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14/10/2019

NEP UK Plays Important Role On The Circle

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NEP UK has played a critical role as key technical partner for a second year for the large scale production of Studio Lambert's social media reality TV series, The Circle, for Channel 4.

The Circle returned to Channel 4 for its second series this autumn, with NEP UK remaining its trusted partner since the show's inception in 2018, refining its talented team and adapting the equipment used to ensure it can meet the evolving requirements of the huge reality production.

Over 135 cameras cover a total of 18 apartments and breakout rooms, the largest number of cameras NEP has deployed on a single production to date, allowing up to 36 video streams to be recorded simultaneously, and editing is undertaken on an EVS backbone with a 25-minute turnaround. One of NEP’s key workflow innovations, and one that distinguishes it from previous reality show successes for the company, such as its long running support of Big Brother, is the use of 10 mini galleries in the production each using a bespoke NEP camera control platform and router setup Each of these galleries in turn feeds into a Master Gallery which stitches all the elements together.

The Circle has a complicated technical set up, involving 24/7 monitoring by multiple teams across three interlinked sites which demands a rigorous production plan that was first put in place by NEP UK for the original series in 2018. With The Circle in control, there are games, surprises, twists and turns, with NEP facilitating the combination of new experiences for the players, additional live shows and the extension of transmissions, the 2019 production has followed an evolving production workflow to the first series of the popular late-night show.

The Circle sees players isolated and moved into individual apartments within a dedicated building in Salford, only able to communicate with each other via a bespoke voice-activated social media platform, called ‘The Circle’. Over the course of a three week series, thirteen contestants play a game of words, creating alliances either as themselves or by assuming an alternative identity as a tactic to win. Contestants build up their ‘ratings’ each day to become ‘social influencers’, whilst trying to figure out who is genuine and who is the catfish, with a goal of eliminating each other by ‘blocking’ other players from The Circle. With a £100k prize up for grabs for the most popular at the end of the competition, a winner is eventually chosen by the public in a live finale, hosted by TV’s Emma Willis.

Following on from its success in the Entertainment, Documentary and Reality TV genre earlier in the year with ITV Studios Entertainment for the summer’s biggest reality show, Love Island, NEP’s work on The Circle confirms its status as the go to provider of cutting edge rigs for the very largest, fast turnaround reality projects, as part of the NEP Worldwide Network.

The Circle completes its second series on Channel 4 on October 18.

www.nepgroup.com
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