ITV Studios // Coronation Street
ITV Studios Media City – Manchester
Being the first drone crew to be used for the popular TV programme, this was a bit of a learning curve for everyone involved. The studio wanted to use a drone for one of its larger storylines, involving several stunts and a dramatic fire and rescue scene. The challenge here was that the production is heavily studio based, so orchestrating the shots and movement to suit the story while avoiding staging areas and shoot off was a particular challenge as well as incorporating the HD downlink into the studio for an offline edit. More importantly however was the assessment of H&S while operating in such a confined space with such hazards as fire and pyrotechnics.
There was a lot more planning put into this operation than our usual drone recce’s. Firstly, having spoken with the production team at ITV, we arranged a recce and test shoot. Making sure that the Directors shots were achievable within the confines of the studio as well as testing that our professional Teradek HD link could be incorporated into the studio’s video gallery and framework. Once we had this established, we moved onto the logistics of the pyrotechnical requirements for the shoot, liaising closely with their co-ordinators so that we would not infringe on theirs, or the crews safety. For this we provided detailed blueprints of our flight paths within our RA’s for the stunt co-ordinators, establishing ‘no-fly’ areas that could cause possible impact between the drone and the pyrotechnics and safety areas for cast & crew, should we need to make an emergency landing. You can imagine that on a shoot and production of this type, involving a lot of stunt co-ordination, the set can become quite busy atmosphere. Establishing a close dialogue between ourselves, the production team and stunt co-ordinators enabled us to create some fantastic shots for the programme while operating within a very stringent and safe manner.