Written by Shona Smith on Feb 19, 2021. Posted in General Interest

Candour Productions leads 5G Testing Project in Extreme Filming Locations

The "Live & Wild" project is filming in extreme remote locations, terrains and weather conditions to test the capacity of 5G to support film and television productions.

Patricia Doherty, Project Director, Live & Wild.

5G's promise of high bandwidth, low latency and better communication is attractive to production companies and broadcasters for both creative and logistic reasons. Real life film scenarios will assess the ability of 5G to stream live content for broadcast and dispatch raw footage from remote terrains back to editing facilities.

Five events and testbeds featuring extreme activities such as caving, climbing and ultra-running are taking place between April 2020 and March 2021. The engaging and inspiring content from the events will be live streamed using 5G, as well as edited into short and longer form films to screen on a variety of platforms.

Leeds based Candour Productions leads the consortium of partners delivering the project. The BAFTA nominated independent production company specialises in ‘films that make a difference’ and hard-hitting content on pressing social issues.

Patricia Doherty, Project Director explained in an episode of Flexible Production, that producing the documentary A Day in the Life of Britain's Coronavirus for Channel 4 at the beginning of lockdown was the inspiration for Candour's 5G test pitch. Filmed, edited and broadcast in just days, and Doherty notes that the bottleneck of the production was getting all the necessary files into the edit remotely during lockdown. A Day in the Life of Britain's Coronavirus is an example of the fast turnaround content that 5G could facilitate because its large bandwidth.

Candour’s founder & managing director Anna Hall comments “We are incredibly excited about this project and look forward to discovering the ways in which 5G can help deliver fast-turnaround and live video content without compromising on high production values. This could be a game changer for the UK film industry."

Live & Wild Partners aql will deliver the 5G services used to deliver the live broadcasting. A mobile base station is being developed that can be deployed to the most demanding locations. MTN Safety are also partners, advising on the logistics and feasibility of each location and event.

“The aim of the project is to find out if 5G can truly be integrated into the workflow of documentary filmmaking with live streaming being the real test” comments Patricia Doherty, Project Director of Live & Wild. “5G could create opportunities for production teams to choose where and when they broadcast live content no matter how challenging their film location, without compromising on high production values. 5G could also enable productions to dispatch footage back to the editing suite direct from location.  The potential 5G has to offer professional filmmakers interested in creating fast-turnaround and live video content is exciting”.

Live & Wild is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) as part of its Testbeds & Trials Programme, part of a GBP1 billion investment into the UK's digital infrastructure announced in 2016. The 5G Programme is designed to examine how UK businesses, including broadcasters and production companies, can take early advantage and maximize the benefits of the technology.

[L-R] Anna Hall MD Candour,  Julie Heselgrave, Head of Production Ali Hobbs, Production Executive Live & Wild, Patricia Doherty, Project Director, Live & Wild.


The game-changing potential of 5G for the production sector is yet to be ascertained, but it could bring about positive shifts in workflows, quality, and immediacy of broadcasting. Increased ease in filming on location as a result of smaller crew sizes, setup logistics and being able to plug into existing infrastructure in locations such as sport stadiums may have positive knock-on effects such as simplified risk assessments, or increased inclusivity if physical barriers that can prevent working on location are removed through remote production through the cloud.

aql founder and CEO, Professor Adam Beaumont, comments: “The potential of 5G is now a reality and we’re thrilled to enable the Live & Wild project to explore new ways of working that will highly benefit the media and broadcast industry. Being able to deliver real time footage - rapidly - either locally or for remote production via 5G will change the way teams work and will further drive creativity to offer better and more engaging content to audiences.

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