Mercedes-Benz Worlds winning formula, Online Creative and Blackmagic Design


I set up Online Creative in 1999 after a number of years of linear editing and five years of post working for German non-linear editing manufacturer, FAST, during the pioneering days of digital video. The early 90s were a very exciting time editing with non-linear for the first time, although I haven’t done a linear edit since!

Online Creative has grown tremendously over the last ten years. I have built up a team of award winning people working collaboratively with me here since moving to Brighton in 2002, all of whom have vast film and broadcast experience. In 2008, we moved into a new studio in the heart of Brighton’s bohemian ‘North Laines’ district– an area which has a great vibe and a very strong digital media community. Combining the expertise and the equipment I have here alleviates the need for travelling to London for 99% of what we do.
Our main HD suite is a Final Cut suite running with Blackmagic Design’s Multibridge Eclipse capture and playback device, and we also have an AVID Media Composer running a Mojo SDI box for regular television work. Our corporate productions are usually filmed in HDCAM and I edit them uncompressed most of the time as the fibre channel RAID and the Multibridge Eclipse handle the large data rates with ease. Having a dedicated PCI Express card in the computer gets over the annoying lag found with FireWire connected solutions and gives me the bandwidth flexibility to work completely uncompressed. We have a couple of Apple Cinema Displays (30” and 23”) for the edit application and a Sony CRT SD monitor for output. The Multibridge Eclipse has a real time down conversion capability so, for the majority of the edit, I can simply use the SD monitor until the grade.

I spend a fair amount of my time editing broadcast sports programmes, which has included editing the world feeds for the last two FIFA World Cups in Korea/Japan and Germany, Wimbledon and The Open Golf Championships. More recently I edited an hour long one-off documentary Carluccio and the Leopard for the BBC which was edited entirely on Final Cut Pro. Over the years, I have edited four short films, including the award winning, highly acclaimed 60 Cups of Coffee and All over Brazil for the BBC. In addition to the broadcast work, I have established regular corporate work with very high end clients such as Sony and Mercedes-Benz World. I make sure that each corporate programme is treated in exactly the same way as a film production would be handled throughout the production process which means using specialist crew and reliable, industry recognized and approved equipment.

Blackmagic Design’s Multibridge Eclipse has become an invaluable part of the set up here, allowing me to instantly switch between HD (HDCAM) for Sony and SD Digital Betacam for Mercedes-Benz World. Solid and reliable, the Multibridge Eclipse often runs for over 14 hours a day. With a comprehensive set of inputs and outputs I can confidently put anything through it, including occasionally used archive Betacam SP material.

At Mercedes-Benz World, Online Creative are responsible for producing and editing all the content shown on the many screens, all of which are updated on a regular basis. Located on the site of the legendary motor racing site Brooklands, England, Mercedes-Benz World provides numerous opportunities for visitors including a test drive of the latest models around the handling circuit, experiencing a production line simulator, or films of the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Each of the 40 individually controlled screens can display separate HD output and are complemented by a Sony SXRD 4K projector in the main foyer to beam the content onto a huge screen. The edited material is fed through a Sony Ziris digital signage system to allow content to be controlled on all screens automatically. At present, all acquisition is on Digital Betacam and the edited content is then placed into ‘windows’ on a much larger HD graphical display, thereby allowing SD material to sit comfortably within animated HD graphics.

Using an HDLink Pro monitoring converter connected to the Multibridge Eclipse, I can view the graphics screens in perfect HD quality on my 30” Apple Cinema display. I now use Blackmagic Design’s Multibridge Eclipse and HDLink Pro for monitoring the output from Apple Color when grading in HD. The results are fantastic with 1:1 pixel mapping and the ability to view in higher than 1920 resolution if needed, which has helped to protect my investment for future work. Online Creative is now extending its services into producing content for digital signage solutions and has just recently completed a project for Sony, comprising of sixteen individually controlled 42” LCD screens lying vertically and horizontally to produce a fantastic digital wall with a resolution of over 5K. The Multibridge Eclipse was used with the digital signage project to show the output in 2K sections from After Effects on an LCD monitor.

Blackmagic Design’s Multibridge Eclipse has really added the flexibility that I need from a product as we have become so diverse in what we do. I now take for granted the fact that Multibridge Eclipse works seamlessly with Final Cut, Motion, Color and After Effects, in SD, HD and beyond, but it really never used to be this simple. Adding the HDLink Pro has saved me having to invest in very expensive HD Grade 1 monitors as I can monitor and grade 99% of what I do in-house on my LCD monitors. My clients have come to expect an incredibly high level of production from Online Creative and I know that investing in the right equipment helps to deliver that expectation and in a changing economic climate value for money products like those from Blackmagic Design really do help.


Tags: blackmagic | iss033 | online creative | mercedes-benz | apple cinema display | fincal cut | N/A
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