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F1 70th British Grand Prix, BBC Sport

  • BBC Sport

This year, Formula One was celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the British Grand Prix. Our client BBC Sport, was preparing a programme to celebrate this very special anniversary, the coronation of a long racing tradition.

Richard Gort, the director of the program had the idea to start with the camera very close to the presenter, the charming Suzi Perry and then literally fly away revealing the old circuit in Brooklands. Then repeating a similar shot at BrandsHatch. When Richard presented us the idea, we immediately told him that we could easily help out, flying very close to Suzi without endangering her and then fly away up to and altitude of 120 meters.

On an incredibly rainy day in May, we went with Richard to Scout the location, finding the best spot to operate safely and getting the best perspective and the most interesting shots.

Back in the office, we started a long process of pre-production, involving a precise risk assessment and it was not easy to make the BBC Health and Safety happy, especially considering that one of their top presenters was involved and we where planning to fly a drone a couple of inches from her. We decided to go in the direction of a Phantom 2 with GoPro 4 installing propeller guard, in order to minimise the risk in the unfortunate scenario that something would have go wrong.

After a detailed discussion with both BrandsHatch and Brooklands, they were happy with our Risk Assessment and Method Statement. We also had to apply for a special permission with the CAA, and we had a NOTAM issued for the operations at Brooklands because the area of operations was inside an airport CTZ.

With support from the CGI team, after several tests we found the best configuration for the GoPro.

On the day of the shoot, Suzi and Richard said they were very happy with the pilot skills and the drone setup. We also had the chance to repeat the shot as many times as we needed to get the perfect one.

The program was broadcasted just before the British Grand Prix.

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