As with previous productions, the team worked with Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4Ks for all four setups. The two roving units were paired with external Video Assists for monitoring, and rigged on Ronin M gimbals within Small Rig cages. This allowed the rigs to be lightweight but flexible enough to pull off some complex shots, for example, when the camera tracks Margo drunkenly struggling around the bathroom during a party scene.
Designing for minimal delay
Deploying a live system with very little delay in signal processing was critical, and Chris explains that rather than using a media server, the team opted for a fast production switcher and a HD workflow to handle the live feeds. “Signals from the roving units were transmitted wirelessly, and as much as we would have loved 4K images, it was a much more practical choice to keep everything to 1080p50, to make sure there was never any noticeable delay.”
Vision mixing and system control was done using Streamdecks running Bitfocus Companion, which allowed the team to build complex cues into a single button press. One Streamdeck was used to cut cameras and for playback control, where each page contained each of the cameras required for a particular scene. A second Streamdeck delivered system control, projector commands via PJ link, matrix switching and control for a series of HyperDeck recorders.
Effective live projection
As soon as Chris saw the set design, he knew that projection would be a challenge. “The matte red surface of the side and back walls was going to give us a very definite look, without any need for grading.”
The 10x4.5m back wall of the set became the main projection screen that needed to be filled. “It was almost an anamorphic aspect ratio, so with the cameras outputting a 16:9 image, we had some fairly heavy cropping and upscaling to fill the screen horizontally,” he continues. A bank of four stacked and blended Panasonic RZ120 projectors were selected as a solution that delivered minimal noise, and high luminance across a tricky projection surface.
“When it comes to digital glue, Blackmagic Design products make up a huge part in most of my theatre productions, and All About Eve was no exception, with relay monitors connected via Micro and Mini Converters, and our stage management team using the SmartScope Duo to monitor live feeds during each performance,” explains Chris.
“Originally, the director was going to call the camera cuts, but the mix of live feeds, effects and pre-recorded content continued to grow and grow,” concludes Anthony. “A flexible infrastructure, complemented by the micro cameras really helped the collaborative process with Ivo, because we knew we could incorporate more and more requests without the technology stifling the creative development of the production.”