We will be producing a two part documentary for broadcast television. Several broadcasters who specialise in this sort of material, including C4, have expressed an interest. It is a unique subject and such a documentary has not been made before.
It is usual for filming, both on the ground and from above, to show some interesting sections in unusual locations. This documentary will give viewers a record of the complete flight. Viewers will be immersed in the drama of the landscape and the drama in the aircraft.
They will share the experiences of the flyers as they cope with weather changes and air traffic control problems. On the ground they will understand the frustration of dealing with officialdom and technical issues. While all the channels we contacted were keen their criteria was a problem, they would require a cameraman, a soundman and their equipment in the aircraft.
There isn’t enough space for this and the weight limit for the aircraft would be exceeded. We decided after taking advice that the best solution was to make the documentary ourselves using the best available professionals to produce the actual programme from the inflight, ground and departure and arrival footage.
We have easily overcome the filming problems by carrying the cameras on the aircraft, five of them. One under each wing are remotely controlled from inside the aircraft, they can film from directly overhead and in front of the aircraft. Both these cameras can film the side of the aircraft and we will use this facility to include every logo in the documentary on more than one occasion. Two cameras inside the aircraft will cover the pilot’s activity, something the broadcasters are keen on. Finally a hand held camera which we will use at every refuelling and overnight stop.
Corrugated iron hangers with a backdrop of snow covered mountains in rural Alaska or sand dunes in the Mongolian wilderness will be the norm. The data from all these sources will form the documentary which will be ‘put together’ by Movement & Light’ a specialist producer. One of their principals was BBC trained twenty-five years ago and has worked on Airline, Homes under the Hammer, Holly Oaks and Brookside amongst others. The documentary will include pre-flight footage showing training and preparation.
A visual experience.
The flight will cover terrain not previously seen in normal ‘travel’ programmes and only available from above. Many familiar sights will photograph in a more meaningful way when seen from five thousand feet. We will be spoilt for choice when selecting material for the documentary.
For example the Russian Pacific coast can be seen in all its glory as opposed to stills taken on the ground. Hundreds of vessels stranded in the dried out Aral Sea cannot be filmed at all as the depth of mud prevents them being approached. The camels, which shelter from the wind next to the stranded ships, can cope with soft sand.
This is a great opportunity
Making a donation to this project is important but the returns have to be taken into consideration. Your logo on the aircraft will be seen by people in all the countries along the route. We will, obviously, be engaging with local media there and even if your company is not commercially active in that country it will be associated with other donors on the aircraft that are well known there and at home. All the logos on the aircraft are arranged so that they can be clearly seen by anybody, with or without a camera, who is standing nearby at the forty or more memorable places that we stop at during the journey.
The documentary film is an added dimension, it will be in two parts and the donor’s logos will be clearly seen at every opportunity. There are two sizes of logos, there is a ‘stripe’ of 300 x 300 mm. logos which runs the length of the aircraft on both sides you can have your logo on one or both sides. There are some 300 x 300 mm logos on the fin but this space is at a premium.
The smaller logo has been designed for companies that want to be involved but the 300 x 300 mm. logo is outside their budget. These logos measure 50 x 50 mm. and run in a line above and below the larger ones, your donation secures space on one side of the aircraft.
These logos can be joined in a line if that shape suits your company’s graphic, this means you can have any length in multiples of 50 mm; so for example, a 500 x 50 mm. is possible.
The smaller logo will not only appeal to those companies who wish to control their budget but to individuals who wish to commemorate a relative or friend who lost the struggle with dementia. In all cases if you do not have suitable artwork we will produce it for you.
What is the documentary called?
The flight is already known as ‘Around the World at Eighty’ and there isn’t any reason why the documentary can’t use the same name. The final decision will be made by the broadcaster. The name is taken with a nod to Jules Verne who wrote a famous novel in 1873 entitled Around the World in Eighty Days. This was the story of a fictional character who accepted a challenge while drinking in a London gentlemen’s club. Circumnavigation wasn’t new; ships had been doing it since the sixteenth century, but taking years. The challenge was to complete the journey in eighty days. Phileas Fogg won the bet using road, rail and sea transport. It took another fifty-eight years before Wiley Post an American pilot made the first aerial circumnavigation in an aircraft. He took less than eight days, we will take about forty. There are rules that have to be complied with, same pilots, same aircraft, same starting and finishing point and the aircraft cannot be transhipped across the oceans.