MUMBAI: From miraculous recoveries to heart-wrenching moments,
one has seen what goes on in a hospital and operation theater
(OT) through various popular shows like Grey's Anatomy and
Taking it a step ahead, National Geographic channel will
bring forth the reality without all the drama to people's
television screens with a series called Emergency Room.
Geographic channel is known to showcase content that
is thought provoking and educate audiences at the same
time asserts Debarpita Banerjee
It is a reality show which will take the viewers behind the
closed doors of an emergency room, with unprecedented access
to the hospital and doctors, patients and their families.
The series has been shot inside the Emergency Room of Medanta
hospital in Delhi and will showcase real life stories of doctors
and hospital staff racing against time, facing high pressure
situations and intimidating life and death circumstances.
It is produced by Vedartha Entertainment and will air at
10 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday.
Through the show, the channel is targeting 15+ Sec A living
in the metros. The tune-in day and time were derived from a programming perspective, given the format and nature of the show, its content and the
preferences of its target audience.
How it all started
National Geographic channel is known to showcase content
that is thought provoking and educate audiences at the same
time. And staying true to its ideology, National Geographic and
Fox International Channels, vice president, marketing Debarpita
Banerjee explains the concept behind it, "At National
Geographic we always push to break new ground in programming
and the idea was developed within the company. The reason
we chose this idea is because the Emergency Room is one of
the most challenging environments to be in - whether you're
a doctor, a patient or a patient's family member."
"Life and death are decided in a matter of moments.
People have never seen this unless personally exposed to it.
Larger audiences don't know what a hospital environment is
really like 24x7. Either they are not aware or they have a
different impression than the reality. We wanted to bring
this unseen world to our viewers." she adds.
The channel approached Medanta with the show concept and
given the hospital's expertise in this field, the channel
decided to partner with it.
"Medanta shared a similar outlook towards emergencies
and emergency preparedness and hence decided to partner with
us for this particular series. Once the programming details
were closed and agreed upon, we went about setting up the
cameras, etc." says Banerjee.
The team of ER comprises of around 100 professionals. There
are seven to eight online directors, 20 producers/assistant
directors, more than 50 people in the technical crew and more
than 12 loggers. The entire crew was flown down from Mumbai
and it took more than a week to set up the cameras, mikes
and other technical equipments.
The channel has used almost every available type of camera
starting from wall mounted PTZs (Pan Tilt Zooms) to Sony PMW
200s to Gopro cameras.
How the ER team works?
The channel wanted to give a fly-on-the-wall feel and did
not want to interfere with the cases, so it placed a total
of 26 cameras in the emergency room to capture different angels.
Moreover, a PCR room was setup in Medanta from where
these cameras were remotely controlled. In addition to this,
four floating camera units were available on a standby. For
more dynamic looking shots, four gopro camera units are also
available to shoot as many as 10 cases in a day.
permissions were taken by the makers, of the family
members and patients before and during the shoot
When asked about the difficulty level while shooting, Banerjee
reasons: "Many. It was new ground for all of us. One
of the biggest difficulties was that we didn't know what we
were going to get. This is as real as it gets. As it is rightly
said, no actors, no retakes. So you don't know what you will
finally get on tape."
It is a very challenging subject for the channel as it involves
real emergencies, real loss and life changing moments!
"Even in real life people don't go into the emergency
room except for those few times when life demands it and something
occurs. Here the team was in that environment 24x7 for over
a month. It's a very emotional subject for the filming team
too, to see life unfold like this before their eyes."
Another question that comes to our mind is that were the
doctors okay with the concept of the show? The creative control
of the series lies with NatGeo but at the same time the treatment
and diagnosis is something that doctors are experts at reveals
Banerjee. So the channel follows the doctors as they manage
What about the precaution level while shooting? "We
were careful not to interfere with the hospital functioning
and ensured that doctors and other staff could go about treating
the patients' uninterrupted." states Banerjee.
Family members and patients were approached before and during
the shoot and due permissions were obtained.
is a very challenging subject for the channel as it
involves real emergencies, real loss and life changing
moments says Debarpita Banerjee
The production planning was done very much in advance by
the channel. It had also planned what kind of stories it will
be looking at, but was more fluid than a firmed up plan. "Its
an emergency room we were shooting in and plans got modified
as per the on ground cases and as they were managed."
The channel has not left any stone unturned promoting the
show on a large scale. "Since this is more than just
a show and equals to an awareness drive, our marketing strategy
has been to associate ER with the larger cause of making people
aware of the dos and don'ts of emergency", asserts Banerjee.
The channel used social media in a very interactive and informative
way through the emergency ready page. For the show, apart
from TV, heavy online and radio promotions have been carried
At the back of the show, the channel has also launched a
campaign- Be Emergency Ready! As part of this campaign NGC
and Medanta hospital have reached out to the audiences to
educate them about being emergency sensitive. Spread across
on air, on ground and online platforms, the campaign has received
a great response. Award winning actor Irrfan Khan is the face
of the campaign.
channel has launched Be Emergency Ready! campaign in
order to reach out to the audiences and educate them
about being emergency sensitive
The campaign on Facebook, www.facebook.com/BeEmergencyReady,
engaged with tech savvy online audiences and encouraged people
to share their inspirational stories relating to emergency
situations. The campaign was supported by the Delhi Traffic
Elaborating on the launch of the campaign, Banerjee says,
"For the first time in India, cameras have gone inside
a multi-specialty emergency room. While Medanta allows NGC
to show what all goes into saving lives once inside the ER,
almost every expert agrees that a lot needs to be done to
sensitise people before a case enters the ER. Half the battle
is won if people know how to deal with heart attacks, road
accident victims, burns and trauma cases. This campaign is
an effort to shake apathy, spread awareness and equip people
with the know-how when it comes to medical emergencies."
Mendanta, chairman and manager director Dr Naresh Trehan
added, "Be Emergency Ready! is an effort to allay the
deep fear in people's mind for those who are confronted with
serious injuries. The main aim is to showcase that lending
help at appropriate emergency call can reverse the tragedy.
Our vision is to communicate the need for a dedicated &
efficient team in order to deliver care of the highest quality
to the victim."
From the anticipation and anxiety in the Emergency Room,
to the humor and sadness in the recovery room - the series
will aim to look beyond a hospital's flashing blue lights
and presents the real picture of life in the medical world.
The show is shot on SD format and will be available in languages
like Hindi, English, Bangla, Telugu and Tamil.