Spirit Studios debuts BBC’s Bamous as first xR broadcast for terrestrial television using White Light’s SmartStage

Last night, following its hugely popular

preview on BBC Three (Online), the transmission pilot for the BBC’s new comedy entertainment show Bamous was aired

on BBC1. Developed and produced by Spirit Studios, the episode was filmed

within a dedicated xR studio, in a ground-breaking new departure for

terrestrial television broadcast. As renowned global leaders in deploying

innovative xR solutions across a range of different markets, White Light’s (WL)

multi-award winning SmartStage was the choice location for the shoot.






The satirical new pilot, starring comedians Dane

Baptiste, Toussaint Douglass, Munya Chawawa, Lola Jagun and Thanyia Moore,

explores the nature of fame amongst the BAME community.






Looking for alternatives to green-screen

technology for content production, Spirit Studios engaged Director of

Photography Chris Hollier in the early stages of development. Hollier has

worked extensively with WL on pioneering projects, most recently on Eurosport’s

coverage of the US and French Open tournaments. Hollier comments: “Having

collaborated with WL since their first foray into xR production nearly four years

ago, we have seen our ongoing R+D elevate sports broadcast to a game-changing

new level. On receiving the brief from Spirit’s Director & Executive

Producer Matt Campion, I knew that WL’s unrivalled experience in xR for

broadcast, combined with the innovation behind SmartStage, would be pivotal to

bringing the vision for this pilot to life.”







harnesses the full potential of xR, allowing a range of different technologies

to be seamlessly integrated within one environment. As such, it far transcends

the production capabilities of green screen. Natural lighting, reflections,

real-time presenter tracking, optimised camera angles and increased visibility

of the virtual world, all promote authentic engagement with content, to greatly

enhance the broadcast experience.












creation specialist MalfMedia was also introduced to the Bamous delivery team

via WL, following many years of working together on a broad range of projects.

Their Creative Director Michael Al-Far built all content in Unreal and

facilitated remote collaboration amongst the development team, with off-line

pre-visualisation of the studio and content. The SmartStage setup allowed

Michael and other members of the team to continue working remotely even on the

day of the shoot – crucial to reducing the number of crew on site and adhering

to the strict COVID restrictions currently in place.






Andy Hook, WL’s Technical Solutions Director, adds: “Four years ago we delivered the first-ever xR broadcast, when Eurosport utilised ‘The Cube’ for their international coverage of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. Since then, we have continued to lead the field and develop the world’s most advanced xR technology. To date, SmartStage has enabled us to deliver over 500 hours of xR broadcast and deploy state-of-the-art installations for clients around the globe. We are now able to offer the broadcast market, as well as many other sectors, an all-encompassing solution for both expertise in xR innovation, and dedicated studio facilities. Bamous was filmed using our SmartStage at London’s Science Museum and in collaboration with Fifty Fifty, MalfMedia and disguise, we are very proud to have helped execute the first xR broadcast to be seen on terrestrial television as yet another milestone on our xR journey.”






The Bamous pilot can be viewed in full on BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p091pydr/bamous






In early February 2021, WL will launch an

additional, dedicated SmartStage facility at The Mermaid London. This fully COVID-secure studio has

been developed specifically for broadcasters and live event producers, drawing

on WL’s extensive experience of designing, installing and operating xR venues.

The facility has also been designed to facilitate hybrid productions, enabling

both real and virtual audiences to attend simultaneously, and offers dedicated

dressing room, rehearsal, and production spaces onsite.




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