Dubai firm shoots documentary on HD camera

Mike Charlton from Atlas TV has been working closely with a UK-based production house on a three-part documentary series being shot in various parts of the UAE.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  August 29, 2005

Dubai-based director of photography (DoP), Mike Charlton from Atlas TV has been working closely with a UK-based production house on a three-part documentary series being shot over a two-month period in various parts of the UAE, parts of the Middle East and Europe. It is rumoured that the production is based on the late ruler of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and will be broadcast on the first anniversary of his death on one of the national channels. However, the production house and the DoP refused to comment on what the documentary was about. The series has been shot on a Sony HD camera. The shoot took Charlton to different parts of the UAE, from the archaeological sites in Al Ain to places, believed to have been the late ruler’s birthplace and areas where he grew up. One of the biggest challenges of shooting this documentary was the fact that it was shot in summer, says Charlton. “The heat is unbearable in summer and it makes the camera equipment moody,” he says. “Typically, we’d go out to film in the early hours of the morning or late afternoon. We had to acclimatise the camera equipment to the heat. People don’t realise that even cameras need time to adjust to a different temperature. If you just take them out from an air-conditioned building into the heat and humidity, your tapes will get jammed or you can expect some other complication. You need to leave them in the camera bag for about 15 minutes so that it has time to adjust to the temperature difference,” explains Charlton. If rumours are to be believed and a national channel has indeed commissioned the programme to be shot in HD, it will be the first step that the government has taken towards endorsing the HD format.

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