STAYING AHEAD OF THE BBCS QUALITY CURVE


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
At True Vision TV, our tagline is “Films that make a difference” – and it’s been our guiding ethos since the company was founded in 1995. We strive to make television that engages viewers with issues that matter, and we produce character-led documentaries that entertain, but also inform and educate. As such, we’ve built a particular reputation for human rights-related filmmaking, and for making films that look at issues through the eyes and stories of children. The two most recent examples are Poor Kids, a view of the impact of extreme poverty on children in the U.K. as told by four engaging youngsters, and the film’s counterpart in the U.S., Poor Kids USA.
As director and filmmaker for Poor Kids and Poor Kids USA, I faced some specific technical challenges. Both films were commissioned by the BBC, which only accepts high-definition footage shot in data rates of 50 mb/s or higher. Since we would be going into the children’s houses and other low-light situations, we wanted a small camera, with a -inch sensor, so we decided the Sony™ EX1 camcorder would be our best choice – but the EX1’s maximum internal record speed is only 35 mb/s. We would have to bridge the gap with an external recording system of some type, and ideally one that could record in native ProRes format since True Vision’s post production is a Final Cut Pro® based. After surveying the choices on the market, we settled on the sideKick HD, a camera-mountable digital video recorder (DVR) from Fast Forward Video. The sideKick HD is relatively new to the industry, but its release coincided perfectly with our shooting schedule for the two documentaries – and it met our requirements to a “t.”
Not only does the sideKick HD capture full HD video at speeds up to 220 mb/s, far surpassing the BBC’s minimum standards, but it does so directly into the ProRes codec. In fact, this “straight-to-edit” capability for file distribution is one of the most important features of the sideKick HD, and something that truly sets it apart from the rest of the field. By recording video in native ProRes, we’re able to completely skip the time-consuming “log and capture” process that Final Cut Pro® would require in order to read Sony’s native camera files. Instead, we merely remove the 2.5-inch SATA drive from the sideKick and pop it into the computer, where we can simply copy and paste the original video files, along with their metadata, directly into the editing system. This is a real advantage in the field, because it means we can quickly bring new footage into DI systems and do basic editing on the spot, without having to spend excessive time at a computer at the end of a long day’s shoot.
Plus, although the sideKick HD is slightly larger than some other camera-mounted solutions, it is extremely lightweight – a feature we especially appreciate after carrying a fully-loaded camcorder around for a full day of shooting. The sideKick HD can be powered off the camera’s battery, which lightens the load even further. When you consider that the camera is already weighted down from glass filters, radio mikes, and other gear, the addition of a camera-mounted DVR can really be a factor; in fact, it can spell the difference between holding the camera steady for five minutes vs. two hours.
Because the sideKick HD is able to record high-quality HD video at such a high data rate, it truly changes the economics of equipment management for a smaller production company or independent videographer. For instance, the older Sony Z5 and Z7 are fine HD cameras, but they are only capable of shooting in HDV. With the sideKick HD, we can breathe new life into those cameras by recording their output directly in HDMI 2 (an easy task since the sidekick HD provides both HDMI and HD-SDI inputs and outputs). Whereas the purchase of a new high-definition camera represents a significant investment when you add in camera, batteries, and other accessories, a much smaller outlay for a sideKick HD and a hard drive means you can future-proof your existing camera inventory. And, because the sideKick HD’s record speed far surpasses the BBC’s most stringent requirements, we’re assured that the system will be able to meet our needs well into the future -- even if the BBC raises its standards down the road.
###
Jezza Neumann is a multi British Academy Award-winning producer and videographer with True Vision TV, a television production company with headquarters in London.

Tags: iss064 | fast forward video | ffv | sidekick | true vision tv | bbc | final cut pro | fcp | prores | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • FFV and TNP at BVE 2012

    FFV and TNP at BVE 2012

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Bluebell at NAB 2012

    Bluebell at NAB 2012

  • Chyron at BVE 2012

    Chyron at BVE 2012

  • Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

    Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

  • Doremi at IBC2011

    Doremi at IBC2011

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos Samurai Blade demonstration at NAB 2013

    Atomos Samurai Blade demonstration at NAB 2013

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013


Related Shows
  • The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE

    The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE


Articles
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
What is next in OTT
Mary Kay Evans In the past year alone, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the amount of OTT content that’s being streamed. In the first quarter of 2018, there’s been a 114 percent year-over-year growth in streaming video hours, and those numbers are only expected to rise. With OTT revenue predicted to reach $16.6B in 2018, a 40% gain over last year, there’s no question that OTT is booming, and that there’s never been a more critical time to pay attention to the space.
Tags: iss133 | ott | verizon | cisco | Mary Kay Evans
Contributing Author Mary Kay Evans Click to read or download PDF
IBC in a post Brexit world
Peter Savage 2 Cast your mind forward and we are not in 2018 but next year and, yes, it’s you and me walking to the departure lounge to catch the plane to IBC just as I, and perhaps also you, have done for the last 25 years. (By the way, where is my long service award – and perhaps a new pair of shoes as I must, surely, have walked the equivalent of five Caminos covering the 12 halls in the Rai). We are at the gate and my imagination kicks in as I hypothesize on what the trip might look like next year. I leave it to you to decide which is closest to what might be to come.
Tags: iss133 | azule | brexit | ibc | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
The Pace of Change
Dick Hobbs - new

The youngest human to stand on the moon (so far) was Charles Moss, the lunar module pilot of Apollo 16. Charlie had a wonderful claim: his father witnessed the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, and lived to see his son on the moon.

Does anything capture the speed of technological advance better than that? The whole of the history of powered flight in one lifetime.

Tags: iss133 | state of the nation | st2110 | st2110-10 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Ruth Matos Interview - A Career Unfolds
Ruth Matos We first met Ruth when we employed her as a student to help with our live studio at BVE in 2013. We were struck by her determination, passion and ‘I’ll do anything to help’ attitude. We became friends of Facebook and have since seen her career in the industry develop and unfold. We thought it was about time to catch up and share her inspiring story of where she is now, how she got there and the challenges she has faced along the way.
Tags: iss133 | interview | filmming | career | education | Ruth Matos
Contributing Author Ruth Matos Click to read or download PDF