Charité intensiv - Station 43

Charité intentiv - Station 43

The two had taken on the task of documenting the everyday lives of doctors, nurses, Corona patients and their relatives in the intensive care unit of Berlin's Charité hospital at the height of the Covid-19 second wave in Winter 20/21. From the outset, it was clear that Carl would have to film alone on the ward: a sound technician was out of the question. This meant Carl‘s equipment had to be as light and compact as possible in order to effectively facilitate these highly emotional and intimate shoots. The producers of the film at DOCDAYS Productions approached Tentacle Sync and Zeigermann Audio with this problem – this was a case for our compact TRACK E audio recorder. Carl filmed with several TRACK E audio recorders (with either lavalier microphones or with the DPA 4097) and a Sony alpha 7s III camera with a directional microphone. A Rode Wireless Go radio link provided the wireless connection between camera and clip-on mics. Everything was selected for minimal size and maximum quality.



The TRACK E audio recorders proved to be the ideal recording device under these exceptional conditions. Their ten-hour battery life and 32-bit float recording format allowed Gierstorfer to film all day without having to worry about the sound. 

"The TRACK Es just ran with me – this way I could fully concentrate on the content and visual aspects of the documentary during the entire shoot. I never had to worry about sound levels and I always felt I had everything under control via my smartphone in case I wanted to check something. This was a great relief, since many elements of the story take place primarily on the sound level," the filmmaker reported enthusiastically.   



The microphones were assembled in close cooperation with Zeigermann Audio specifically for this extremely difficult situation to allow Carl to be very close to the protagonists whilst also maintaining a safe distance from them. This meant that he used highly directional microphones to avoid recording the many background noises of intensive care equipment, and lavalier microphones for all the protagonists that could be wired. In situations where wiring was not possible, the Rode clip-on mics had to be used – these were also necessary given the protective gowns that the doctors, nurses and relatives had to change regularly. 


After more than three months spent in the intensive care unit, Gierstorfer has now completed the four-part documentary project "Charité intensiv - Station 43“. "Working with the TRACK E has shown me that there are now extremely small devices that work at a very high technical level. This opens up completely new shooting possibilities for me, as I can concentrate completely on the content of the film without having to worry about elaborate technical setups." 



Charité intensiv - Station 43, produced by DOCDAYS Productions for rbb, watch it in the ARD Mediathek


Images: product - Inge Möwe / Zeigermann_Audio GmbH; hospital - Carl Gierstorfer