Looking to add a sense of reality TV to its scripted productions, the CBS soap opera “Guiding Light” is using Canon’s XH G1 HD camcorders. The camcorders help bring the audience closer to the characters and the town of Springfield, where the show is theoretically based.
“Guiding Light” is the first series of its kind to be taped exclusively with small, handheld, highly portable digital camcorders, which enables the crew to shoot inside actual homes and offices, or on-location. The show is currently shooting in SD, but is ready to switch to HD whenever the network asks for it.
Lou Grieci, “Guiding Light” director of production services, said the show’s production staff produces 250 shows per year. That’s seven taping days a week over a five-day period; five days in its Manhattan studio and two days in the field. They use a total of 18 Canon XH G1 camcorders and shoot 10- to 12-hour days, three cameras at a time, or four cameras out in the field. They also use one Canon XL H1 camcorder for wide-angle establishing shots.
Grieci added that the compact size of Canon XH G1 camcorders and its low-light capabilities add to its portability, reducing the need for extensive lighting equipment. Sets are built with practical lights that provide adequate illumination. The show’s Manhattan production offices are often used as sets as well.
For more information, visit www.canonbroadcast.com.