A highlight of Age UK Devon’s year for both their staff and the people they help, the Carol Concert was a huge undertaking- and it was our job to film it, stream it to screens around the Cathedral and generally help out wherever we could to make sure it went smoothly. When we arrived at the Cathedral in the morning, all was quiet but sure enough, as we began to bring out the TV screens and put all the wires down to connect them up to the cameras, various acts began to arrive and begin rehearsing.
One of our biggest challenges was setting up both the cameras and screens around the Cathedral as we wanted to get the best Camera angles without obstructing the audience’s view. We also had to make sure that all of the audience could either see the acts through their own line of sight or on a screen. The Cathedral seats a large amount of people so this was no mean feat. Especially as one of the things we needed to show the audience was an advert for Text Santa the ITV Christmas appeal that does some work with Age UK making sure that the older population are not lonely this Christmas. We needed to make sure that the entire audience could see this VT as it featured Helen Mirren, a key to encouraging people to donate.
Once the rehearsals were over the concert began and just over 1000 people had filled into the Cathedral and sat down ready to be entertained for the afternoon. There was a real variety of acts ranging from The Kingsmen (a 60-strong barbershop choir from Kingsbridge) to Alison Kettlewell (A celebrated opera singer) and it was Cosmic’s responsibility to capture every note and speech and relay it back onto the screens. Vicky took her place in the pulpit with the first camera and Chris was filming from the same angle on the opposite side of the Cathedral, we also had a roaming camera and static camera next to the organ high above the event.
Our control centre was just around the corner from where the main stage was set up so we were able to communicate with Vicky and Chris via headsets and Jack B was instructing them on which angles we needed to capture and co-ordinating how it fitted together on the big screens. At the end of the Concert the audience was very pleased and excited to collect their Age UK Goody bags on their departure from the Cathedral. When everyone had left, the Cosmic team set about cleaning up and removing the technological infrastructure we’d installed that morning. Jack B and Chris are now hard at work, creating a master copy of the event ready to be distributed as a DVD for Age UK to sell.
"We’d like to thank Age UK for inviting us to come along and help for the day, the day was a great challenge and an enjoyable experience for all involved."