More to come

More come, including amazing collaborations and must-watch shows.

Exciting anticipatory reviews ahead our new series, Inside The Vets

Total TV Guide – Pick of the Day “This new series tugs on the heartstrings. Expect to be moved as you see a diverse collection of forlorn animals receive expert care.”

Inside Soap “Our ride-along trips with the West Midlands Ambulance Service have been a huge hit for W, and we’re anticipating similar success for this less-mobile but significantly fluffier brand expansion.”

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Cineflix Rights acquires two new series from Brown Bob Productions

Cineflix Rights, the UK’s largest independent TV content distributor, has acquired two new factual series from British producer Brown Bob Productions.

Cineflix Rights, the UK’s largest independent TV content distributor, has acquired two new factual series from British producer Brown Bob Productions.

Inside the Vets (15×60’, UKTV) follows the daily challenges veterinary surgeon and exotic animal specialist Clive Munns and his dedicated team face as they treat domestic pets, exotic species, and even rescued wildlife. From removing a dog’s cancerous tumour to dealing with an injured hedgehog or operating on an enormous lizard, the series gives viewers a fresh perspective on the lengths the team takes to care for a wide range of animals. Inside the Vets also meets the loving pet owners, witnessing the trust and hope they place in Clive and his team.

Great Rail Restorations (5×60’, Channel 4) takes four of the most iconic carriages ever to run on the railways and brings them back to their former glory – in a first for railway restoration. Teams of world-class experts each restore a different carriage from a different era spanning 100 years of railway travel, including one of only two surviving Royal coaches used by Queen Victoria in 1887 and a once-glamorous 1960 Pullman dining car. Presented by journalist and historian Peter Snow, viewers follow the ups and downs of each restoration while engineer Henry Cole explores what it was like to be a passenger in each era of rail travel.

The deal to acquire both series was negotiated by Catherine McCormick, Acquisitions Executive, Cineflix Rights.

Richard Life, VP, Acquisitions at Cineflix Rights said: “The team at Brown Bob has an incredible ability to produce high quality, access-led documentary series which feature compelling characters and fresh insights into the institutions we use on a daily basis. I’m pleased they are joining Cineflix Rights’ roster of producer partners and look forward to the success of these titles on the international market.”

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BBC plans Panorama-inspired daytime push

Dan McGolpin highlights forthcoming NHS and emergency services projects BBC daytime is to take inspiration from Panorama after unveiling two investigative formats. Controller of BBC programming and daytime Dan McGolpin…

Dan McGolpin highlights forthcoming NHS and emergency services projects

BBC daytime is to take inspiration from Panorama after unveiling two investigative formats.

Controller of BBC programming and daytime Dan McGolpin highlighted the forthcoming projects, which revolve around the NHS and emergency services, as having the potential to have been “a really good single Panorama”.

Brown Bob’s 5 x 45-minute Operation NHS Fraud will follow the counter-fraud investigators who help to protect the UK’s health service from the theft of drugs and equipment, a crime that costs the NHS £1.25bn a year.

Meanwhile, Reef ’s 10 x 45-minute Payback Time For Frontline Crime will tell the story of the police officers, paramedics and firefighters who are injured in the line of duty.

McGolpin said that the stripped 9.15am programmes will inherit a post-BBC Breakfast audience eager for investigative shows.

“BBC Breakfast is a huge institution and being able to follow it with more in-depth investigations into specific subjects is a great opportunity that we should make the most of,” he added.

Launching soon! Broadcast Intelligence will list the commissioning needs of over 200 UK commissioners. Register your interest at

He flagged the success of Chalkboard TV’s cold-case series Murder, Mystery And My Family, which was inspired by BBC4 one-off Catching History’s Criminals: The Forensics Story.

Exec producer Mike Benson realised a similar format would work as a daytime series if numerous cases were examined.

Elsewhere, McGolpin underlined the importance of co-production deals, having ordered The Mallorca Files, the BBC’s most expensive daytime drama to date.

The 10-parter is being funded by US SVoD service BritBox, with broadcasters France2 and Germany’s ZDFNeo.

“Drama can be really expensive so agreeing co-funding arrangements is crucial,” he said.

Other commissions include Flicker’s The Day That Changed My Life, which uncovers dramatic moments that have had seismic consequences, and BBC Studios’ Home Front Heroes, allowing five famous figures to relive the wartime experiences of a close family member. Both are 5 x 45-minute series.

McGolpin has also ordered 20 x 45-minute afternoon antique format Make Me A Dealer from BBC Studios.

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Inside the Ambulance shortlisted for a Broadcast Digital Award

Nominations announced for awards ceremony, which takes place 4 July at London’s The Brewery

The changing face of British broadcasting has been highlighted as several new players are nominated in fresh categories at this year’s Broadcast Digital Awards.

A host of new short-form categories have been introduced – Comedy, Documentary, Drama and Factual – with the likes of Snapchat, Vice and The Guardian all picking up nods.

The shortlists  hand Vice UK and online publisher two nominations apiece in the new categories. True-Tube is also up for Best Original Web Channel, in a competitive field that includes Barcroft TV, BBC3, Beano Studios, History Hit and Mashed.

Among other non-traditional entries, The Guardian’s cricket doc Second Innings is up for Best Short Form Doc and Snapchat is nominated for its Avalon and Vertical

Networks-produced dating format Ghost Hunt, along with HuffPost UK’s The Chefs’ Chefs.

The ceremony, which takes place on 4 July at London’s The Brewery, will also feature separate categories for Long Form Comedy and Drama for the first time.

BBC3 dominates the Comedy list, with four nominations, including BBC Studios’ Bafta-winning This Country, while Sky Atlantic has three drama series up for the prize: World Productions’ Save Me, Kudos’ Tin Star and Vertigo/Neal Street’s Britannia.

Another Bafta winner, ITV Studios/Motion Content’s Love Island, is up for both Best Entertainment Programme and Best Digital Support for a Programme, where it will compete with BBC Studios’ Blue Planet II digital campaign, Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge Snapchat campaign, the Brit Awards, BBC4’s Contagion and Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother.

Last year’s winner in the coveted Channel of the Year category, BBC3, is nominated again, alongside BBC4, Comedy Central, E4, Sky Atlantic and Beano Studios, which is also up for Best Web Channel and Best Digital Children’s content.


Broadcast Digital Awards shortlist 2018

Best Comedy Programme

  • Chewing Gum, Retort for E4
  • In the Long Run, Sprout and Green Door for Sky 1
  • Man Like Mobeen, Cave Bear and Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC Three
  • Roast Battle UK, Fulwell 73 Productions for Comedy Central
  • The Young Offenders, Vico Films for BBC Three
  • This Country, BBC Studios for BBC Three


Best Content Partnership or AFP

  • All Star Driving School, Rumpus Media for Suzuki and E4
  • Gfinity Elite Series, Noah Media Group and Gfinity for Gfinity and Eleven Sports
  • My Icon: Rainbow Laces , Sky Sports for Stonewall and Sky Sports Mix
  • Positive Energy, Renegade Pictures for Shell and National Geographic Channel
  • The Secrets in My Family, Boundless for Ancestry and W
  • Voltarol – Britain by Bike, Elephant House Studios for Voltarol and Channel 5


Best Digital Children’s Content

  • Beano Studios, Beano Studios for Beano
  • CBeebies Playtime Island, Media Applications Technology for Cbeebies
  • Last Commanders, Objective Media Group Scotland, and Panda TV for CBBC
  • Nikki Lilly Meets, Blakeway North for CBBC
  • Pablo, Paper Owl Films, D3T and Bass Boulos for Cbeebies and RTÉ
  • The Pets Factor, True North Productions for CBBC


Best Digital Support for a Programme

  • Ackley Bridge Snapchat Campaign, That Lot and The Forge for Channel 4
  • Blue Planet II Digital, BBC Worldwide, BBC and BBC Studios for BBC One
  • Celebrity Big Brother 2018: Bolder. Braver. Better. Initial and Endemol Shine UK for Channel 5
  • Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic, 360 Production for BBC Four
  • Love Island – Owning the Summer on Digital, ITV Digital Studio and Monterosa for ITV2
  • The BRIT Awards 2018, Somethin’ Else for ITV

Best Digital Support for a Strand, Channel or Genre

  • BBC Three
  • BBC’s Minds Matter Season
  • Discovery Channel UK
  • MTV Pride
  • Paranormal on Really: Haunted Dolls Live Feed
  • Tomorrow’s World – Global Change Calculator

Best Documentary Programme

Best Drama Programme


Best Entertainment Channel

Best Entertainment Channel

Best Factual Channel

  • BBC Three
  • BBC Four
  • History
  • Quest

Best Original Web Channel

  • Barcroft TV
  • BBC Three
  • Beano
  • History Hit
  • Mashed
  • TrueTube
  • Faking It: Tears of a Crime, Shearwater Media for Investigation Discovery
  • Inside My Head: A Newsround Special, CBBC Production for CBBC
  • Inside the Ambulance, Brown Bob Productions for W
  • Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat and Tears, BBC Studios for BBC Three
  • Portrait Artist of The Year 2018, Storyvault Films for Sky Arts
  • Valley Cops, Minnow Films for BBC Three

Best Programme Acquisition

  • Ronny Chieng: International Student, BBC Three
  • The Good Fight, More 4
  • The Orville, Fox
  • The Vietnam War, BBC Four
  • The White Princess, Drama
  • Young Sheldon, E4

Best Short Form Comedy

  • Absolutely Fine, Comedy Central International for Comedy Central
  • Bad Snappers, Factory Films for Comedy Central
  • How to Become TripAdvisor’s #1 Fake Restaurant, Vice UK for Vice UK
  • Pls Like, Left Bank Pictures for BBC Three
  • Quickies, BBC Studios for BBC Three
  • Romesh Talking to Comedians, Green Door Pictures for BBC Three

Best Short Form Documentary

  • Ambulance: Difficult Labour, BBC Three for BBC Three
  • Generation Trump, CC-Lab for BBC Three
  • Second Innings, The Guardian for
  • Sex Map of Britain: Desperately Seeking Semen, BBC Studios for BBC Three
  • What Do You Mean I Can’t Change the World? CTVC for

Best Short Form Drama

  • Overshadowed, Rollem Productions for BBC iPlayer and BBC Three
  • Queers, BBC Studios for BBC iPlayer
  • Random Acts: Last Words, Green Rock with Little Dot Studios for Channel 4
  • Screwball! CTVC for
  • The Break, The Comedy Unit for BBC Three

Best Short Form Format

  • Chat Shit Get Elected, Vice UK for Vice UK
  • Eating With My Ex, Shotglass Media for BBC Three
  • Ghost Hunt, Avalon and Vertical Networks for Snapchat
  • Let’s Settle This, BBC Studios Digital for BBC iPlayer
  • The Chefs’ Chefs, Stepping Stone Media for HuffPost UK
  • Things Not to Say Best, Mentorn Media for BBC Three

Best Specialist Channel

  • Beano
  • CBBC
  • CBeebies
  • Crime + Investigation
  • Sky Arts
  • Walter Presents

Best Sports and Live Event Coverage

  • 100 Women, Sky News for Sky News and Twitter
  • BBC Four PROMS 2017: Oklahoma! BBC Studios for BBC Four
  • Eurosport’s Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, Eurosport UK
  • Game4Grenfell, Legends TV and Expectation Entertainment for Sky 1
  • Premier League Tonight, Sunset+Vine for BT Sport 1
  • Winter Olympics, BBC Sport and BBC Online for BBC Red Button and BBC Four

Best VR Experience

  • Sponsore by Shooting Partners
  • BBC Earth: Life in VR – Californian Coast BBC Worldwide, BBC Studios Digital and Preloaded for Google Daydream
  • Damming the Nile: BBC for Oculus Go, Gear VR, YouTube, Facebook and the BBC News website
  • From Virtual to Reality: Jonathan Yeo and The World’s First Large Scale, 3D Printed Sculpture, Factory 42 for YouTube, Google Arts & Culture and at the Royal Academy
  • One Deadly Weekend in America VR, Parable for YouTube, Facebook and BBC Taster VR
  • Trending Gold, Jaunt VR for Olympic Channel and Olympic Channel VR
  • Wonderful You VR, BDH Immersive for Oculus and Gear VR Stores

Channel of the Year

  • Sponsored by Babcock
  • BBC Three
  • BBC Four
  • Beano
  • Comedy Central UK
  • E4
  • Sky Atlantic

To book a table at this year’s Broadcast Digital Awards, visit

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W’s ‘Inside The Ambulance’ Renewed For Two More Seasons

W has handed out a two-season renewal to Inside The Ambulance. UKTV’s flagship entertainment has ordered ten episodes for both seasons four and five, which will air later this year.

The renewal comes after the first three seasons of the show proved to be a rating’s hit; ranking as W’s highest rating commission in 2017 and reaching 8.55 million adults (including repeats on Really). As part of a previous bumper renewal, W has also commissioned special series Inside The Ambulance At Christmas, which will air in December.

Inside The Ambulance is a mobile fixed rig series that follows the work of West Midlands Ambulance Service and gives an intimate perspective on what it’s like to respond to emergency calls. The series, produced by Brown Bob Productions, uses GoPro cameras that are mounted both inside the ambulance and on crew members themselves. It was recommissioned by UKTV’s Deputy Director of Commissioning Hilary Rosen and General Manager for Entertainment and Comedy Steve North. Natalie Rose will executive produce for UKTV with Bridget Sneyd for Brown Bob Productions, alongside Daisy Scalchi as series producer.

Earlier this year, UKTV’s turned the Inside The… brand into a franchise after they green-lit Inside The Vets, also for W. Another fixed rig series, Inside The Vets offers a unique perspective of the incredible work undertaken by veterinary surgeon Clive Munn and his team of specialists, treating furry felines and the UK’s most exotic species. This marks the second piece of commissioning news to come out of W this week. As TVWise reported yesterday, the channel has also ordered a three episode cosmetic surgery documentary series, titled Sex, Knives & Liposuction, fronted by Cherry Healey.

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Indielab 2018 cohort unveiled

16 companies selected for this year’s Indielab growth incubator scheme

Inside the Ambulance producer Brown Bob Productions, Victoria Ashbourne’s Hello Dolly and Dog Rescuers indie Middlechild Productions are among the 16 companies selected for this year’s Indielab growth incubator scheme.

The 2018 cohort has following an application process with a renewed commitment to support BAME and female-owned businesses.

The scheme will again offer fledgling production businesses a tailored consultation process with input from some 50 industry experts. If appropriate, participants are also introduced to investors.

Previous beneficiaries include Antidote Productions, Awesome Media & Entertainment and Midnight Oil Pictures.

In response to a survey, the 2017 participants estimated that the initiative would grow their businesses by an average of £327,000, while 77% said they expected to enter a first-look distribution deal or secure a new, international sale, having met with a distributor connected to the scheme.

Indielab is funded by Film London and was established by Victoria Powell in 2015. The 2018 scheme will run until the end of May.

Former participant Claire Mundell, creative director of Synchronicity Films, said it was a “crucial” development programme.

“The opportunity to reflect, plan and learn from those companies who have trodden the same ground many years before you is invaluable, as is the opportunity to learn from your own peers,” she said.

“On top of this, the programme offers a valuable opportunity to create a business network which will be supportive and informative as all of our businesses develop.”

Indielab 2018 companies:

· Big Mountain Productions

· Bingo Productions

· Brown Bob Productions

· Bryncoed Productions

· Bullion Productions

· Folk Films

· Gobstopper Television

· TV Greenacre Films

· Hello Dolly

· Middlechild Productions

· Plug-in Media

· Silverfish Films

· Summer Films (formerly Locomotive Film)

· Swan Films

· Synchronicity Films

· Ten66 Television

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Some great reviews for Inside The Ambulance Series 3

Radio Times “It would be hard to get a more intimate or privileged look at what goes on inside an ambulance without actually being there”. Inside Soap “Three cheers for the…

Radio Times “It would be hard to get a more intimate or privileged look at what goes on inside an ambulance without actually being there”.

Inside Soap “Three cheers for the return of the insightful nightly series that follows the West Midlands Ambulance Service”.

Daily Mail “Real drama that will make your heart race. It has more stories than a month of Casualty.

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UKTV extends ‘Inside The…’ strand with a brand new documentary for W

W, UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, has commissioned a brand new documentary series, following the daily challenges faced by the dedicated team at one of Britain’s busiest veterinary clinics.

Inside The Vets (15×60’) will use fixed-rig cameras to give a unique perspective of the incredible work undertaken by veterinary surgeon Clive Munn and his team of specialists, who go to extreme lengths to care for the pets that matter most. From treating furry felines and the UK’s most exotic species, to the love and hope shown by doting owners and the camaraderie between staff, Inside The Vets promises to be heart-warming television.

The new series is produced by Brown Bob Productions, the team behind Inside The Ambulance which is W’s highest rating UKTV Original commission of 2017 and has been watched by over 4.7m viewers on the channel since its launch in 2016. Inside The Ambulance is set to return for a third series this month and a Christmas series later this year.

Inside The Vets was ordered by UKTV’s deputy director of commissioning, Hilary Rosen and channel director of W, Adam Collings. Hilary will executive produce for UKTV with Jacqueline Hewer for Brown Bob Productions alongside head of production, Nicki Gottlieb.

Hilary Rosen said, “I’m delighted that we are extending the ‘Inside The…’ brand and thrilled to be working with Brown Bob Productions once again. Inside the Vets will give viewers privileged and intimate access to the vast range of animals treated, and surgery performed, on a daily basis. All with the Inside The…brand’s unique twist.”

Adam Collings added, “Inside The Ambulance has been a resounding success on W, so we are thrilled to be able to highlight the fantastic work undertaken by some of Britain’s hardest working vets. This series is a brilliant addition to our ever-growing UKTV Originals slate.”

Jacqueline Hewer, Brown Bob’s creative director and co-founder said, “We are really excited to be extending our brand for W. Inside the Vets promises to bring all the drama, emotion and trade-mark humour of Inside The Ambulance, with the addition of a deep dive in to the incredible relationships we have with our pets.”

Inside The Vets joins the slate of recently announced UKTV Originals set to air in 2018 on W, including John Bishop: In Conversation With… and The Wave, fronted by Rylan Clark-Neal and Olympic open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne.


About W

Sky 109/245, Virgin 124/191, BT 311 & TalkTalk 407 / On demand on Sky and Virgin

W is UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, offering audiences a dazzling mix of UKTV original series; Dr Christian Will See You Now, John Bishop: In Conversation With…, The Davina Hour, The Secrets In My Family, Inside the Ambulance alongside handpicked gems from the BBC and Channel 4 including series from Louis Theroux, David Beckham, Stacey Dooley as well as the same day repeat of EastEnders. / @wchannel

About UKTV

UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.

The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.

The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list. / / @uktvpress


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Channel 4 commissions Peter’s Great Rail Restoration

The story of the great British railways retold through the painstaking restoration of iconic railway carriages.

Life-long train enthusiast Peter Snow will celebrate the great history of Britain and its railways, through the restoration of four of the most iconic railway carriages ever built. Each carriage comes from a different era of train travel, and each will be restored to its former glory with complete historical accuracy.

Peter is joined by Henry Cole, who will explore the passenger experience of the era with historical items from the past to fully appreciate the provenance of each railway carriage.

Each of the episodes will see a carriage restored by a team of world-class railway restoration specialists. Starting in each case with a derelict and neglected shell, the programmes will follow the journey to bring these historical treasues back to life, in an intricate make-over of four forgotten pieces of our national heritage. The carriages cover 100 years of railway history starting in 1860, and include a Royal Saloon used by Queen Victoria.

At the end of each episode, the full glory of the carriage make-over will be revealed. The carriage will then be put back on the rails, pulled by a locomotive from the era. In the final episode, all four carriages will be brought together creating an entirely bespoke ‘train through time’ pulled by a steam locomotive – driven by Peter Snow himself, fulfilling a boyhood dream to drive a steam engine.

The series was commissioned by Lizi Wootton for Channel 4. It will be executive produced by Jacqueline Hewer for Brown Bob Productions.

Lizi Wootton said: “These four carriages carried our predecessors through some extraordinary periods in recent history. Bringing them back to life from ruin is a wonderful way to both celebrate and explore our past”.

Jacqueline Hewer, Creative Director of Brown Bob Productions comments: “It usually takes years to restore a railway carriage. For this series, they’ve got just six months. This is an incredibly ambitious project, but one which will ultimately leave a lasting legacy for our heritage railways as our splendidly-restored carriages are returned to the rails for 21st century passengers.”

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Inside The Ambulance Series 2 and 3

We’re back for a two more series of our smash hit show! We go on shift again with familiar faces and new friends in the West Midlands Ambulance Sevice for this innovative, funny and heart-warming look at the world of 999 calls.

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Broadcast Magazine: Inside the Ambulance, W

We wanted to get an intimate view of the ambulance crews. The solution: shooting on GoPro cameras and wrangling data in the back of a Volkswagon, says Jacqueline Hewer.

We wanted to get an intimate view of the ambulance crews. The solution: shooting on GoPro cameras and wrangling data in the back of a Volkswagon, says Jacqueline Hewer

Production company Brown Bob Productions
Commissioner Hilary Rosen
Length 10 x 60 minutes
TX 8pm, W, weeknights for two weeks from 28 November
Executive producer Jacqueline Hewer
Series producer Audrey Neil
Producers Soufian Shamsi; Sarah Binns
Head of production Nicki Gottlieb
Post house Rapid Pictures
Programme summary An ambulance rigged with cameras gives a unique perspective on what it’s like to respond

This is what I wrote in our pitch document: “We will use interstitials of the medics’ conversations between call-outs to highlight their human side, so that the series has them as people at its heart, rather than just as paramedics doing their job.”
We’ve all written stuff like this. It’s not that we’re lying; we’d love to be able to deliver shows that do that. It’s just that it’s incredibly difficult to get it to work on screen, especially when you’re on a limited budget and working to a tight schedule.
But here, we could deliver on our promise. Our paramedics are absolutely the stars of the show: there’s Steve, who can’t understand the point of onesies; Michelle and her weakness for McDonald’s hash browns; Jamie and Carly, whose wonderful chatter covered everything from what Carly’s nan thinks of gay marriage (“If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me”) to sweetcorn as an ill-advised pizza topping.
The secret to our success? They shot the whole series themselves with not a crew in sight. Each paramedic wore two body-mounted cameras, and we rigged their ambulance with six GoPros. Then we recorded every minute of their 12-hour shift, for 60 consecutive days, capturing 7,000 hours of footage.
That was the easy bit; the bigger challenge lay in working out how to manage the absurd amount of media they were pumping out. This was a rig, but with no gallery and no live mixing.

They were on the move the whole time. This is where our own brilliant team came in. On every shift, we had a cameraman running all aspects of the rig. After each patient had been delivered to hospital, they’d hand the cards to our data wrangler, who set up an entire mobile wrangling unit on the back seat of a Volkswagon Sharan.
They were ably supported by a runner and a boot full of snacks. Paramedics are very hungry people.
Having secured the footage, we then had to get consent. A location producer attended every call-out, and it was their responsibility to make on-the-spot editorial judgements about the strength of each story, and to start consent conversation.
We simply had too much footage to take everything we shot into the edit. We only wanted the stories that were genuinely going to make the final programmes, and decided not to ingest anything we didn’t have consent for. When you’ve got six edit suites ploughing through stories with fantastic speed and efficiency, that’s a hard rule to keep. Most people were happy to be filmed, but not quite so many of them wanted what we’d filmed to be on telly.

Unique challenges
We planned the post-production process with extraordinary care.
The complexity of the operation was unprecedented. Our post house stepped up and created a totally new workflow to meet the unique challenges of a mobile rig.
The good news is the stories themselves made it all worth it. As TV producers, we’re always looking for new ways of doing things and the GoPros gave us exactly what we’d hoped for.
Jacqueline Hewer: My tricks of the trade
* Don’t give in to the temptation of hiring someone just because they’re available and affordable.
* Find a post house that cares about your show as much as you do.
* Stay calm in the chaos.
* Don’t let your ego get in the way. If a story needs to be transcribed to help a hard-pushed edit, just do it.
* Have great hair.
A few cases stand out, such as when Neil was in absolute agony with bursting ulcers. A fixed camera captured his pain in an utterly visceral way that I haven’t seen when I’ve put a PD in the back of an ambulance with a hand-held camera.
As for Fatima, a young Lithuanian woman terrified she was going into early labour at 32 weeks, the paramedics’ cameras caught the fear in her eyes with no sense of intrusion.
Above all there was Joe, an 18 year-old who’d had a debilitating panic attack at work in a factory. The call-out is utterly compelling to watch as it puts you right in the heart of Joe’s breakdown. The paramedics are amazing.
Gently, steadily, they calm him down, slow his breathing, talk to him and listen to him. It would have felt too intrusive to have a traditional camera in Joe’s face while he was in such a moment of crisis. But what we can now broadcast – with Joe’s full backing – is an incredible story of what mental health problems really look like.
We’re proud of this series and it’s been a real joy to make. The whole team at UKTV were friendly, positive and supportive throughout – as was everyone at the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The biggest lesson we’ve learned is this: if you ever need to call an ambulance, try to do it in Walsall.

A new angle on the emergency services
Nicki Gottlieb, Head of Production
We knew that if we were going to pitch paramedics, we needed a new take. Looking at GoPro footage posted on various platforms, we decided to use them to shoot the entire series.
That is easier said than done when you realise you need timecode and audio sync for each of the 10 GoPros. Plus they were running for 12 hours a day, for 60 days straight, and throwing out on average 1TB of media.
Once we’d decided that we were going to create an entirely mobile rig, we needed to work out an air-tight workflow. Luckily, we came up with this crazy idea at just the right time as technology was on our side.
One piece of equipment that proved invaluable was the tentacle that sat on the GoPros, as it enabled us to embed synchronised timecode to all 10 cameras and the audio recorders. This, along with a detailed logging system, was invaluable for post-production, as we could effortlessly synchronise all angles ready for the editors.
Due to the sheer amount of footage, Rapid Pictures used the automated system Group It For Me to create the group clips. It saved huge amounts of time in the edit, and allowed stories to be turned around quickly.

Lesson learned
One of the many lessons we learned making the series was that a GoPro shoulder mount is one of the most temperamental pieces of equipment out there. Also, trying to data wrangle masses of media in the back of an MPV causes a lot of stress. But overall, we created a workflow that enabled us to achieve exactly what we set out to do.
This project gave us the opportunity to experiment with new technology, to be creative with our workflow, and to deliver a truly original insight into the ambulance service.

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