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Front and Center live performance delivered in Ultra HD and HDR with Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design announced that critically acclaimed television concert series “Front and Center” used a full Blackmagic Design Ultra HD live production workflow to produce several episodes of its ninth season, which were live streamed to Facebook Live and delivered in SDR for public television and HDR10 for DIRECTV.
Front and Center live performance delivered in Ultra HD and HDR with Blackmagic Design
The episodes, which included virtuoso guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Gary Clark Jr., were shot using URSA Broadcasts, Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks and Micro Studio Camera 4Ks, and switched using an ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K live production switcher.

“Front and Center” highlights an eclectic mix of Grammy, Country Music Association, American Music and Academy of Country Music Award winners, rock icons and multi platinum sellers including Keith Urban, Carlos Santana, Steven Tyler, Miranda Lambert and more. Each hour long episode features a live performance shot in front of an audience, as well as a personal interview with the artist telling the stories behind their music.

The episodes using the Blackmagic Design workflow were produced by New York based creative agency and production company LCM247. Recorded live at The Village recording studio in Los Angeles, LCM247 shot Gary Clark Jr.’s performance with two URSA Broadcasts, with one handheld on stage and the other rigged on a 24 ft. jib, and eight Micro Studio Camera 4Ks that were situated around the venue and on the stage.

“When shooting live, the ergonomics of an URSA Broadcast with a good broadcast lens delivered better handheld shots in the fast paced environment,” said Patrick Heaphy, LCM247’s creative director, and producer and director of the episode. “The jib operator also needed a full broadcast zoom lens for the best results.”

“The Micro Studio Camera 4Ks’ size made it easy to put them on stage, as well as around the venue. We had one on the drum kit, one on the keys, a general wide shot of the whole stage, a couple locked off around the venue, and we even had a camera operator using one rigged with a Video Assist 4K monitor/recorder and a long lens as a backup shot,” he added. “Being able to dial them in remotely via the ATEM Camera Control Panel was especially useful since we had a limited crew and were also live streaming.”

An ATEM Camera Control Panel was located in the video village that also housed the ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K, HyperDeck Studio Pro, HyperDeck Studio 12G, HyperDeck Studio Mini recorders, Blackmagic Web Presenter and a SmartScope Duo 4K monitor. “We used the ATEM for live switching, and everything was ISO recorded to the HyperDecks, along with recording a clean feed and a program feed,” noted Heaphy. “We then used the Blackmagic Web Presenter to live stream the performance on Facebook Live.”

Prior to the performance, Heaphy and his team used three Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks to shoot the sit down interview with Gary Clark Jr. “It has a great form factor and the lowlight capability is great, not to mention the MFT mount compliments our arsenal of MFT lenses, and the XLR input makes the camera easier to work with than DSLRs,” he said. “The DaVinci Resolve Studio workflow also means you can really maximize the look.”

The episode was edited and graded in DaVinci Resolve Studio, and Heaphy also made use of the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel citing its efficiency. “DaVinci Resolve Studio is really maturing as an editing platform, and that’s what made the transition for us easy,” he explained. “We already knew we were going to grade in DaVinci Resolve Studio, so we thought, ‘Why not try editing too?’ We utilized its multi camera editing capabilities and saved a lot of time by not having to do another color pass if we adjusted the edit. It was seamless to flip to the color tab, and the shot already had the grade on it, or our colorist Dario Bigi could adjust as needed.”

“We had multiple deliverables, so being able to use one tool for the SDR and HDR passes was also convenient,” concluded Heaphy. “The theme in post was definitely efficiency, and while there is always a learning curve with any new platform, DaVinci Resolve Studio is getting it right. It’s paying attention to what editors and colorists are looking for.”

Info: www.blackmagicdesign.com

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