On location with Sir Tony Robinson

Recently we were booked to assist a shoot with Sir Tony Robinson put together by a small production team from Spain. I had just joined the company at the time and I was very keen to pitch in with video production and film, so helping out on a shoot with TV royalty seemed like a great place to start.

The Spanish production team was putting together a film crew to aid their shoot with Sir Tony, a new TV show about the history of coins. As well as hiring our Green Screen Studio in Cambridge, they had drafted in Mugshot Media for lighting and sound for the day, along with a runner – which coincidently was to be me.

Me and my colleagues Dion & Jon arrived bright an early at the Hotel to meet Adrian from the production team and Sir Tony himself. We said our hello’s and managed to grab a coffee before I had to lug all of the kit 500m down the road to our first location The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge –Oh! life of a runner!

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Our first location was this stunning little library room hidden from the main corridors of the museum. During the scene’s set up Sir Tony Robinson was nothing but the perfect professional, quietly reading his newspaper and rehearsing his script between articles. The time came for him to do his first take and it was almost as if someone had flicked a switch in his back – ultimate presenter mode. The way Sir Tony projected a script he spent very little time going over was only something a true professional could pull off. It was a very impressive introduction into the world of video production and television. This was a recurring theme throughout all the shots at the Fitzwilliam – again and again a seemingly quiet individual off camera transformed into a charismatic presenting genius on camera. It was also worth noting how well our LED lights performed, so well the Fitzwilliam’s Chief Photographer was keen to replicate the lighting set-up himself in order to capture the detail in their pieces on display. In a museum environment using high powered LED’s makes a massive difference to the attitude of staff when they realised the lights were not radiating any heat, thus posing no risk to the condition of their exhibits. Just before we finished up we managed to pull off the infamous Sir Tony Robinson bicycle shot – It just would not have been the same without it.

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After a fantastic lunch across the road, it was back to Mugshot Media HQ for Sir Tony to perform his pieces to camera in our own Chroma Key/Green Screen studio facilities. Mark our Director of Media had packed the breakout room full snacks as he would do for any client, which I think everyone appreciated after the taxis booked had left us waiting around for nearly an hour. Cambridge rush hour traffic can be an absolute nightmare at times. With the shoot running a little late anyone would expect their talent to get bit itchy but once again Sir Tony was a true professional and steamed through his 8 Chroma key shots with corresponding scripts. I have never contemplated anyone learning that amount of material in one day and then delivering it word for word like they had researched and written it themselves. It was truly impressive. Quicker than anyone could say ‘that’s a wrap’, an equally impressive car pulled up to Mugshot Media HQ and the driver whisked Sir Tony Robinson back down to London.

If anyone would like to know more about the shoot, kit list etc drop me a message on twitter @MattMembrane.

Photography Credits: Mugshot Media