Understanding the process of video production


Joseph Adamson TV-Bay Magazine
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In this article I will focus on understanding the process of video production. The use of miniaturised video equipment and understanding the capability of the kit chosen for the job will be mentioned. The video production process is a road map, which not only helps the producer to minimise problems during production and achieve professional results, but also saves time.This process can be tricky to understand and many videographers are self taught, including myself. Many of us learn from reading magazines, YouTube videos and sometimes from friends. The digital revolution has empowered many people and has made it possible for anyone to produce videos, and take photos anytime, anywhere and broadcast them on social media. This would not have been possible a couple of decades ago when television stations and production companies employed people in their specific roles when producing a TV programme. Nowadays a single person can do what was done by a team of people. I have done it myself, but I have realised the best way to produce programmes, no matter how much preparation, is in a team. I will talk more about this later.
The conversations I have with my fellow video producers usually focus on camera models rather than the process of video production and delivering the final result to the client. This is perhaps the most neglected element of the video production. There are many reasons for this, the most obvious is the production budget. For example a low budget video production tends to mean that the emphasis on the process and preparation is not prioritised. The question is how can go about learning the process of video production? Jess Sutton, a student at the University of Portsmouth, has written a brilliant article on how much she has learned about TV production including working in a team. If you have not read this revisit Kit-Plus, Issue 125, May 2017.
Recently I was in Bahrain recording and documenting an event organised by the World Association for Sustainable Development [WASD], sponsored by Ahlia University, Bahrain.

The rest of this article focuses on learning about the process of video production from this specific event.

Professor Allam announced the Bahrain conference in October 2016 and it was scheduled for April 2017, but postponed to 16-18 June 2017. The professor and I began planning from January. The plan was to take a team of eight people from Clear Image Media Group, a sister company of AILTV. The kit I had put together for the trip included, Blackmagic ATEM 1M/E production Studio 4K, ATEM Television Studio, HyperDeck Shuttle x4, SanDisk Extreme II 450 GB x8, Sea Gate Portable External Hard Disk drives x5, Panasonic HPX171 x4, Panasonic GH2 with Nikon Lenses, Nikon D800, DELL computer monitor, Apple MacBook Pro x2, TechPro Talkback, LiveU LU-400 for live streaming supplied by Broadcast Services, Sennheiser EW112-P G3 Wireless Lavalier Microphone System x5, Sony ECM-77B Lapel Microphones x2. Two weeks before the event things changed. Ahlia University decided to take care of the video production including live streaming. My team was not needed. Professor Allam and I had to come up with another plan which was me going to Bahrain to work with the team from Ahlia University, which was fine with me as I feel team work is one my strongest points, but it did mean that I could not take all this equipment. I only took a Panasonic HPX171, Panasonic GH2 with Nikon Lenses, Nikon D800, one Sony ECM-77B Lapel Microphones and one Sennheiser EW112-P G3 Wireless Lavalier Microphone.

At this point I was introduced to Oday Hubail, head of production at Ahlia University via email. Because I am the video production manager for WASD, my responsibility was to make sure that the video and live streaming went according to plan. I explained to Oday what equipment was required and that my concern was live streaming. He quickly sent me a Youtube link of Ahlia University graduation which was streamed live to assure me that his team are familiar with this.

I pointed out to Oday that although the streaming was fine, we needed to record everything on a separate external drive/s for future use. For example the footage could be used in so many way, including editing individual speaker, giving the viewers flexibility in how they chose to watch. From previous experience of video production at other WASD conferences and live streaming, I knew that the videos on You Tube would be too long for people to watch.

While the planning with Oday was going on, Professor Allam decide that we should go to Bahrain four days earlier to familiarise ourselves with the situation and to sort out what was needed and minimise whatever problem might occur.This plan worked very well because it gave me additional time to record interviews set up by Professor Allam with high profile conference speakers, including Dr Abdulla Y. Al-Hawaji the founding President of Ahlia University and Professor Mansoor Ahmed Alaali the President of Ahlia Unversity.

Working With Ahlia Team

Team work is everything. Three days before the conference I met with Oday. We had already communicated via email how the event would be recorded and streamed. We hadn't discussed what equipment would be used. I was more interested in delivering the video and the live stream. I knew that any equipment could be used to produce the results if you understand how to use it properly and, most important, if you understand the process and are fully prepared for the job. It was clear from the start that Oday and his team do understand both of these things. In addition Oday and his team understand team work.

The day before the event Oday and his team arrived at Sheraton Hotel, the kit was set up, and I was notified that streaming would be fine because he had access to broadband from the hotel. At the end of the conference I was handed a clean recording of all video and audio files and plenty of photographs.

Oday's team is as follows

The team consisted of:

Director MPC - Oday Hubail
Mr Deepak Gopalakrisnan IT
Video Mixer Technician - Reda Ali
Photography - Sadiq Jaber
Videography - Ali Dhaif
Graphics Designer - Fatima Baqeri
Videography - Nada AlHawaj

At this point I would like to talk about the kit used to record and live streaming the conference on YouTube.

Canon XH G1 x 3 Canon 5D MK 3 Zoom HN6 Blackmagic Video Assist 4K x 2 Blackmagic Intesity Shuttle HDMI Spliter Two Computer Monitors Mac Pro MacBook Pro WireCast software Mobile phone were used in place of intercom Sony Headphones Shure Hand held wireless microphones

While people are often concerned about how big or good the kit should be, the fact that everything went so well in Bahrain shows that the most important element is understanding the process and team work. Going back to the question of CAN A UNIVERSITY COURSE REALLY SET UP YOU UP FOR INDUSTRY? [Kit Plus, Issue No 125, May 2017, P.46] the answer is provided by Ahlia University in Bahrain: Oday and some of his team studied media there.

I have included the link below as an example from the WASD conference for those who are using miniature equipment, like I do, to produce near broadcast quality videos for on line and corporate events. https://youtu.be/H8gxvKNcVS0 Similar conference is being planed for next year at the UN Geneva,AILTV and Clear Image Media Group will be there to capture and live streaming.


Tags: iss126 | video production | wasd | ail | africans in london | Joseph Adamson
Contributing Author Joseph Adamson

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