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Doughty Makes Its Mark On Celebro Media's New London Studios

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Celebro is a global broadcast TV company that rents out production and studio space around the world.

All studios are located in prime city centre locations in Washington DC, New York and London – and all boast state of the art broadcasting equipment, including a wide range of kit from Doughty Engineering.

The London studio recently moved to a new location – from Portland House near Oxford Circus to the old Hospital Club in Covent Garden. And, because the team are such big fans of Doughty, they decided to take all their kit with them.

Wesley Dodd, CEO, Celebro explained: "We have always had Doughty rails as part of our system and in Portland House, the ceilings weren’t particularly high so they did the job. However in our new location, there was already an amazing Doughty Lighting Rail which was put in by the previous owners. This was essentially made from Doughty scaff poles – however at nearly 5m high, this wasn’t necessarily going to work for us. We do a lot of TV and B2B work and we find that with these shoots, there isn’t that much time for complex lighting work."

What Wesley decided to do was to utilise the company’s existing stock of studio rail and pantographs and add them on to the existing system. “This gives us the ability to work much faster. We have about 100 lamps on pantographs and slides. However with ceilings of that height, the only way to get up and change them is with a scissor lift. But with pantographs and poles, 90% of the resetting can be done from the ground. Not only does this save us and our clients a lot of time, but it’s also a much safer option too.”

Celebro's studios have traditionally been used in live TV news – by everyone from BBC Newsnight, to FOX, CNN and Sky. Wesley sees the new London studio as an opportunity to branch off into more entertainment shows. "For us, the new venue represents a bit of a move away from live news and corporate work, though this will always be something we do. Moving into entertainment is quite exciting with scope to do some pre-recording material – the issue with live news is that it's just that – live! And with that comes the pressure of not being able to do re-takes and get everything right the first time. Doughty kit has always been a favourite of ours – simply because in our business it is all about how quickly we can do things. TV shows can take some time to light but Doughty has given us a really seamless process."

The Covent Garden studios were running on Tungsten lights prior to Celebro's takeover of the premises. Now using LEDs, it has two advantages – the system is not just cooler, but smaller and lighter. "We have bought some additional bits of grip but will definitely be adding more. We are also using lots of pantographs but some of our lights are very heavy – between 15-18kg so we need to have a conversation with the Doughty team at some point about the best system to cope with them."

There are also plans afoot to convert one of the office spaces in the building into a second studio which will have a Doughty rig installed. "We just find it's the perfect system for us and our clients. We are extremely lucky to have two lighting grids, one standard Doughty pole grip and a curtain rail system which we run a dual curtain track from. Reliability, timing and safety are key factors and Doughty ticks all the boxes."

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