BBC Studios and Post Production (BBC S&PP) has installed technical galleries for studio spaces at Elstree Film Studios, including the George Lucas Stages, which now feature a Studer Vita 8 for mixing and an OnAir 3000 handling studio routing. BBC S&PP has also refurbished the sound and other control areas for Studio D at its own studios nearby. Having moved out of Television Centre (TVC) in west London, BBC S&PP is now using programme making facilities at both the BBC facilities and the Film Studios at Elstree, to the north of the capital. S&PP will not be moving into the proposed new studios at TVC until at least 2015 so it was decided to build dedicated galleries for large-scale TV production at Elstree Film Studios' George Lucas Stages and two other four wall spaces. The shared galleries for the George Lucas Stages 1 and 2 have been built into former offices and dressing rooms alongside the studios. The audio gallery (pictured) houses a Studer Vista 8 and an OnAir 3000 that were previously in the control area of Studio 1 at TVC. Since the move the Vista 8 has been upgraded to new VistaMix software, which features R128 loudness processing. Because no AES router has been installed the OnAir 3000 is connected to the Vista 8 for studio routing purposes, as well as grams play-in from two SpotOn systems. The suite is equipped for 5.1 mixing, with monitoring on ATC loudspeakers. Wall boxes in both Lucas stages are connected to the gallery over fibre. Sound supervisor Andy Tapley explained that George Lucas 1 is used for "big light entertainment shows", such as the current ITV production Your Face Sounds Familiar, and the forthcoming BBC ratings hit Strictly Come Dancing, which is mixed in 5.1 and involves more than 60 radio microphones. Elstree Film Studios' Stages 8 and 9 have also had galleries added; the gallery for 8 has been built on the first floor above the stage while the one for 9 is housed in a Portacabin outside. Danny Popkin, technical development manager for BBC S&PP, comments that the sound areas for both are "almost identical" to that of the George Lucas Stages, featuring Vista 8s and OnAir 3000s. The same combination also appears in the refurbished sound gallery for Studio D at BBC Elstree Studios. These desks were removed from Studio 6 at TVC and have been installed in an enlarged audio control room away from the production and lighting galleries. BBC S&PP will continue to use Studio D after the move back to TVC; Popkin explains that the gallery equipment is intended to be in service for at least another five years. www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com
S&PP taps into BBC and film history for temporary new home
For its short-term stay at Elstree's TV and film studios, BBC Studios and Post Production has brought in equipment from Television Centre. This includes Studer Vista 8 and OnAir 3000 desks, along with a different approach to studio routing.