Windfall Films and Timeline TV push the boundaries of film making in a groundbreaking Channel 4 documentary, focusing on the Murder Trial of a man accused of killing his wife.
Working hand in hand with Windfall films, to capture a murder trial in its entirety, Timeline has been a major facilitator in bringing this extraordinary documentary to our screens.
Televising major court cases is exceptionally new and delicate ground yet this documentary paves the way, placing remotely operated cameras inside a British Criminal Court to record the whole process for the first time ever.
Windfall Films began this endeavour three years ago, negotiating access to the trial and permission from the key witnesses. The documentary charts the retrial of Nat Fraser, convicted of killing his wife and mother of his children, in 1998. Timeline joined the operation in April last year to record the six-week long case at Edinburgh High Court.
Using remotely operated HD cameras within the court room, Timeline had the ability to capture the reactions of a number of people at the same time, essential in narrating such a complex story.
472 hours of HD footage was recorded, via an EVS server system, to nearline storage and logged using IP Director. The production team could easily browse through their footage and push selected material through to the edit in Timeline’s Soho facility.
This isn’t the first time that Timeline have used EVS servers and IP Director systems outside of the traditional Sport domain. In 2011 Timeline used a similar workflow on the ‘Seven Dwarves’ documentary series for The Garden Productions. In 2012, the drama elements of ‘Mr. Bloom’s Nursery’ for Cbeebies were shot on three cameras and recorded to nearline storage via an EVS server and media managed using IP Director. This workflow made editing 22 programmes, shot over three weeks, a breeze.
‘The Murder Trial’ is a truly compelling documentary. It aired on Tuesday 9th July, and can now be watched on demand on 4oD.