Border Rico

Border Rico

Original TX: The Travel Channel, February 2014
Production Company: Arrow Media
Programme Site: The Travel Channel

Border Rico Summary
A piece of America in the heart of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is both a tropical paradise and America’s most vulnerable border. Closer to Colombia than Florida, this exposed piece of American territory is the setting for non-stop action for a diverse group of agents and investigators who man Puerto Rico’s front lines. They never know what the day will bring: brazen smugglers in highly tuned speedboats, multi-million dollar narcotics seizures, illicit currency, weapons, stranded migrants, and much more. Life is never quiet in the action capital of the Caribbean.

What we did
This was a series with some of the most challenging environments for equipment we’ve had in some time. Following the US Customs & Border Patrol and US Coastguard officers based in Puerto Rico we provided 3x full Sony PDW-F800 camera kits, an array of minicams, grab cams, sound, rigging, DIT and technical support on location. The rigors of high speed patrol boats, blackhawk helicopters and body cameras meant we had a number of taxing scenarios we needed to get cameras into and keep them rolling.

From our initial meetings with production company Arrow Media we knew that it could be a harsh environment for equipment. Production required cameras to follow the patrol offers wherever the story took them; be it on land, sea or air! We needed to provide the shooting teams with rapidly deployable  camera kits, minicams, mounted cameras, body worn unit and more. The heart of the shoot was on the hardy Sony PDW-F800 now synonymous with the ability to go all day, in any environment. Shooting to optical disk also removed the need for the shooting crews to wrangle cards each day and allowed them to keep rolling for as long as needed. Complimenting these we also provided 6x VIO POV HD mounted minicam, an incredibly robust camera head and small recording unit that could easily be mounted in a number of ways. From a body rig getting the crucial shot of the officers drawing their gun, on a high speed pursuit boat to the noise and vibration of the customs and boarder patrol black hawk helicopter.

To support the crews we also provided our own James Bailey at technical supervisor and overseeing all the of camera maintenance as well as data management, wrangling proxies form the F800s and ingesting and transcoding the minicam footage from GoPro and POV HD mounted cameras.