Blackmagic captures Mumford and Sons
SOUTH AFRICA: A live-to-screen fibre optic workflow comprising equipment from Blackmagic Design was used during the recent six-show tour of South Africa by UK band Mumford and Sons. Promoter Hilltop Live enlisted local company Militia Broadcast to supply IMAG projection, PPU, camera packages and crew for the band’s Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria shows.
‘We spoke with Steve Price, the live show director, via Skype and ran through our workflow using a wall-to-wall Blackmagic solution, including tally, programme return for monitoring in-camera and remote shading to address any shifts in colour when using pyrotechnics,’ explained Eban Oliver from Militia Broadcast.
The shows were filmed from five ground positions. This included two Blackmagic Studio Camera 4Ks with 400mm and 600mm long lenses, two 24-105mm pit cameras on dollies and an interchangeable, shoulder mounted stage camera for capturing any down the line shots and pick ups. A Micro Studio 4K was also used to capture a reverse shot of the piano.
Militia ran optical fibre feeds into a Blackmagic Atem Talkback Converter 4K and then split each ISO signal off to its own HyperDeck Studio Pro for recording, while also routing them to the Atem switcher where Mr Price produced the live feed for the two big screens to the sides of the stage. A pair of 17-inch SmartView 4Ks were used for monitoring, whilst shading ran through the Atem’s Software Control on a laptop. Sennheiser S1 aviator headsets were used for programme audio and show calling.
‘The all-in-one modular approach of Blackmagic’s studio cameras means they are pure utopia for a travelling tour such as this,’ furthered Mr Oliver. ‘You simply drop down one fibre cable per channel and that gives you camera control, tally and talkback as well as shading. The cameras themselves are robust, take up a fraction of the storage space and can effectively become any shot you want, at any given time.’
‘Eban’s confidence and enthusiasm helped to allay any initial concerns I had coming into this leg of the tour,’ concluded Mr Price. ‘He went out of his way to ensure that I had everything I needed to do my job well, and unimpeded. Having never worked with Blackmagic’s Atem switchers before, I found it simple and intuitive to operate, while the camera crew supplied by Eban were all first rate.’