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
The way forward in a changing world
Alan Wheable The broadcast and media industries are evolving in all areas to adapt to the challenges of competition from OTT, changing user viewing habits, technological advances in image resolution, dynamic range and colour rendition as well as embracing new video over IP infrastructures.
Tags: iss136 | omnitek | aims | ip | smpte | 2110 | 4k qc | ultra xr | nmos | ultra tq | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
BSC Expo 2019 Report
Paul MacKenzie BSC Expo returned to the Battersea Evolution on Friday February 1st and Saturday 2nd. It is a busy and friendly event though this year in need of some temperature control: exhibitors around the entrance area were uncomfortably aware of the wintry conditions outside and the main hall was in need of cooling.
Tags: iss136 | bsc | cinematography | canon | c700 | c200 | cartoni | holdan | blackmagic | peli | panasonic | sennheiser | sony | fs5 | teradek | viten | flowtech | Paul MacKenzie
Contributing Author Paul MacKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Flexible Connectivity Hits Europe
Yvonne Monterroso The low-latency Dejero CellSat network was launched in Europe in January of 2019, which is excellent news for European broadcasters who can now benefit from the same flexibility CellSat provides North American Dejero customers, such as World Racing Group (WRG).
Tags: iss136 | dejero | wrg | cellsat | ku sat | is-35e | cellular | Yvonne Monterroso
Contributing Author Yvonne Monterroso Click to read or download PDF
Keeping Your Post Prodction on Track with Subclips and Search Bins
Alex Macleod

For my 2nd Kit Plus article I thought I’d try and build on the theme of my first, and that’s one of making sure things are organised at all levels of your post production projects.

Last time I talked about trying as best as you can to stick to the ‘two week rule’, making sure that the names & locations of every asset you import, and every bin & sequence that you create in your project - will make sense to you regardless of how long it is you spend away from it.

Tags: iss136 | mediacity training | subclip | premiere pro | gvs | bve | bve2019 | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
Sennheiser Memory Mic User Review
Dr Anthony Willman The Sennheiser Memory mic, adding to the new generation of semi-professional equipment that is helping the need for high quality audio in parallel markets that until now, did not have the budgets to achieve ‘great’ results.
Tags: iss136 | sennheiser | memory mic | doctor | audio recorder | Dr Anthony Willman
Contributing Author Dr Anthony Willman Click to read or download PDF