News

28-07-2010

BBC Gears and Tears series features Drivedata Technology

When the BBC set about the task of filming F1 Stock Cars for a new BBC1 documentary series, they turned to Drivedata for onboard camera technology guaranteed to be rugged, reliable and of the highest quality.

Several types of camera were used in the final production, but the most important shots were captured using Drivedata's high resolution bullet cameras, solid state video recorders and some special remote-control equipment specially built for the job.The onboard cameras had to survive dust, rain, gravel, crashes and even roll-overs!

A multi-channel wireless video-assist and camera control system, designed and built by Drivedata, was used to start and stop recording, monitor live pictures from the cars and even control panning cameras fitted to the V8-powered racing cars.

The system allowed just one minicam operator to control cameras in up to 6 different cars at the same time and ensure that the important shots were always caught without missing any of the action.

Here's an overview of the series, which starts on Monday August 2nd on BBC1 at 10.35pm:

"Gears and Tears, a six-part documentary series, is the story behind a single Stock Car season and follows a remarkably bitter battle between the two dominant clans in the sport. The Wainmans are from Yorkshire and the Smiths from Lancashire. This is a latter day War of the Roses where passion, pride and family are everything. Ultimately, all that matters will be victory at the end of a vicious campaign all the way to the World Final.

Frankie Wainman Jnr and Andy Smith are arch-enemies who have much in common. Their fathers, Frankie ‘Smiler’ Wainman Snr and Stuart ‘The Maestro’ Smith Snr, were the leading drivers in the 70s and 80s. This was the sport’s heyday when Stock Car racing was as much a part of popular culture as Wrestling, Curly Wurlys and the Rubik’s Cube – and the crowds flocked in their tens of thousands.

The glory days may be gone but racing is still a way of life that demands total family commitment. Drivers are championed by wives, girlfriends, mothers and grandmas who are even more passionate than their men folk. Women take a leading role in the series where brutal on-track battles mirror the heated rows off-track. Crashes and tears at the trackside are the order of the day, as the episodes progress through a season that takes the competition between the two dynasties to fever pitch. It’s neck and neck all the way. Deliberate smashes, accusations of cheating and even a real life ‘Romeo and Juliet’ love story all build to the most Shakespearean of series conclusions.

Gears and Tears celebrates values that are often forgotten in contemporary Britain. The country’s heavy industry and manufacturing may have all but disappeared, but here are people who can build cars with their bare hands and who drive them with astonishing skill and courage. It’s a world where amateurism, enthusiasm, improvisation – and a handy knack for home-grown engineering – are still king.

Over the nine-month season the film makers enjoyed unprecedented access to this world of everyday heroes, who come from all walks of life. We meet a most unlikely competitor in this macho sport, a ladies’ hairdresser from Nuneaton; and the 16 year old landowner’s daughter who swaps her show-jumper for 740 horse power, with calamitous results. We follow the lad who stands up to on-track bullying, and gets a ban for his pains; and we marvel at the eternal optimism of a window and conservatory salesman who, despite every setback, still dreams of Stock Car glory."

You can also follow the series on Facebook here:

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