Big Earth Productions taps HotCam for HD adventure travel series

Big Earth Productions turned to broadcast equipment rental company HotCam for two Canon XF305 shooting kits, which it used to capture its latest adventure travel series, "Charley Boorman's Extreme Frontiers."

The four-episode, 60-minute HD show, which airs on the UK's Channel 5, sees presenter Charley Boorman journey across the wilds of Canada on a motorbike, taking part in 20 hair-raising escapades along the way.

Equipped with the XF305s, Boorman and his crew covered more than 3100mi during production and encountered various extreme conditions while sailing through icebergs, kayaking with killer whales and climbing the 1.7mi-high Mount Fable.

Because of the difficult shooting conditions the crew would face, the biggest challenge for HotCam was making sure that the camera kit was in perfect condition before it went out.

"As the shoot was thousands of miles away in Canada, we knew we couldn't have any errors or technical problems as there would be virtually no way of solving them once the crew were on location," explained HotCam general manager Vicky McMahon.

The Canon XF305 is a file-based camcorder that combines an MPEG-2, 50Mb/s, 4:2:2 codec with a Canon L-series lens and three full-HD CMOS sensors.

"Ultimately, the XF305 was perfect as it was small, compact, and had no heads to get damaged, frozen or broken in what was a seriously difficult filming environment," McMahon said.

In addition to the two Canon camcorders, HotCam also provided Sachtler DV12 tripods, Sennheiser EW112 G3 wireless mic kits and Century Optic wide-angle adaptors as well as various backpacks and hard cases. GO PRO minicams and SAXCOM audio recorders were also used.