On Location with Extreme E in Chile: Kelsey Gallagher
We grab 10 minutes with members of our team as they work on the ground around the world.
In this edition we talk to Kelsey Gallagher 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 Kelsey Gallagher, a Production Manager on Extreme E.
A little bit about your background and how you got here?
I started at Aurora in 2016 as the office co-ordinator / PA to our Managing Director. From here I tried to gain as much experience as I could on any productions that were coming in and helping the production managers with anything they needed, to get an understanding of how everything worked. I also worked as a runner on UK productions to gain on site experience. From here I had great mentors within the company that allowed me to take on more work gradually and helped me to understand what goes on behind the scenes to make a production run the way it does.
Set the scene for us today
Today is race day at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix. The day started with a 5am call time to begin our 90 minute journey to the race site in the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme locations I’ve worked in so far.
Tell us a bit about your role here
My role here on Extreme E in Chile is hugely varied. I have to set a platform ready for our crew to arrive to give them the best opportunity to create award winning content on behalf of our client Extreme E and their many broadcasters worldwide. To ensure we achieve this I liaise with Extreme E and our operational partners in the build up to the event. Aside from this, I floor manage when needed and deal with all ad-hoc issues that arise day to day on the production.
What are you most looking forward to about this event?
These remote locations take a huge amount of planning and organisation. From the permissions for drones to fly, to ensuring all stakeholders are happy with the final product. Seeing this all come together and the hard work from all the crew to create epic content, always gives me a huge sense of pride to know that we are telling the story of the issues facing our planet to people around the world.
Seeing this all come together and the hard work from the crew to create epic content, always gives me a huge sense of pride.
What are the challenges of working in this location?
We often race in locations so remote they start with no infrastructure. We build everything from the satellites that send the pictures back to London to broadcast the show worldwide, to upcycling of raw materials to build camera platforms and making sure that all crew feel a similar sense of achievement and fulfilment when heading home.
We have worked in a range of conditions that push the crew and kit to the limit and a big part of my job is to plan ahead as often there are no amenities to buy things locally once we’re on location. There are always unforeseen situations which we have to be able to react to as quickly as possible. On this event we had to battle “dust devils” (imagine a mini dusty tornado) that frequently ripped through the TV compound.
What’s the one piece of kit you couldn’t be without on location?
It’s not glamorous but a pair of sturdy walking boots!
Can you tell us about any elements of this production which are sustainable?
In order to save waste and single use plastic, every person on site has to bring and wash up their own plates, cutlery cups etc.
- 75,000 plastic bottles were saved last year
- 15,000 disposable cups are saved per event
- 30,000 items of disposable cutlery
- 12,000 disposable plates
A significantly reduced crew with lots of people covering more than one role whilst on site helps reduce our carbon footprint. We engage with Extreme E’s legacy projects around the world and all our kit is shipped on the championship ship – the St Helena. This saves a third of carbon output vs using air freight.
Where will you be this time tomorrow?
This time tomorrow I will have just finished the final de rig and hope to head to Valle de Luna in San Pedro with others in the team, to see an epic sunset and the stars before heading back to the UK on Tuesday.