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News Simulation with JVC

Freelance camera operators, Kevin Cook of Video Artisan and Steve Gravenor have recently used their JVC cameras in the tough environment of military training exercises.


Crown Media specialises in providing organisations with realistic media simulation. The majority of their clients are within the defence and emergency services industries, providing them with a real-world experience of working with media, in all its guises, within their regular training exercises. This doesn’t just stop at providing freelance camera operators, but extends to all areas of media including TV News, Print Journalism, Radio Journalism, On-line Journalism and Social Media.

Kevin Cook of Video Artisan in Loughton, Essex and Essex-based Steve Gravenor  are both regular users of JVC camera technology.  Both work as freelance cameraman/editors for Crown Media and work alongside TV presenters to create realistic TV news packages for organisations which are fed back to the audience as part of their training exercise and appraisal.  As well as giving participants the experience of having TV reporters around them whilst they exercise, the Crown Media teams also provide media training to ensure participants give the best possible performance in front of camera.


“Much of what we do is for the British Armed Forces and NATO, which takes us to any one of the many training facilities they have around the globe”, Kevin Cook explained.  “This includes regular assignments at British Army training bases in Canada and Kenya – both of which can present very arduous conditions for video cameras and their operators”.

Often living and working alongside the troops under exercise, the Crown Media TV teams create a realistic media landscape with the rapid creation and delivery of news bulletins.  Quite often this will include multiple news crews role-playing both national and local media – giving their clients the experience of having to deal with news-gathering organisations who are either less or more sympathetic to their cause or operations. 

Steve Gravenor added, “With media playing a vital role in gaining public support – both at home and in the area of operation – this is a vital skill for all organisations involved in this type or operation.  Apart from the military elements, this might also involve all kinds of non-governmental, aid and political organisations.”
Kevin added, “Our working and living conditions can be extremely rudimentary – especially on the field training exercises in Canada and Kenya. Our kit has to be fit for purpose and tough enough to cope with whatever the weather throws at us – and it often does!  The locations are generally very remote, so popping around the corner for spares and repairs simply isn’t an option.” 


Weather conditions are obviously a concern, but other hazards include exceptionally high levels of dust, moisture and generally working in a battlefield scenario!  Kevin explained, “As in the real-world of breaking TV news, there’s often no time for challenging camera set-ups and fiddly controls.  It’s happening – and you’ve got to capture it with confidence. One of the features of these cameras which quite often pays off is their impressive 24x zoom lens which enables us to get very close to the action – without being part of the action ourselves.”  

Kevin and Steve both use 600-series JVC cameras on these jobs and really appreciate their flexibility, ease-of-use and durability.  “We often have to edit our news packages in the field, so it’s important that we can ingest the material, edit and output as quickly as possible.  The 600’s ability to shoot in Mac-friendly MOV format has saved me many hours of having to convert material before editing”, Steve added.

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