Friday 14th Feb Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes AMG F1 team are arriving at Silverstone months of hard work by the Mercedes team are about to be put on show to the world, in time for the 2020 F1 season.
The new car is about to be put through its paces by probably the best racing driver in British history, the car is ready Lewis Hamilton is ready but Mercedes need to show the world what it is like being in the driver’s seat of one of the most powerful racing cars on the planet.
That is where Extreme facilities enter the story, Extreme facilities have been providing onboard cameras for motor sports and motoring TV shows for 25 years, the most famous being the BBC’s Top Gear, which they have worked on for 9 years. So, to Andrew Schaale MD and founder of Extreme Facilities and his team getting the best shot inside and outside a high-performance vehicle is something they do on a regular basis. That said this is more than just another day at the office for extreme, it is their passion!
Andrew told Broadcast Film and Video: “To me this is not just a job, it is an all-consuming passion, it is all about getting the perfect shot, going the extra mile and solving problems that no other company will take on!”
Andrew started filming in “Extreme” conditions in his early teens, shooting white-water canoeing, with a flair for improvisation that remains to this day he told BFV how he made his own rigs as a thirteen year old canoeist putting his Dads Voigtlander rangefinder camera in a plastic Everton mint jar sealed with an inverted rubber glove!
Things have developed considerably in the last 25 years and Andrew and the team employ some of the most sophisticated and high-tech equipment on their jobs.
At Silverstone the onboard cameras deployed with Lewis Hamilton were: DJI Osmo Action & the 360 camera was a GoPro Max.
Safety is of paramount concern for Extreme when deploying cameras in F1, if a car crashes at over 100 mph the last thing the team want is a mini cam becoming a high velocity projectile!
The F1 teams were originally nervous about safety but after years of working with Andrew and the team they now have total confidence in the safety and security of the systems deployed.
Extreme use a vibration dampening system and secure the cameras in strategic positions that do not pose any threat to the drivers even in high speed crashes.
Even when one of the F1 cars crashed at high speed and a nose section was smashed the camera was still mounted on the wing and continued to record the footage! Showing the reliable nature of Extremes installations.
In previous years during crashes when wings broke off the secure and safe fitting of the cameras insured driver safety as the cameras stayed securely in place.
The team at Extreme have also filmed motor racing events at Silverstone using DJI inspire drones.
As well as being expert in the use of off the shelf solutions Andrew has never lost his passion for innovation and regularly builds bespoke solutions to solve those seemingly impossible problems, that all productions face when filming in dangerous or adverse conditions.
After the shoot at Silverstone there was little time to catch breath as the team were off to Barcelona to film Williams and McLaren for their F1 2020 debuts.
Extreme are not only extremely good at what they do, they are in fact one of the foremost specialist camera system companies in the UK, but because they are so good at what they do, they are extremely busy.
It is not just the F1 racing drivers who are living in the fast lane Extreme are in pole position to make 2020 one of their best yet!