Firecracker approached The Complete Camera Company to facilitate a brand new fixed rig documentary series set in a Doctor’s Surgery with Dr Christian Jessen and The CCC were delighted to get on board. The new series would look at wide range of medical issues that are generally difficult to discuss in order to both help the patient and educate the public. The fixed rig would allow the audience to see Dr Christian and his team diagnose, treat and support various patients through their conditions and not miss a single moment of the consultation.
CCC Director Ben Hoffmann did 3 recces of various possible locations with the Firecracker team before settling on a location in Kent. It was a challenge finding somewhere that had the required space, whilst being of a very high standard inside. Firecracker wanted a particular look and style that matched the high standard of treatment the contributors would be receiving. It was also important that they chose a registered medical facility in order for all of the tests, treatments and drugs to be administered. The CCC installed 18 Panasonic AW-HE60 hothead cameras throughout the chosen location, which included Dr Christian’s consulting room, a further consulting room, 2 specialist’s rooms, the reception area and the corridor. There were many different specialists brought in depending on the case, all working at the top of their fields, so it was important to create enough space to maximise the content. The only way of accommodating the gallery was by using 2 porta cabins in the car park, hired in for the shoot.
The rig took 8 members of The CCC team 4 days to complete followed by a full day allocated to rehearsal so that the team could make sure consultations would run smoothly and efficiently. 15 personal microphones were for the contributors, doctors, nurses, specialists and the receptionist, and rigged 18 atmospheric microphones throughout the surgery. It was very important during the rig and shoot to take special care and prevent any damage as the space was a private hospital. Thankfully the team at Firecracker were able to use an entire wing of the hospital itself so that filming was not disturbed. Footage was shot on 8 streams using 2 Quadrus machines which resulted in careful media management to ensure a smooth delivery of the recording.
One of the most important things about this project was to make sure the medical team were able to work professionally without any interruption. Dr Christian is very passionate about his work and the quality of care he and his team provides, so we needed to work with Firecracker to produce a genuine, truthful programme that was sensitive to the various difficulties his patients were facing and not sensationalised for the purposes of entertainment. The CCC were keen to provide a service that was as unobtrusive as possible so that the doctors and patients could focus completely on each other.
The final show was an amazing look at unique medical and personal concerns with the added bonus of a first-class medical team and time to delve into the possible treatments and solutions. Viewers were touched by the individual stories and the care with which they were handled. The feedback was very positive and the team were extremely proud of the outcome.
We filmed the series over a period of 3 weeks and Firecracker produced 10 x 60 episodes for UKTV and airing on W.
Facts & Figures
Facts & Figures
Filmed: November/December 2016
Aired: March 2017
Location: Orpington, Kent