editors even more coverage. This coverage included Dr Christian’s consulting room, 2 x specialist rooms, the reception area, the main entrance, the entrance corridor and the treatment room corridor.
Due to the amount of space at the location both galleries could be built in one of the disused rooms opposite the consulting rooms. This meant that cabling to the cameras was shorter and the production team were closer to the action.
The rig took 7 members of CCC crew 2 days to prepare, followed by 3 more days of 13 members of crew to complete. 18 radio microphones were used for the contributors, Doctors, Nurses, specialists and receptionists. A further 14 atmospheric microphones were installed across the surgery. Following the success of Series 1 The Complete Camera Company installed the same media storage system; 8 streams using 2 Quadrus machines ensuring safe media management along with the smooth delivery of footage.
One of the challenges The CCC faced with this series was that the location was situated on the 14th floor of the hospital in Central London. This meant that logistics of kit delivery had to be planned very carefully, in minute detail and timed perfectly. With the help of Firecracker an unload day was arranged so that a small team could park the 7.5 tonne truck behind the hospital and transfer 3 tonnes of kit into lifts to the 14th floor as quickly as possible. This gave the rig team time to get up and running for a full rehearsal day prior to the start of filming.
The contributing team included Dr Christian, a hair transplant surgeon, a consultant gynaecologist, a cosmetic plastic surgeon, a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon, a clinical nutritionist and a clinical nurse. It was vital that all of the professionals were able continue with their work as normal so the equipment was rigged as discretely as possible and any interference was kept to an absolute minimum. The CCC pride themselves on their unobtrusive service so that the Production team can focus on the creative process.
Particularly important with this show is capturing the moments as they happen; due to the nature of the documentary the action unfolds completely genuinely and patients are introduced to the Doctor in exactly the same way they would be in real life. There are no engineered situations so if a poignant moment isn’t recorded it is impossible to recapture. In order to make sure nothing was missed the cameras were placed strategically across each room and The CCC crewed two full galleries with Directors, Camera Operators and Vision Engineers.
The final show was an 8 x 60 minute series for UKTV’s Channel W, which aired over consecutive weeks and covered a variety of patient conditions. From narcolepsy to Tourette’s, hair loss to Poland Syndrome, Dr Christian and his team helped to resolve a wide variety of issues whilst supporting patients throughout their journey.
Facts & Figures
Facts & Figures
Filmed: September 2017
Aired: October – December 2017