Carpool is actor Robert Llewellyn's personal response to the increasing squeeze on TV budgets. Knowing that few broadcasters were keen on bankrolling his take on chat as a traditional studio set up Llewellyn filmed his own interviews in a car, posting the results on his website Llewtube. Carpool hit a chord with the online community and, as a result, llewellyn was able to secure big name interviews such as Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross, Patrick Stewart and David Mitchell.
Now the concept is to be launched on entertainment channel Dave as a 10 part ad funded TV series from RDF Contact For series producer and director Dam Bowles the show's biggest technical challenge was fitting enough minicams inside a Toyota Prius to make the series viable. Also Bowles was conscious that if minicam footage was to make up the vast majority of each 30 minute show, it was vital to find a camera that would deliver high quality pictures.
After close collaboration with hire company Procam Television the Carpool team decided on the HXR-MC1P - equipped to shoot HD using a 1/5-inch "Exmor" CMOS sensor, a 10x optical zoom and a built-in mic, all packed into a camera measuring only 37x42.5x86.5 mm. Using the LCD on the main unit, Bowles was able to play back and review material immediately after it had been shot.
Says Bowles: "Five cameras were easily rigged inside the car, with a sixth mounted on the exterior. The card recording system allowed the team to record in full HD for nearly two hours without interruption."
When the rushes were ingested at full res into Final Cut Pro, Bowles, editor Phil Marriot and executives at Dave all admitted to being "blown away" by the quality. Without the HXR-MCIP combined with Procam's in car lighting, the show wouldn't have been possible."