Total Production


22 July 2008

The Album Chart Show has just completed a fourth series, and the show has gone from strength to strength with a new sponsor, Shockwaves, and a new presenter, Sara Cox.

The show has become so popular that it is even broadcast in cyberspace! The Album Chart Show is the only music show to be featured on Second Life’s cyber TV channel, Virtual Life TV.

Each episode showcases some of the biggest album releases of the week and includes performances and interviews with major music artists. Some of the top name artists that have performed on the show to date include Maroon 5, Fergie, Kaiser Chiefs, The Enemy, The Hoosiers, Scouting for Girls, The Feeling, Sheryl Crow, Supergrass, Kings of Leon, Bloc Party and the Sugababes.

From the beginning…
“We’ve had some great bands on the show, virtually anyone you can think of has performed,” says unit manager for Visions, Sue Bourne. Visions has been working on The Album Chart Show since the first series after being selected by production company 3DD to produce the pilot episode. Following the pilot, the show was commissioned and four series later has gone from strength-to-strength.  

Being involved from the outset has had its advantages for Visions. The Album Chart Show is filmed at London’s stylish and flamboyant KOKO club in the heart of Camden, a fantastic venue, but lacking in space for Visions’ large OB trucks. As Bourne outlines, “There is only space outside the venue for a small to medium OB truck, however, as The Album Chart Show is filmed in HD this presented us with a problem because the majority of our existing HD OB trucks were large double expanding units.”

In order to overcome this, Visions came up with the ingenious solution of converting one of its smaller SDI trucks to specifically suit the needs of the job, “We now have a HD capable truck that is specifically suited to smaller venues such as KOKO,” says Bourne. “When we started work on the show four series ago, we were one of very few OB companies who were able to park outside the venue and broadcast in HD using OB trucks, a fact that we are very proud of as it shows that we can deliver solutions to meet any client requirements,” adds Bourne.  

Parking aside, Bourne is full of praise for KOKO both in terms of the venue and its staff. “KOKO is a great venue and everyone there, from the staff through to the management are a fantastic help. This all contributes to a real feeling of team work when we are working on The Album Chart Show.”

Team Work
“Because we have a small and dedicated team, with the same guys working on it every week, everyone knows exactly what they are doing so we are able to go in, make it happen, de-rig and get out again all in the same day,” adds Bourne.

Although it’s not unusual for Visions to complete the rigging and recording in the space of a day for many of its’ jobs, what makes The Album Chart Show unique is that rehearsals are able to begin at 12pm, “With the majority of our other jobs, rehearsals would not be able to start before 2.30pm, but as everyone in the Album Chart Show team knows where they are meant to be and what they are doing, the team is able to work as a well oiled machine” comments Bourne.  

In terms of the size of the task that Visions undertakes Bourne adds, “We have a lot of experience of jobs such as this and so can handle pretty much everything on the day. We arrive in the morning, run the cables in, and do all of the rigging, which takes about two or three hours. The riggers arrive at around 7am, followed by the tech crew who get on site at about 10am. By 12pm we have everything set up, which means that there is plenty of time to deal with any unforeseen eventualities. .” To quantify the scale of the job, often an OB company would need to do all the rigging the day before, with the show itself being recorded on a separate day, making Visions’ achievements even more exceptional.

The show must go on
After Visions has done its job, the performers can do theirs. Rehearsals take place in the afternoon and then the 1,000 strong invited audience begin arriving at 7.30pm for the recording. Once the show has been filmed, Visions hands the finished tapes over to 3DD for editing before it is shown worldwide.

Dominic Saville, Executive Producer of the show and CEO of 3DD adds, “It still impresses us that Visions is able to complete the rigging, the rehearsals and the recording all in one day and then still hand us the tapes at the end of the evening. After selecting Visions for the pilot episode, we could not imagine working with a more efficient and friendly team, and look forward to collaborating with them again on the next series.”

The Album Chart Show is broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. It has also recently been made part of 4Music Sundays on music Channel The Hits. In addition to being shown in the UK, 3DD has licensed the show in over 20 countries including USA, Sweden, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, Latin America, Japan, Germany, Italy, China, the Netherlands, the Middle East and Bulgaria.

With the fourth series successfully completed, Visions can look back on a job well done and look forward to the new series which will begin in October 2008. The new series will also include three artist specials. “This is one of the team’s favourite jobs to work on,” concludes Bourne, “So we are really excited to see where the next series will take us!”


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