Note Perfect


Live music events are big business. Major artists can expect millions of pounds to be poured into full scale productions where the ticket prices are as high as audience expectations. As the artist takes to the stage the atmosphere is electric and for the poised camera operator the pressure is high. He needs to acquire the best shots, capture the imagination of the viewer and provide first-class footage for the client using reliable and flexible systems that deliver every time. As an established cameraman with over 30 years’ experience, I thrive in this demanding environment and I’m always on the lookout for technology that enables new and interesting ways of achieving those all important shots without breaking mine or the client’s budget.
I began filming music videos and live concerts about 12 years ago having spent several years as a camera operator and Director of Photography (DoP) in both the feature film and commercials markets. During my film career I used 35mm remote controlled camera systems attached to large remote heads. I started working with remote control pan and tilt cameras when I decided to replace movies with music. In the early days these systems consisted of very basic cameras with simple motors and were technically no replacement for the traditional remote systems that I was used to. The wizardry to replace the first basic models was becoming available but needed a lot of work to meet the requirements of a professional camera operator.
It wasn’t long before the first remote analogue pan & tilt heads became available offering a low-cost solution for broadcast applications. This was around the same time that reality TV began to make waves in mainstream TV. Having tried and tested a number of systems I came across Bradley Engineering a company that specialises in these systems and adopted one of its early models. I discussed future feature and functionality requirements with the company and it shortly introduced the Multi-Function Controller (MFC). This system ticked all the boxes on my wish list delivering a panel that controls up to eight cameras and heads using touch selection buttons, which can be expanded to control up to 64 cameras. The company then introduced the HD10 HD/SD camera, which can be mounted on a U3 head, matching camera responsiveness with image quality and behaving like any top-of-the range remote head. At this point I purchased my first system and now own four.
Last summer I used the HD10s to film a Massive Attack concert at Brixton Academy and following this spoke with Bradley Engineering about my desire to use tracking. The company had just launched the MC60low-profile, short camera tracking system at IBC 2009 and so the following month I took this on its inaugural outing to Berlin to film footage of a classical rock concert. It worked well and following a few minor adaptations I took it to the 02 Arena in November along with an HDC_100 remote HD camera to provide tracking for Beyonce’s massive 02 production. Arriving at the now famous arena in the morning, I spent the day setting up the HD10s and HDC_100 on the track ready for the evening’s performance. The HD10s can either be used remotely or attached to a remote head providing greater flexibility. The huge stage made of black Perspex housed a pair of motorised rolling rostrums on two tiers, which had the drum rises and keyboards positioned on one side and the horns section on the other. Both rostrums moved from the back to the front of the stage. I set the track up behind the horns section at stage left, which meant I could track Beyonce from all angles delivering a fantastic deep focus look. Traditionally tracks are placed in the pit at the front of the stage, or running along the sides. This track is the only system that I know that can go right across the stage behind the artist. The whole system blended completely with the black stage setting and mics. It’s important that the set up is invisible and doesn’t distract the viewer or the performers. Overall I’m impressed by the system, which enables you to get shots that you could never achieve with a manned camera. It also shrinks costs by reducing the number of cameras required.
Working in tandem with manufacturers not only builds strong relationships it also ensures solid, reliable and workable products that are based on trust and a high level of understanding, essential for camera operators. By using systems that are compact, fully integrated, simple to operate and easy to rig the operator is able to concentrate on pushing the creative boundaries that deliver the pictures that take the viewer right back to the arena every time they watch it.

Tags: iss038 | live music | dop | hd10 | massive attack | bradley engineering | camera tracking | hdc100 | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Size matters with DoP Choice plus Rabbit Ears on show at IBC 2018

    Size matters with DoP Choice plus Rabbit Ears on show at IBC 2018

  • Rabbit Ears and Magic Cloth from DoP Choice at NAB 2018

    Rabbit Ears and Magic Cloth from DoP Choice at NAB 2018

  • DOP Choice Lighting Bracket and Snapbox at IBC 2017

    DOP Choice Lighting Bracket and Snapbox at IBC 2017

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

  • Bradley at IBC2011

    Bradley at IBC2011

  • ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013


Articles
Creating Authentic Content That Counts
Frank le Mair We’re deep into the 2010’s and the way in which we consume content has changed forever. Broadcasters and content owners are fighting for eyeballs in a saturated market where consumers are watching their favourite shows on different devices across a number of platforms. To target millennials and younger generations, who generally consume short bursts of video on YouTube and social media - particularly Snapchat, Instagram and now IGTV - media companies are creating more and more authentic stories and are using platforms that are compelling for this demographic. Unlike generations before them, they have totally new video viewing patterns and ideals.
Tags: iss133 | insight tv | monster energy | amazon | millennial | Frank le Mair
Contributing Author Frank le Mair Click to read or download PDF
Managing Technological Change
Alan Wheable Continual technological change in the broadcast and media industries can make it difficult to plan for the mid to long term. Typically, broadcasters and media organisation are still implementing the last set of changes to working practices when the next changes come along.
Tags: iss133 | omnitek | ip | waveform | vectorscope | ultra tq | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Smashing the WTA Tour
Danny Ridler The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 2500 players representing nearly 100 nations competing for a record $146 million in prize money. The 2018 WTA competitive season includes 54 events and four Grand Slams in 30 countries. In 2017, the WTA was watched around the world by a total TV audience of 500 million – with host broadcast services provided by NEP UK.
Tags: iss133 | tennis | wta | nep | outside broadcast | ob | Danny Ridler
Contributing Author Danny Ridler Click to read or download PDF
Perimeter LED screens management
Nicolas Houel Opened in January 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, also known as Groupama Stadium, is the new home of Olympique Lyonnais football club, one of the most popular clubs in France. Since its inauguration, the stadium was a host of UEFA Euro 2016, and was also chosen to stage, among other important events, the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final and football at the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Tags: iss133 | 3dstorm | graphics | groupama stadium | liveexpert | livecg | deltacast | Nicolas Houel
Contributing Author Nicolas Houel Click to read or download PDF
Fast-moving productions need multi-cam RF reliability
Darren Bilton Wireless acquisition creates a level of freedom not possible with any other form of filming yet only a decade ago the technique was barely possible. The technology enabling live real-time connections over radio frequencies has advanced leaps and bounds such that there is barely an entertainment, documentary, sports or news format today that doesn’t benefit from at least one link system. That means the demands on the kit continues to rise and includes the need for fail safe multi-camera operation, ease of use and backwards compatibility all within a small, lightweight and budget-friendly package.
Tags: iss133 | boxx tv | wireless | mpeg-4 | multicam | rf | multi-cam | Darren Bilton
Contributing Author Darren Bilton Click to read or download PDF