Guilty pleasures

Reality TV

Whether we like to admit it or not, one of the most universally popular television formats of the past 20 years has been reality TV. Escapism, empathy, entertainment – whatever your reason for watching, there’s no doubt that reality TV has us hooked and is here to stay. At Gravity Media, we’re fortunate to have people who have worked with the very best producers in this field, supporting projects that have successful franchises all around the world, including The X Factor, The Voice and RuPaul’s Drag Race, to name but a few.

As with many of the other markets we support, we started out in reality TV by renting camera packages, from where we developed a deep understanding of what producers and broadcasters truly need from equipment and service providers. Our versatile flypacks, mobile units, specialty cameras, live workflow services and event communications solutions are particularly key to the success of these productions – as is the engineering and project management support that we invariably supply too.

A recent project in the United Kingdom saw us look after post-production for the third season of The Circle – a show where contestants can only communicate with each other via a voice-activated social media platform. Responsible for the record, logging and editorial side of the rig, it was a four-month project that required us to create an entire TV facility in an abandoned building in Manchester, UK, involving eight EVS servers recording permanently, a petabyte of Avid Nexis storage, and some 30 edit suites all running 24 hours a day.

Everything was delivered efficiently and effectively, and we were particularly impressed with the flawless performance of our EVS machines, which ran non-stop for 16 weeks without missing a beat. What’s more, the whole rig was built in the middle of the pandemic, when a lot of personnel had been furloughed, so there was a much smaller crew and everyone had to work with safe-distancing in mind. Recorded in the summer and autumn of last year, the show aired from March to April 2021, and was well received by viewers and reviewers alike. Although it’s only just gone out, it won’t be long before we immerse ourselves in season 4.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, our guilty pleasure is I’m a Celebrity – a show we’ve both watched and worked on every year for the past 18 years. Now that’s commitment.