Maverick TV included a range of Canon’s broadcast equipment in its kitbag as it headed into a variety of inhospitable environments for C4’s new reality show Escape. To bring the story to life in locations as diverse as jungles, deserts, mountains and frozen tundra, the team relied on kit including: the CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S cine servo and CN7x17 KAS S E1/P1 lenses, as well as the EOS C300 Mark II and XF205 cameras.
Escape is a five-part reality show that drops a group of highly-skilled engineers, guided by former special forces operative Ant Middleton, into catastrophic scenes. The team must use their expertise and ability to operate in the most challenging conditions to find their own way to safety.
The nature of the programme meant the crew was limited on what it could take, and needed to be mobile in challenging locations. DP Daniel Etheridge opted for kit that was robust, but still delivered a cinematic look and feel of a hardcore reality show. Etheridge, who specialises in high-adrenalin, adventure series such as Escape and Mutiny, said “In my line of work, I need to focus fully on capturing what’s going on around me, as there are no second chances.”
The DP paired Canon’s CN7x17 lens with the main actuality cameras, and then swapped to the CN-E18-80mm when shooting shoulder-mounted for long periods.
“Canon’s new cine servo lens is lightweight and ergonomic, so you can run around with it, but it still has a big punchy feel,” commented Etheridge. “It was a big help throughout the shoot because it meant we could continue to use the main camera, but create a more user-friendly ENG-size set-up.
“We chose the C300 Mark II mainly to use at night-time, because it’s fantastic in low light, but we also captured beauty shots with it during the day as it fits perfectly onto a gimble or crane. The XF205 is useful to have on a shoot like this, as it’s compact, rugged and broadcast quality. You can just grab it and run. It means you can stay with the action, although on one occasion I noticed we’d strayed a little too close to an eight-foot crocodile!”