On Location with Extreme E in Chile: James Smith
We grab 10 minutes with members of our team as they work on the ground around the world.
In this edition we talk to James Smith at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix, in the Atacama Desert.
Hi, can you start by telling us your name and job title here at Aurora?
I’m James Smith and I'm a Producer and Editor.
A little bit about your background and how you got here.
I found my way over to TV from an Engineering background and a keen interest in Sport led me to Aurora. I originally joined as an Editor but now I also shoot and produce when on location too.
Set the scene for us today
This is the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth, which is the location for the 4th race in the 2nd season of Extreme E; an electric racing series that visits remote locations of the world to raise awareness for climate change. We’re here shooting a few features today, mainly about the unique environment we are in, then I am editing one of the pieces tomorrow to go on air on Sunday during the race broadcast.
What are you most looking forward to about the event?
It’s really exciting to visit these places that are so beautiful and truly like nowhere else I have ever been. It’s thrilling to capture the stories of this place and bring that to the audience back home.
What are the challenges of working in this location?
There are so many challenges, I barely know where to start! We’re at 2500m altitude and the air is really dry so physically it is quite a tough place to work. We also do a lot of shoots deep in the desert, so you need to make sure you have absolutely everything you need before setting off. Oh and we’ve been hit by ‘dust devils’ which are like little whirlwinds of sand - so best to watch out for them too!
What’s the one piece of kit you couldn’t be without on location?
I guess it feels too obvious to say a camera…so I’ll say sunscreen in this case, as Baz Luhrmann says “Always wear sunscreen”!
Can you tell us about any elements of this production which are sustainable?
The whole raison d’etre of Extreme E is to promote sustainability and as a global sport, it does go to great lengths to make sure it doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.
We have a very small crew on site with a remote production back in London, all the core event equipment is shipped here on a boat rather than flown, the event is net zero and uses solar power, we even bring our own bowl and cup to save on plastic waste.
Where will you be this time tomorrow?
Tomorrow is the start of racing here so I need to be on the race site picking up interviews with the drivers and getting nice shots around the paddock to fill our broadcast shows with great imagery.