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tv-bay questions... John R Williams, Director Oscus Media in Edinburgh Who are you? T his is a hobby that has got out of control! I was always keen of Tape recorders, and my son who is now 24, has followed the same pattern with an edit suite at aged 10. I have had no formal training and so I’ve have had to learn from the ground up, which has involved designing and building complete control room. That has meant an awful lot of BNC crimping. What do you do? What does your company do? Oscus Media is a small independent production company based in Edinburgh specialising in educational and religious video production. Oscus Media is also involved in event management and multi-camera OB production. Shooting is carried out either in SD with JVC DV 700 cameras, or HDV with Sony Z1’s or in full HD 1080i with the new Canon XF305, which carries full BBC approval for HD production. Tell me a little about your previous experience, what you’ve worked on and with up to your current position?  I started work with the Church of Scotland doing audio-visual tape slide production in 1974. The Woman’s Guild of the Church of Scotland raised money in 1977 to purchase a Colour Camera (JVC 8800) with Low Band U-Matic portable recorder and edit suite, at a cost of £25,000, which then enabled us to produce a whole range of material for education and training purposes using new Home VHS equipment for playback. The unit won a number of IVCA and RTS awards, including an award for excellence for programmes made in Jamaica. Following the success of the early programmes we installed a three-machine High Band U-Matic suite, which enable us to expand our production base. It was decided in 2002 to close down the in-house unit, and the staff that worked there went freelance. By that time I was the director of the unit, and responsible for all the technical Management of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which is a major weeklong conference requiring complete AV support including electronic voting and TV production support. When I formed Oscus Media, I was awarded the contract to continue all of this work. I also do work with a number of Edinburgh Schools, and the University of Edinburgh, as well as proving HD coverage for a number of large events. What specific project(s) do you have in the works? We are currently working on a number of videos for two major Schools in Edinburgh, and covering major lectures for The University of Edinburgh, which are uploaded in HD onto their YouTube Channel. I have just finished my 38th Technical Management of The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which was covered in HD for the first time. Coverage was by five cameras (XF 305 and XF105 from Canon). The control room side had vision mixing from two Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E units and a number of Blackmagic Mini Converters. Recording was done with an SSD recorder with a SD DVCAM as a Backup. We produced the broadcast programme by putting the HD-SDI feed through a Pipeline capture and playback device, and edited using Final Cut Pro. The end product needed to be in SD so a Blackmagic Up Down Cross Converter was used to feed a Digi Beta recorder. All the material passed BBC Technical check before transmission. We have also provided OB coverage for a number of specialist events requiring large screen coverage for audiences of up to 35,000 people. What new technologies are you working with at the minute? It has been the move to HD. My budget is very limited and I need to have kit that will allow me to be able to do broadcast work. Both in single camera, and OB, the Canon XF305 and 105 have been excellent providing superb quality of picture, 40 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY067JUL12.indd 40 05/07/2012 22:24