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When Adele Calls...

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Westminster Live is a state-of-the-art high tech studio in the heart of the political landscape who have welcomed Presidents of the United states through to David Bowie in its history, so when you receive a call to block out the famous Houses of Parliament view... The only real view from any studio in London, you take the call seriously.

The call was about Adele, global megastar singer, who was returning to the spotlight with her new album '25'. All was to be top secret as "the date of release could change anytime."

The challenge for our team here at Westminster Live was simply that all our studios would be in use and this could possibly include a small select audience of dedicated fans. There would be four channels from around the world all interviewing the singer separately at various times throughout the day, from the BBC to ZDF and various European channels.

Creative director Neil Sean explains: "Security was the biggest problem, but again we are chosen simply because our secluded entrances that ensure all high flyers and celebrities are treated to the upmost care and attention to detail on such a demanding matter."

General manager of the studios, Daniel Mason, was tasked with putting together one of the most complex crew requests across four studios. He reveals: "We have a great in-house team here but with so many studios running all at the same time we had to source the best freelancers we knew on such a global job."

The crew consisted of over 40 people all filming with brand new cameras. Lighting was also an added challenge as all sets had varying degrees of style and feel this was achieved with a dedicated team of experts who added to the allure of the whole project.

Styling and make-up was supplied by make-up artist to the stars Ann Montini who teases: "With someone like Adele you expect their own team who makes her look a signature style. My fun challenge was to make the various presenters look the best I could and still stick to their various looks while making sure the star of the show, Adele, remained just that... the star."

When you are producing such a huge event which will be broadcast globally it's important that your studio looks its best despite the various teams, hangers on, PR and fifers across all floors.

Neil adds: "It's a showcase for all that is why we redecorated the entrance, had blooms delivered from Harrods and Fortnum's, with catering supplied by The Savoy amongst others. Studio team wise, we used Camera PMW-F5 with PL zoom lenses which proved a great style and completed the extra crew needed on such a prestigious job. Anyone whose not tried these yet I urge them to do so as we took the risk and were pleasantly surprised. Lighting also can be tricky but we found by using our own studio lights along with some great 'Diva Light', another good find was LOWEL Blender 3 Light LED which just added some zing to the finished product.

"The big day arrived and Adele was a sheer delight. Fun, feisty and a complete professional, she charmed the crew and the studio people to a memorable day. Adele proved what a pro she was and insisted on meeting the crew and looking around our studios here with a view to another future filming project. After the derig, and of course a time for reflection, the team all waited to see the end results as the marketing campaign unfolded around the world, proving to be the biggest launch of any artist in 2015. It was great to be part of such a big pop event. So remember when Adele calls. You have been warned."

Crew: Westminster Studios – Studio A
Creative Director: Neil Sean for Westminster Live
Technical Director: Dan Howard
Lighting Assistants: Isidro Montero – Harry Brand,
Camera 1: Jay
Camera 2: Luca
Camera 3: Benny
Sound Engineer: Markus
Sound Assistant: Alan
Make-Up Artist: Ann Montini for 'Sheer Cover'

Written by Neil Sean, Creative Director for Westminster Live.


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