Unveiled – Broadcast Reality Series (1 Season)
NBCUniversal / Style / E! / 412 Entertainment
(Dir. Stephanie Withey / DOP. Brandon Batten)
Unveiled is a reality TV series following six brides to be as they undergo plastic surgery before their wedding days. I was brought in as sound recordist for two episodes in the series. Both occasions were long day/night shoots in which we covered the brides arrival, surgery, and immediate post-op recovery.
This definitely goes down as one of the most unique shoots I've been part of. Having the chance to record sound inside the operating theatre as the procedures are taking place is not something that comes along very often! So, in full scrubs, masks, and kit, I was just feet away from the surgeon as he sliced and diced. The sound of a nose being chiselled away is not something I'll soon forget!
Of course, filming live surgery comes with many challenges. Miking up the surgeon was no simple task. Scrubs are particularly noisy so hiding the mic in any regular spot wasn't an option. So, to achieve the great sound you can hear in the clip here, I rigged the lapel in to the surgeons headlamp. Establishing a good rapport with the surgeon, quickly, in order to play with his equipment was essential in this case.
The other challenge in any documentary style production is being as invisible as possible, as to not impact the performance of the subjects. This went doubly so on this shoot as the patients were very sensitive and nervous before going in to surgery; understandably!