The Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle takes place this Saturday 19th of May 2018. This is a big event and not only stirs up a great feeling of national pride but gathers a huge audience the world over.
An estimated two billion people globally will be tuning in, so it needs to be filmed and filmed well. Terrestrial channels BBC and ITV are devoting five hours each to the event and Sky have six hours programming blocked out. All three stations will be battling for viewing figures.
With over 180 countries watching, comprehensive coverage is a must, meaning lots of cameras, lots of equipment and lots of crew. Sky are taking things very seriously and filming the whole event in 4K. The process will involve around 100 cameras, 160 technical staff, 10 satellite uplinks, 27km of cabling, and 19 separate UHF Radio Comms channels. And this is just Sky, similar figures can be expected from the BBC and ITV.
This will be the first Royal Wedding to be filmed in 4K and is a preview of what is to come for future events of this size. Traditional television is massively in decline with the likes of Netflix, Youtube and Amazon video gaining large audiences year on year. However events like the Royal Wedding show how important television still for broadcasting live events. It’s exactly that ‘broad’ casting, a communal and social event where we watch something with many people at the same time rather than stream after the fact on our own.
An event so large and watched by so many will always have a few issues. One of those issues is the size of the event itself and the fact everyone wants to capitalise on it, so filming locations are fiercely fort over to ensure all the angles are covered and the best shots are achieved. Unlike a regular wedding video which have one or two cameramen filming it, who are free to move round as they wish and get shots off the cuff, the cameramen at the Royal Wedding will have to stick to their spot and stick to the “script”. They will know what is happening and when because it will have all been rehearsed so that there are no surprises. This can cause problems because if anything unexpected does happen the cameras may not be prepared for it and could potentially miss it.
The Royal Wedding will be a fantastic event and a great boost for the British economy with an estimated £80 million boost in business leading up to and in the aftermath of the day. It will be a great show of technical expertise from all who are involved and a masterclass in logistics and planning. We at Reels in motion will definitely be watching live on the day.