Movetech UK (Part of the British Turntable Group) gets all hands on deck with the popular new children’s pirate game show, ‘CBeebies Swashbuckle’, supplying a 3 metre diameter revolving stage turntable along with a set of Hovair™ multipurpose air bearing’s, together making the show a colossal success.
The movement solution experts were contacted by Alison Jeffery, a production professional who has many years of experience with set design and build, especially when it comes to adding that extra pizzazz to any production set up. With Alison’s immense knowledge and having worked with Movetech UK several times in the past she knew exactly what would be the best fit for the show, and requested a standard 3 metre diameter revolving stage turntable to use as the base for the imaginative new game show idea.
Matt Forrest, Movetech UK’s Rental Manager who was involved in the project said: “We have worked with Alison and her team before, so I knew their ideas would be great, and this was positively established once I viewed the plans for the game show. After running through the plans for the show, I was then told the stage would need to be moved off-set after filming had finished each day, which made things a little bit more complicated. With the stage weighing just over a tonne it wasn’t a case of just moving it out of the way, it would be too difficult and noisy to dismantle and assemble each and every time it was needed. We initially came up with an idea of using an additional platform with castor wheels to move the stage in and out of the set when it was needed, but quickly realised this option would make the stage a great deal higher than the 300mm that was specifically needed, and with deadlines looming, this wasn’t a choice we could move forward with.”
Matt then added: “A resolution to the predicament was needed, and fast, so I came up with a possible solution which was to use a set of Hovair™ MAB’s to manoeuvre the stage on and off the set. The team at the show had vaguely heard of the system before but they didn’t know exactly how they worked and found it quite surprising air could be the answer to their unexpected problem. After agreeing this would be a suitable solution, a test date was made to demonstrate the Hovair™ MAB’s system. On the test day, we put a set of four low profile Hovair™ multi-purpose air bearing’s under a 3m diameter heavy duty deck that would support the stage, these were then connected to two air blowers to thrust air into the air bearings, subsequently rising the whole of the unit on a bed of air. The concept is pretty similar to a hover craft, therefore making the unit easily moveable in any direction required. The idea was tested at Movetech UK’s workshop in Bolton, where a short video clip was produced and sent to Alison to demonstrate how the solution would make moving the stage simple.”
The stage and the MAB’s system where delivered to Take 1 Scenic Services workshop for preliminary testing, the system was set up along with all the new decoration and props added to the platform base and skirts. Alison and her team had invited the Producers and Director of the TV show to view the tests and they were all amazed at how effortless the revolving stage turntable was to use and especially how it could be moved to and from set with the air system and were all exceptionally happy with the outcome.
Alison, the game shows production designer had this to say; “The filming of the show took place at Media City in Salford Quays where Matt kindly delivered the stage and installed it exactly where we asked him too. Movetech UK’s contribution to the game show including the test days and the unforeseen problems that arose illustrates their utmost professionalism and loyalty to both the company and the products they supply. The filming of the show has been a huge success and the game itself featuring the revolving stage has been loved by all, from the children to the hosts, to the production team right up to the directors. If you’re a production company and are looking for an efficient and speedy on-set turn around then Movetech UK’s MAB’s air system is definitely a must, and I would without doubt advise everyone to give it a go, it certainly saved us a great deal of time and overall it assisted in making the show a triumphant success!”
The ‘Swashbuckle’ show is the first of its kind for the CBeebies production team. The shows that have already aired on television are available to view on the Cbeebies website where you can also read more about the show and how it was produced.
More information on revolving stage turntables can be found on Movetech UK’s website, along with details on the infamous MAB’s system that helped the CBeebies team overcome their profound problems. Alternatively you can contact Movetech UK’s rental team by email; firstname.lastname@example.org or phone; +44 (0)1204 537682 (Bolton Head Office), +44 (0)1992 574602 (Southern Office), for more information.