Sky1 reality dance contest Got to Dance has been notable in its 4-year history for taking on innovative broadcasting measures for its genre, most notably using the satellite broadcaster’s 3D technology to air selected content on the Sky 3D channel.
This trend looks set to continue in its current 4th season, as the tailor-made judges audition venue, a ‘dome’ constructed on Clapham Common in London (England), included a circular stage that was filled on its perimeter with 99 cameras covering almost every conceivable angle on a 300-degree pivot.
This line-up of cameras included 96 high-definition DSLR identical versions, along with 2 4KHD models designed for ‘time freeze’ concepts, and a central ’4K red epic camera’ designed to capture the performances in as high-quality as 120fps.
Princess Productions are the producers of the Sunday night show, which away from the cameras sees Ashley Banjo (leader of Britain’s Got Talent-winning dance troupe Diversity), Kimberly Wyatt (member of girlband The Pussycat Dolls) and Aston Merrygold (part of boyband JLS) judge the search for a new ‘dance superstar’ across all genres, the winner of the contest receiving £250,000.
Pricess’ director Sam Campbell said of the camera techniques that they hope will capture dance in a never-before-seen manner: “To do this, cameras were placed around the GTD stage in a 220 degree arc, shooting at an incredible 4K resolution. At either end of the rig we placed two 4K video cameras, which were perfectly frame-matched to each DSLR. This meant we could move seamlessly from the ‘live’ performance into time freeze or perfect slow motion. We also placed a 4K red epic camera at the centre of the arc shooting 120 frames a second. We had a bespoke, unique triggering system which meant we could trigger the rig simultaneously to create time freeze or the so-called ‘Matrix’ effect, or trigger sequentially, creating unrivalled slow motion in 96-frame image sequences. Finally, we were operating with an ultra-fast storage server which accommodated After Effects HD-SDI playback within 30 secs on location.”
It is an unprecedented level of detail for a TV talent show (which could potentially grow with rumours that producers are looking to incorporate a ’360-degree rig’ for season 5), but being placed on a subscription-only channel, Sky viewers may be drawn in if they know about the effects and style of filming being used, but will Got to Dance have the substance to keep them there?