Eye to Eye at the Wildscreen International Film Festival


Founded in 1982, the Wildscreen International Film Festival is claimed to be the world's largest event of its kind. It attracts several hundred delegates from more than 30 countries, all of whom (if they register early enough) get their contact details listed in the festival directory. The festival is staged every two years in Bristol and revolves around 'Panda Awards' bestowed on what are judged to be the best recently-completed natural history productions. This year's festival was held at the Watershed Media Centre, 10-15 October 2010. Awards were issued on Wednesday 13 October by travel-programme-maker Benedict Allen and the BBC news presenter Kate Silverton.
What attracted me to this year's WIFF was neither the film festival nor the proximity of Brunel's magnificently restored 'SS Great Britain' but the parallel exhibition of video production equipment. Organised by Martin Hammond (www.mjhmedia.co.uk), this was supported by a small mix of equipment manufacturers, resellers, production companies and service agencies, all focused on the sharp end of content acquisition. Plus an informal 3D workshop. No sign of of furry camouflage for cameras but there were nevertheless some new-kit surprises.
ARRI
Just seven years short of its centenary, ARRI has long been synonymous with high-grade cine cameras. Centrepiece of its exhibit was the Alexa camcorder, introduced at NAB in April and making its first UK exhibition appearance. This captures content in Apple ProRes file format at the standard 1920 x 1080 pixels HD resolution to hot-swappable SxS-Pro (PCI Xpress) memory cards. The front-end imager is a 35 mm 16:9 CMOS sensor with 3112 x 1782 active pixels and a 23.76 x 13.365 mm aperture, capable of operating at 0.75 up to 30 frame/s. At 6.26 kg and 329 x 158 x 153 mm (body LWH), this is no featherweight but the picture quality is well up to the standards required for no-compromise digital video production. The camera is designed for use with Apple Final Cut postproduction systems and has a base price of 50,000 euro.

Gekko
Gekko Technology's karesslite 6012 was exhibited on the Vision Research stand as a light source for VR's Phantom high speed camera. Based on a layout of 6 x 12 LEDs and measuring 600 x 300 mm, the karesslite 6012 can be used as a single soft light source or optional egg-crates for harder shadow. Power consumption of the karesslite 6012 is approximately 85 W, allowing more than three hours of continuous operation from two rear-mountable V-Lock batteries. An integral diffusion grating ensures the lamp is truly single-source. Available in daylight, tungsten or dual colour temperatures, the karesslite 6012 has on-board dimming as well as built-in DMX.

Lights Camera Action
LCA exhibited two Film Gear LED-based strip-light systems. The mains-powered Flo Box incorporates a bank of four 4 ft tubular lights, each with 640 diodes, mounted in a 1305 x 250 x 70 mm LWH structure normally associated with fluorescent tubes. The strip-lights each consume 25 W and are available in 5500 and 6000 K whites. Accessories supplied include mounting bracket, gobo head and removable eggcrate diffuser. The much smaller 'LED Pen' has two miniature LED dimmable tubes consuming 6W in total and delivering a claimed 92 lux at 1 m distance. Power is from 12 to 24 V DC.
Panasonic
Panasonic AV Systems, recently rebranded from Panasonic Professional Broadcast & IT Systems, demonstrated its new AG-3DA1 integrated-lens 3D camcorder and AG-AF101 DSLR-style 2D camera.
Introduced in prototype at NAB in April, the AG-3DA1 has dual zoom lenses and dual 1920 x 1080 3-MOS imagers. It can record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p or 24p (native) and 720/60p or 50p in AVCHD. Up to 180 minutes can be captured to dual hot-swappable 32 gigabyte SD cards in AVCHD PH mode. Interfaces include dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), dual XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes. Convergence adjustment and automatic correction of horizontal and vertical displacement are provided. Power consumption is 16 W, weight is 3 kg and price is 16,800 euro.
The AG-AF101 can record video in 1080/24p, 1080i and 720p formats to dual SDXC memory cards at up to 24 Mbit/s. Recording capacity is up to 12 hours in PH mode or 48 hours in HE mode using two 64GB SDXC memory cards. Interfaces include HD SDI output and dual XLR audio (48 V phantom power source compatible) inputs. Other features include a Micro Four Thirds lens mount and timecode recording. The camcorder incorporates a 4/3 inch MOS sensor to allow wide-angle shooting and shallow depth of field. Frame rate in 1080p mode is selectable in 20 steps from 12p to 60p at 60Hz and 20 steps from 12p to 50p at 50Hz. Price is 4,900 euro. Available from December.
Polecam
Polecam demonstrated a preproduction prototype DSLR head capable of accommodating a 3.5 kg payload including cameras such as the Canon D5, or compact video camcorders. "The DSLR head is proof that we listen to what the industry wants," comments Polecam MD Steffan Hewitt. "Suitable for use on our standard 6 metre rig, it is derived from the existing version developed for minicams. Features include the standard pan and tilt unit but with the addition of slip-rings for composite video monitoring and DC power feeds to allow unrestricted 360 degree pan. We were particularly pleased with the results obtained from the Panasonic AG-AF101 which we tested on the new head during the festival."
Workshops
A broad-ranging series of workshops provided a third strand to the festival. These included sessions on music, lighting, underwater shooting, budgeting, research, production management, scriptwriting, high-speed cameras, pitching to commissioners and digital image manipulation. A one-day 3D hands-on workshop was held on 13 October after which much of the equipment on display was transferred to the exhibit hall. Dave Blackham (www.espritfilm.co.uk) summarised:
"This is the day when we can get the cameras out of the boxes and actually try it. It is useful for people to see how the systems differ, not least in size, ranging from a large motor-adjusted digital cinematography rig from Red and P&S Technik for studio use to the Panasonic AG-3DA1 portable camcorder which produces very nice 3D for middle-distance shots of mid-size objects. Shooting for cinema requires a different interaxial distance than shooting for television so it is important to know at the outset what size of screen you are composing for. The bigger the screen, usually, the smaller the interaxial. The larger 3D rigs are essentially customised dual-camera systems with adjustable interaxial distance, assembled from many components. Adding completely motorised adjustment makes a big difference in price. For wildlife work, the rigs need to be manageable in size and operation and robust so techniques are increasingly being borrowed from the features world where 3D is more advanced. We had the first Gates underwater housing for the Panasonic AG-3DA1 3D camcorder and 3D NanoFlash recorder. The combination is easy to operate and performed well. The only real way to learn 3D is to actually do it. I certainly learnt a few things at the workshop from the exchange or ideas and techniques."
2012
The Wildscreen International Film Festival returns to the same location in 2012 at same location, date to be confirmed. Competition for the next round of awards opens during the preceding January, finalised being notified in May.

Tags: wildscreen | film festival | eye to eye | arri | gekko | lights camera action | panasonic | polecam | iss047 | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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Contributing Author Mike Colyer Click to read or download PDF
Grand slam IPTV and digital signage platform
Joe Walsh Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, is home to major league baseball’s Kansas City Royals. Built in 1973, “The K” has a proud baseball legacy, and goes down in history for winning two World Series championship titles; one in 1985 and another in 2015 — exactly 20 years apart. The most recent win brought a resurgence of baseball fever to the stadium, hosting more than 2.7 million fans during its 2015 winning season.
Tags: iss130 | iptv | vitec | eztv | Joe Walsh
Contributing Author Joe Walsh Click to read or download PDF
The shining star of Dancing On Ice
Rod Aaron Gammons Lighting is an incredibly important part of any TV production, and it can make a huge difference to what is seen on-screen. If the right lights are used in the right way, it can create a mood, set a tone and convey a certain atmosphere.
Tags: iss130 | rotolight | led lighting | anova pro 2 | chris yacoubian | Rod Aaron Gammons
Contributing Author Rod Aaron Gammons Click to read or download PDF
VR and the importance of tracking
KitPlus I would like to begin this article by clarifying what we at Shotoku mean when we talk about VR in live production. It’s not the production of immersive, 360 content where you need to wear a headset; we are talking about virtual studio (VS) and augmented reality (AR) work, such as placing graphics into a green screen environment or physical set. The technology used for this work is entirely different, though equally specialist – therefore it is important to understand the challenges of this kind of production in order to make informed kit choices.
Tags: iss130 | shotoku | vr | live production | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Technological advances in the broadcast industry
Alan Wheable Since it is Omnitek’s 20th anniversary this year, I thought it would be interesting to look back over the technological advances in the broadcast industry over the last few decades and look at the similarities between then and now.
Tags: iss130 | omnitek | test and measurement | smpte 2110 | untra tq | 2022 | sdi 2022-6 | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Reliable back-up at the Music City Bowl
Sam Gordon WLEX – LEX18 – is the NBC affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky, and part of the Cordillera Communications Group. As a very popular local station with a broadcast area that covers 40 counties across central Kentucky we have a big commitment to news, broadcasting more than seven hours of live programming on a typical day.
Tags: iss130 | wlex-tv | dejero | engo | gobox | cellsat | Sam Gordon
Contributing Author Sam Gordon Click to read or download PDF
NAB is all about people
John Smith -new The relative success of NAB is down to people. The individuals we meet, the relationships we make and renew with customers and the desire to work together to develop a technology solution to any given challenge.
Tags: iss130 | media links | nab | mdp 3020 | md8000 | John Smith -new
Contributing Author John Smith -new Click to read or download PDF
Transforming asset management and monetization
Chad Hamilton FremantleMedia is one of the largest global television-production companies in the world — with one of the biggest and most valuable catalogs. We operate in 36 markets, creating, producing, and distributing content across traditional TV and digital platforms at a rate of more than 10,000 hours of programming per year.
Tags: iss130 | freemantlemedia | core | wazee | Chad Hamilton
Contributing Author Chad Hamilton Click to read or download PDF
Out of the box: Sennheiser Ambeo VR microphone
Jon Pratchett 2 The use of 360 video, especially on platforms like Facebook and YouTube is really starting to take off. Gone are the days when you needed to buy multiple GoPros and rigs in order to get something decent looking. Now players like Insta360 and even GoPro with their fusion 360 camera are providing single camera, high quality solutions, enabling the masses to put out reasonable quality, certainly watchable, 360 video.
Tags: iss130 | vr | virtual reality | audio | ambiosonic | Jon Pratchett 2
Contributing Author Jon Pratchett 2 Click to read or download PDF
Interview with Peter Rowsell, Polar Graphics
Polar If you don’t recognise the name Peter Rowsell instantly you no doubt would recognise him in person, from the famous ‘Pink Coconut’ parties during IBC (Brighton) in the 80s or the name ‘Polar Video or Polar Graphics’ both companies which he’s built up over the years.
Tags: iss130 | polar graphics | apantac | bluefish | cinedeck | focalpoint | mediaproxy | stardom | storagedna | Polar
Contributing Author Polar Click to read or download PDF
TV Futures, Tales on Location
Georgia Thirtle If I think back to last May, I was just finishing my second year at the University of Portsmouth, studying Television and Broadcasting, and winding down for the summer. Then out of the blue I got a message from my course leader, saying I might be getting a call from someone who was a location manager working for Raider productions, you know, the production company behind the upcoming Tomb Raider film, I mean, what!?
Tags: iss130 | portsmouth university | tomb raider | cci tv | ccitv | Georgia Thirtle
Contributing Author Georgia Thirtle Click to read or download PDF
Tried and tested: DPA d:vice
KitPlus KitPlus recently took delivery of an interesting piece of equipment for review. We like our iPhone gadgets here. For us, useful iPhone gadgets started when the Olloclip lens gave us a wide angle adaptor. This was a good start, finally evolving into a proper tool when Ziess produced the Exolens system for the 5,6 & 7 series iPhones. Around the same time as the Olloclip came out we were testing the Fostex AR4i which was a very exciting development at the time. You have a portable device, that you carry everywhere with you, connected to the world but with very limited audio capabilities. A stereo interface with decent microphones was a real boon!
Tags: iss130 | dpa | dvice | iphone | journalist mic | filmic | ios | microdot | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation
Dick Hobbs - new

On the most recent occasion I was trimmed, my hairdresser had just returned from a holiday in Hawaii.

Where she thought she was going to die. She thought this because the state’s emergency alert system was triggered, sending messages across all available platforms, for 38 minutes, that a ballistic missile was about to strike. That, I suspect, is the sort of thing that casts a pall across your holiday.

Why did it happen? Essentially it happened because an operator selected the wrong menu item. “I feel very badly from what’s happened,” he is quoted as saying, in a somewhat mangled version of English which may at least in part explain his difficulties with menu items.

Tags: iss130 | alertsense | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Six steps for award winning sound design with Jungle Studios
Chris Turner Few can argue that great sound design is one of the most important elements to any moving picture. Mute most horrors, and the difference in fear factor will be enormous. Visualize Jaws or Star Wars, and John Williams’s iconic score will instantly come to mind.
Tags: iss130 | jungle studios | fairlight | blackmagic design | davinci | Chris Turner
Contributing Author Chris Turner Click to read or download PDF
Why OTT needs multicast ABR
Damien Lucas Last year, Netflix’s global revenue reached $11 billion, with 24 million new names added to its subscribers’ list. Viewers are certainly making their preferences heard – and voting with their remote controls to show that over-the-top (OTT) content is here to stay.
Tags: iss130 | ott | abr | adaptive bit rate | cdn | dsl | lte | Damien Lucas
Contributing Author Damien Lucas Click to read or download PDF
How IP-based KVM can improve workflow in broadcast control rooms
John Halksworth One of the most significant shifts the broadcast industry has seen over recent years is the adoption of IP technology as a standard infrastructure across the entire broadcast workflow. IP provides a network suitable for routing audio, video and control around a broadcast facility and is providing the answers to many industry challenges.
Tags: iss130 | kvm | adder | adderlink | alif100t | John Halksworth
Contributing Author John Halksworth Click to read or download PDF
Innovation in cameras moving to 4k
Tony Valentino For a number of reasons, wireless camera links needed time to migrate to 4K. However Broadcast Sports International, BSI, designs their own cameras and builds their own hardware and their transition to 4K is already complete.
Tags: iss129 | bsi | ref-cam | wireless | 4k | Tony Valentino
Contributing Author Tony Valentino Click to read