Stylist and Ford Fiesta 24-hour Challenge

When Ford Fiesta proposed the “24-hour Challenge” to Stylist Magazine, they can’t have known that this spirit of “challenge” would have ended up going so far beyond what they had originally envisioned.

For Stylist Magazine, their challenge was mighty: write, edit and sub an entire issue of Stylist Magazine in a single 24-hour block (instead of the week they normally allow.)

The challenge for 3xScreen Media and London-based production company Cherryduck was of a much different breed. Our brief, presented by Cherryduck, was to deliver three simultaneous live streams of the Stylist editorial team as they produced their marathon issue. Using roaming cameras with Teradek Bolts, remotely driven Sony Robotic Cameras, GoPro Hero 3’s mounted in various locations and a couple of iPhones with LU Smart App, 72 hours of uninterrupted live footage was to be streamed on the Stylist website so those watching from home could catch every key editorial decision, every photo shoot and every sneaky desk-top nap.

For us, this challenge presented the perfect opportunity to field-test some new live streaming kit. Having used the LiveU LU70 and LU40 for a huge variety of streaming events for some years now, they naturally played their usual centre-stage role in sending the three streams to our Master Control Room where it was encoded and sent out. For the third stream, we contributed to the LU70 feed with a combination of the car-cam footage sent by LU40 and footage sent by new LU-Smart Smartphone App – the first time we’d had a chance to use this in a live production.

If delivering three simultaneous live streams didn’t present enough of a challenge, mounting the iPhone 5S with the LU-Smart App on the back of the Stylist office dog “McNulty” certainly spiced things up a bit. Though we had to have a “dog-sitter” following McNulty around to make sure she didn’t shake the phone out of its mount, a combination of Wi-Fi and 3G meant a strong and steady feed from the doggie-cam was sent back to our Tricaster.

Once happy with the quality and reliability of the feed from the iPhone using the LU-Smart App around the office, we decided to send it further afield. Where better than on a mission to get a midnight snack from the award winning Duck and Waffle – the highest restaurant in the UK. The live footage of the lights of London taken as our camera operator with his iPhone went up the external great glass elevator of the Heron Building was visually and conceptually stunning – impressing not only the client but us too!

While this was happening, the LU40 that had been hooked up to a GoPro Hero 3 and sent off on an adventure was roaming around the English countryside in a Ford Fiesta. The challenge for the Fiesta was to see how far it could go on one tank of fuel (out to the Cotswolds and back to London it turns out). The challenge for the LU40 in the Fiesta was to see how reliably it could send a live stream back to our OB truck as it got further away from central London. With successful reliable and regular live crosses to the ladies in the Fiesta, who were given a crash test in how to use the unit, we were able to keep an close eye on their movements and entertain viewers at home with their in-car antics.

With this live broadcast having strayed from traditional in so many ways, we still relied on made use of our traditional kit alongside the latest in live streaming innovations.