Sam Usher, Managing Director, Red Handed TV LTD


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Name & Title? Sam Usher, Managing Director, Red Handed TV LTD
Who are you? (about yourself and who you work for)?
Started life as a contemporary dancer, living in Brussels dancing and choreographing for some of the great companies. The aim was always to become a choreographer. Decided to move back to the UK and realized quite quickly I wasn't going to make any money in the UK arts scene so I started to learn about filmmaking. So fast forward 14 years and I now run Redhanded TV, doing a lot of live sport, especially sailing, which I direct with the choreographers eye.
What do you do? What does your company do?
I run RHTV, we are a small company that films a lot of sport, both Live and documented, but now looking for the next broadcast commission, have an Ex C4 commissioning editor Angela Ferreira who heads up the development team. But also started a corporate division, and looking at how we can create the emotional link between brand and the experience. It is beginning to work and almost feels like we have an agency attitude towards brand and the client.
Tell me a little about your previous experience, what you've worked on and with up to your current position?
Started in local television in the West Country 14 years ago working for a small production company. Then left when I got a ski / lifestyle series commissioned for ITV1 in 2001 called Riders and Rich Kids. In 2003 -2007 I moved into the live TV scene working as a freelance director and producer. Loved the synergy between being on stage and the countdown to a live session, took me back! Live is addictive and vibrant! Love it.
What new technology are you working with?
CVP designed a portable production unit for us based around the New Tek TriCaster for the World Match racing Tour (WMRT) contract. We use a Blackmagic Design Smart Videohub for distribution that takes in 8 cameras, live graphics and all gets ingested into 16TB Editshare to allow the post workflow to be seamless. We can send any input, program or aux to any output for production monitoring, to the commentators desk or to external recorders. Brilliant.
What specific project(s) do you have in the works?
We are developing some broadcast commissions and in discussion with some channels but we are also the host broadcaster for the World MatchRacing Tour which starts again in May 2012 and takes in nine sailing events leading to a world championship decider in Malaysia in December 2012. We have been shortlisted for an RTS award for that coverage last year. At these events we produce three live shows a day plus post show highlights and VNRs, so a demanding client.
During your career in post what was the biggest “turning point” into new technology?
It has to be Final Cut Pro the first really affordable NLE system, allowed us to take productions abroad and be mobile, apple has continued to push Avid. For me the best has been the Tricaster and my PPU, which offers cheap and fantastic quality live production from events to concerts and makes live very affordable.
What is your favorite / least favorite things about working in post? It still takes as much time as it always did despite faster ingest and tapeless cameras. It just seems the expectation for editing is that it should be quicker, however the process still requires great storytellers to create compelling narratives and editing takes time, I never schedule enough time!!
What gets you out of bed in the morning to go to work? A great team of motivated people who keep the challenge and expectations high. Also the desire to change some of the rubbish that is on at the moment.

Tags: iss062 | blackmagic | cvp | rhtv | red handed tv | N/A
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