Joe McLusky, Managing director of Carbon Media and Line Producer on The Love Bus, explains some of the challenges of production on the shoot.
Since 90% of The Love Bus is filmed on a bus, we first had to work out what kind of bus we needed. As classic Routemaster buses are little more than tin cans with seats, we decided that a gutted bus would be better. We found a 1962 Routemaster, recently converted into a travelling nightclub, so it had speakers, a generator, a fridge, a bar and, crucially, a supportive owner.
Our bus needed to travel 1,500 miles in a week without breaking down. This model was built for 'country' use, meaning the engine could travel longer and faster. Noise was likely to be an issue, but this model had doors at the back. However, we still chose mainly flat routes since the grinding of second gear drowned out the loudest content.
We treated the downstairs as a multi camera studio, enlisting Procam to build a temporary gallery on the top deck. Zoe and the camera teams were on talkback and the images and sound were fed wirelessly to receivers that were then hardwired upstairs. We made the bus a tape less environment and enlisted a technician to wrangle the data. We shot with two PDW 700 cameras downstairs, with three MC1P minicams capturing Zoe's asides, moving shots from the bus and shots of passengers. There were two other EX3 cameras with the APs on the route, and we recorded separate passes on Mini Jibs to capture the city shots. A third EX3 shot the dates.
To save the engine, we towed the partly rigged, fully dressed bus to Manchester and dumped it outside Granada TV. Four hours later, we'd completed the technical rig; two hours after that, we were piloting; and six days later, the bus was back in London, fully de-rigged.
You can watch The Love Bus on the Channel 5 website.