Sowing the Seeds with a little Blackmagic
SOUTH AFRICA: Militia Broadcast deployed a Blackmagic Design Atem 1 M/E Production Studio 4K video switcher alongside the Micro Studio Camera 4K at Johannesburg’s Sowing the Seeds festival. The video switcher and the compact Ultra HD camera were used by the rental and staging company to produce the live feed to screen visuals at the music and lifestyle festival.
Also supplied by Militia Broadcast was a customisable portable production unit comprising Blackmagic’s Atem Talkback Converter 4K and HyperDeck Studio Pro, as well as a range of the manufacturer’s cameras. All in all, six cameras were utilised as two were placed at FOH with another two in the pits that were dolly-mounted and a Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K joining a Micro Studio Camera 4K onstage.
As the stage cameras captured highly detailed close-up shots of the bands, including headliners Of Monsters and Men, the feed from each camera was sent to the an Atem 1M/E Production Studio 4K via the Atem Talkback Converter 4K. Once the feed had reached the switcher, live directors were able to cut the live programme before feeding it to the pair of 5m x 4m LED panels situated either side of the stage.
‘You only ever get one chance at recording this kind of event and so it has to be good,’ explained Eban Oliver, founder of Militia Broadcast. ‘That’s why we absolutely rely on Blackmagic kit. It’s never let us down. Thanks to the modular design of Blackmagic’s products we can now transport everything that’s required for any multi camera production to a site, drop down a single piece of fibre per camera and you're wired for action.’
A challenge faced at Sowing the Seeds by Mr Oliver and his team was that of the bright, African winter sun during a all day event. ‘There was a lot of direct sun to the front of the stage, particularly at midday and by the time the festival had wrapped up, the stage was in total darkness,’ he recalled.
‘We’ve built up a whole library of look up tables that allow us to quickly compensate for lighting changes,’ Mr Oliver continued. ‘We use DaVinci Resolve to create them and then our shader is able to upload a LUT based on the time of day and conditions from a central position. That meant the operators were able to stay focused on the shot.’