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The Lie Detective, Channel 4

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

The Lie Detective is a brand new format from the Manchester team of Leeds-based True North Productions. Series director Stuart Froude approached Simon Makin from Lens Flare TV to DOP the new show.

Following the initial recces with Stuart and the True North Team it was decided that 14 cameras would be required in 5 areas: The Polygraph Room, The Main studio, The Interview room, The Waiting Room and The Lift.

This was a tough logistical rig as our team had just one day to rig all five of the filming areas which were spread across three floors of an old mill. This included camera equipment, lighting, sound and a central gallery that would bring in 10 of the 14 camera feeds.

Director Stuart Froude wanted the show look cinematic, however utilise a fixed-rig way of working to allow separation from the contributors and crew. After some consideration, we decided to use a mixture of the Sony F5 and FS7 cameras in the main filming areas to achieve the look, but to allow for the separation of a fixed-rig Lens Flare TV built a large camera hide to accommodate 8 cameras and four operators. For the Interview area we opted for the Canon C300 and used our Eye Direct kit, as Stuart wanted the interviews to be shot down-the-lens.

As part of the brief for the waiting area, the production wanted a natural day light feel. We decided to use the Sony F55 camera shooting at 100pfs with the Zeiss CP.2 prime lenses, as the area was naturally very bright lighting was kept to a minimum with just a Dedolight Octodome and Arri M8 HMI used.

The lift was covered using four GoPro Hero 4 cameras shooting in 4K which allowed reframing of shots in post. This was due to contributors often moving from marks in the lift, as well as some very awkward conversation in the enclosed space after two hours of intense conversation about their relationship. Understandable!

The whole production was monitored from a central gallery with feeds from all cameras except the GoPros, using a bespoke PPU, which was built by Steve from Lens Flare TV. The PPU also fed 5 floor monitors with various feeds for shot-matching, as well as multiple feeds to sound.

Our custom built Thunderbolt ingest station

The result of this averaged a staggering 27and 1/2 hours of material shot per day which equated to roughly 1.2TB. To manage this incredible amount of data we built a bespoke Thunderbolt DIT station that could ingest every card onto two SSDs, and generate rushes logs and reports to ease the management of ingest to the post facility back in Manchester. Over the course of the series, a mammoth 1702 shot cards were ingested by DIT Jake Pennington.

The show to date has been a huge success and the format has sold all over the world. The Lens Flare TV team are proud to have been involved in the making of The Lie Detective, and look forward to working with Stuart and the True North team again.



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