Using Time-Lapse: broadcast television

Our “using time-lapse” spotlight blogs take a closer look at how businesses big and small are utilising our full range of services.

The high quality definition and adaptability of our time-lapse has meant that our work has been sourced by companies like the BBC and Channel 4, for use in televised broadcasts.

We have been involved in memorable projects for several of our long-term clients, as our first two instalments of this series have reviewed. As we focus on here, there have been many instances where the viability of what we produce extends even further than our clients and their principal audiences.

Whether long-term or short-term narratives, our time-lapse provides a unique rendering of projects that may be seamlessly integrated with the medium of television broadcasts and their global audiences.


Banner showing The Smiler roller coaster

Project file – The Smiler, rollercoaster construction

Location captured: X-Sector at Alton Towers theme park, Staffordshire

Project duration: September 2012 – May 2013

Featured on: Blue Peter

Broadcast date: 16 May 2013

One of the earliest instances of our time-lapse footage being incorporated with a televised broadcast was in association with one of the BBC’s children’s titles, Blue Peter.

Our long-term capture detailing part of the construction of one of Alton Towers’ biggest rollercoasters, ‘The Smiler’, aired several times during their coverage of the project as part of an episode in May 2013.

Reportedly the world’s first 14-loop roller coaster, our remarkable record of this monumental build provided the visual narrative for Blue Peter’s news segment, helping to encourage excitement among its younger viewers.

As well as such specialist time-lapse capture, we also filmed video footage on-board the roller coaster, and its other creative features, which Alton Towers could share with their stakeholders, visitors, and interested members of the press.

The time-lapse video itself was also included as a bonus feature on the ride DVDs.


As well as featuring as part of reports regarding important builds in the leisure and entertainment industries, we have also covered work in the public sector – which has also made headlines.


Banner showing NHS Northumbria under construction

Project file – NHS Northumbria, specialist hospital build

Location captured: Cramlington, Northumberland

Project duration: March 2013  – March 2015

Featured on: The One Show

Broadcast date: 24 February 2015

Our Ultra HD time-lapse and site monitoring services were utilised by Northumbria Healthcare to document the construction of one of their specialist Emergency Care Hospitals.

NHS Worcestershire Oncology Centre build
Above: an image from our camera capturing construction of another first of its kind NHS build, in Worcestershire.

Construction site monitoring of this kind is not only relevant to those involved in the build, but as an important development for the public sector, it is vital that progress is shared widely.

The brand new emergency care facility is the first of its kind in the UK, meaning that our camera systems helped to capture history in the making.

BBC’s popular tea-time title The One Show dedicated a special segment to its opening as part of one of their daily episodes, which incorporated parts of our time-lapse footage in order to visualise the hospital’s “futuristic design” taking shape.


From healthcare facilities that are just beginning, we now turn to a project that is steeped in centuries of history that continues to ignite public interest.


Banner of the Mary Rose Museum

Project file – The Mary Rose, prestigious preservation works

Location captured: The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Project duration: October 2015 – September 2016

Featured on: BBC News at Ten

Broadcast date: 18 July, 2016

We were commissioned by the Mary Rose Museum, along with other media specialists Motivation 81, to provide long-term time-lapse and site monitoring of key preservation works from the 500-year-old warship, as her final resting place become more accessible than ever before to the public.

Our time-lapse footage of the Mary Rose on the BBC News at Ten
Above: Our time-lapse footage of the Mary Rose on the BBC News at Ten.

We were granted special permissions to access the ship, using a bespoke rig to ensure that the camera system could be mounted onboard without causing any damage to the sensitive surrounding environment.

We helped to capture the final conservation works and removal of the ‘hotbox’ that surrounded the Mary Rose ahead of her public reveal last year.

Such developments were, unsurprisingly, deemed newsworthy, with our time-lapse footage helping to communicate this phase of The Mary Rose’s iconic journey to a mass audience.

BBC News at Ten incorporated our work as part of their coverage of these important developments.


Through the use of time-lapse, then, television audiences can go behind-the-scenes of current events like never before.

A more in-depth perspective on particular events is enabled through this special technique. This was the case with our construction time-lapse documenting the build of a temporary cinema venue by the British Film Institute at London’s Victoria Embankment Gardens.

Structure of BFI's Embankment Garden Cinema being erected
Above: Structure of BFI’s Embankment Garden Cinema being erected in preparation for the London Film Festival in 2016.

As part of celebrations for the London Film Festival in 2016, sharing the construction of the venue across social media proved to create quite a buzz for the event. Our footage was also shared with ITV and its production teams, which enabled them to have a fuller picture of preparations for this event ahead of their coverage of the festival.

We work to ensure that what we produce is always ‘broadcast ready’ so that our photographic methods such as time-lapse can be used as part of any professional visual production.

In addition to this, our service extends to other televisual genres beyond news and current events coverage.

We recently time-lapsed a unique residential project located in Bicester. Our footage will feature on a brand new Channel 4 documentary

To be shown in 2018, such titles are evidence of our continued commitment to providing a wide range of services that can be applied in various ways in conjunction with televised broadcasts.

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