TV Production

Flock Edit Limited used medium resolution imagery purchased from Apollo Mapping in a recently aired show on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s channel, Sky TV. This question and answer series on the use of 5-meter RapidEye imagery in TV production was completed during August 2012 with Jim Evans who works in Flock’s London office.

Question 1: Can you tell me a bit about Flock?  What does Flock do and who do you work with normally?

Flock is a London based graphics company. We work across the broadcast and corporate sectors, producing anything from title sequences and in program graphics for TV series, to large corporate segmentation animations for major brands. We are also official partners of the UK world land speed record team.

Question 2: How did you find us at Apollo Mapping?

We found you through a Google web search.

Question 3: Could you describe the ordering process and what you ordered in the end?

The ordering process was excellent and painless. I was clueless about the technicalities and Brock helped me through the process, giving me options and instructions on how to find the right area to order. He sent us low res images each time we ordered with the area boxed in red, and was able to point out any potential issues with our request based on our project needs.

He was also very clear on pricing, and helped us through the licensing process to ensure the rights to the images were assigned to the correct end users. Our production schedule demanded that we get access to the imagery quickly and Brock exceeded our expectations. He was very realistic on the timescales involved so that we could plan production around them, but he always delivered early which was a huge help.

In the end, we ordered six sites of imagery from Apollo Mapping – London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Mumbai, New York City and Rome – covering some 3,000 square kilometers. Brock suggested 5-meter RapidEye imagery for this project given our budgetary constraints and the areas we needed to cover.

Question 4: How did you process and utilize the RapidEye imagery for the Sky TV series?

The RapidEye imagery was used for in-program graphics in a Sky series broadcast which aired a month ago. The TV series was called Networks Of Power and looked at the centers of power in the six major cities we purchased imagery of. We needed the maps to be able to push into the cities and fly around them to the locations we discussed. As the images were flat, we stylized all of the graphics inside Adobe After Effects.

Question 5: Was purchasing imagery more cost effective for you than trying to hunt down free imagery that may or may not have meet the needs of your project?

We wouldn’t have found free imagery of every location we needed in that detail, and we needed the imagery to encompass the right locations. The cost was not prohibitive, even taking into account the small UK TV budgets as they are these days. The RapidEye imagery was definitely a cost-effective solution, and it saved several headaches!

Question 6: Was the imagery difficult to incorporate into the final graphics? What was the final file format of the TV series?

No, the RapidEye imagery was not at all difficult to work with. We created a Quicktime file as the final broadcast master. In the snippet of the TV series found on this website, you can see how the imagery was used to create a map and fly-around over London. Please bear in mind that the final broadcast master is interlaced for broadcast on Sky, so it looks a little odd on playback but gives you a good idea of where we went with it.