Cutting-edge Cutting

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‘Going on the Road’ had a whole new meaning this week. Our regular client Northern Gas Networks asked us to make a video to help explain new technology used for detecting and repairing gas leaks. Over three days and three sites I found myself in the middle of busy roads, in mud, rain and sunshine.

We didn’t have much of a brief to start with and everyone was finding their feet. Balfour Beatty has been using video cameras in water leak detention for some time, but gas detection need a different approach to find the leak as well as more stringent safety systems. Together with Scotia Gas’ innovative cutting systems the idea is to trace leaks at a distance down a gas main, then drill a 60cm core down to the main and fix the leak.

Of three cores drilled, all three worked perfectly (luckily) and the crews were able to be off the site in 6 hours or less as opposed to the usual 3 days when digging much larger holes.

Core&Vac_4I shot the interviews and GV’s on my trusty EX1 which offers great control in these testing environments. But the biggest surprise to the client was the pole I waved around while filming with a camera on it… They didn’t know what to expect until they saw a first draft edit and were amazed by the footage I had got with this little camera. It was the GoPro of course, which let me get footage from every imaginable angle and matched the look of the EX1 really well. I rigged the GoPro of vehicles, strapped it to barriers for timelapse and used it a lot on a monopole.

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Another practical aspect of using a GoPro is that it doesn’t get in the operators way and I could put it right down the holes when I wanted. Also I wasn’t concerned about the camera getting damaged or wet as it was in it’s 60m waterproof housing which is really tough and has a scratch proof glass front element.