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Archive for August, 2010

Steadicam on the Football

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One of the much-celebrated applications of Steadicam in the broadcast sector is the football.

 

Steadicam is utilised for huge durations on match days, meaning skill, stamina and physical fitness are all vitally important. A typical regime includes pre-match warm-ups, teams out, managers handshake, the touchlines for the first half, including match action, crowd colour shots and goal celebrations, before half-time player walk-offs. After what can be an hour’s continual operation, a brief half time break is welcome before more touchline action for the second half, sometimes at the opposite end to the first half. At the end of the match, goalscorer and Man of the Match CUs are picked up, together with player and manager reactions and celebrations. This easily equates to a second hour of operation with no breaks.

 

In terms of stamina and fitness, these are some of the most testing conditions any Operator will face. It is hugely enjoyable and great fun, and requires quick-thinking, nimble reactions, speed and thinking on your feet. With an audience of millions, and only one chance to get it right, it’s always a fantastic experience. The most recent match I worked on was Hearts v. Celtic in the Scottish Premier League, broadcast on ESPN. Pictured here on the touchlines, it was a hot, sunny day.

 

The camera in this instance is one of the lighter RF cameras available, from Prestigne. As opposed to the usual dockable camera head and telemetry back end, this is a one-piece camera based on a Sony HDW-750 which has had its tape mechanism replaced with a Gigawave D-Cam RF link and telemetry.

 

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Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 27th, 2010 at 11:37 am : Posted in Uncategorized




Weekend of Music

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2010 was the third year I’ve had the pleasure of operating Steadicam on the OB for the World Pipe Band Championships, with fellow Operator John Richards, for BBC Scotland. The World’s greatest pipe bands perform in front of a 55,000 strong audience to win the prestigious Grade 1 title, this year won by St. Laurence O’ Toole. We were operating with an RF camera (Sony E30 camera head with SDI adapter and Gigawave D-Cam) and my Canon J9 x 5.2 wide angle broadcast lens.

Following on from a 10 hour day of Steadicam on Glasgow Green on Saturday, it was a journey to Liverpool for work at the Echo Arena for the Radio City Live Concert on Sunday. With twelve Top 40 current artists performing, it was a long night of handheld camera on stage, as a part of the live multicamera mix. The camera for this one was a Sony D50 controlled at Indivisual’s PPU with full racks engineering.

Artists performing included McFly, Dane Bowers, Gabriella Cilmi, Alesha Dixon, Diana Vickers, The Wanted, The Hoosiers, Tinchy Stryder, Professor Green, The Saturdays, The Script and Scouting for Girls.

Radio City

OB, World Pipe Band Championships, Glasgow for BBC Scotland 

OB, World Pipe Band Championships, Glasgow for BBC Scotland (2)

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 19th, 2010 at 12:48 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




Working with the RED

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The RED has quickly become a camera and format of choice for HD productions over the last 12 months, and I’ve operated Steadicam with RED for Television Idents, Short Films, Commercials, Corporate Programming, and Drama. The main challenges of the RED are the weight, after all accessories are loaded onto the body, and the power draw (circa 8 amps when recording to drive).

I now have 2 Steadicam configurations for the RED. My sled has been updated with a new post cable and schematics to avoid voltage drop up the post, so powering the camera from the rig is no problem. I can also transmit full HD-SDI over my wireless RF link.

I can fly either a long post for added stability, and monitoring on the sled is in full HD with my Transvideo Cinemonitor HD, or I can fly a short, compact post for a sled which is much better for precision. This is aided with an inverted base on my Nexus, adapted battery mounts, and a dropdown monitor arm which brings the monitor in-line with batteries. Together with my TB-6 green screen monitor, the sled is a nice workable weight.

A typical RED package

A typical RED package

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 13th, 2010 at 1:16 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




Racks Engineer

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It often makes a welcome change to work in different roles. From time-to-time I also work as a Racks Engineer on Multicamera Live Events. Rigging cameras and PPU (Portable Production Unit), racking and controlling cameras and occasionally also operating a Hot Head. Problem-solving is an important part of the job. And, more often than not, talking to myself!

Racks 

Racks2

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 13th, 2010 at 1:06 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




Sugababes – Live at Hilton Rocks

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Live Events and Multicamera are one area of work I specialise in, and it was a long and loud night of entertainment at Hilton Rocks, to mark the grand opening of the new Hilton in Liverpool. The Sugababes performed 8 tracks live and I was operating handheld on and around the stage.
Sugababes

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 13th, 2010 at 12:56 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




Weaver Vale

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Earlier this year I was working as Lighting Cameraman for a programme featuring Weaver Vale Housing Trust. Involving working in various locations and featuring a variety of interiors and exteriors. Interviews were typically lit with a Dedolight kit to pick out features and detail, and for backlight. Kino Flo panels and/or a 650 with diffusion were used to provide a soft wraparound fill for facial features.

Weaver Vale

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 13th, 2010 at 12:51 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




Duel in the Pool, Manchester

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Following on from recent live work at the Manchester Velodrome for the Cycling Championships, in December 2009 I operated a handheld RF camera for Duel in the Pool at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, where swimmers from around the world competed against each other. Images were relaid to several LED screens for the audience.

This was with a Sony BVP-E30 camera head, with a Link Research telemetry back end and a Gigawave RF link. Work included presenter pieces to camera live inserts, competitor individual and team interviews, segments in the audience and around the pool arena.

Duel in the Pool

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 13th, 2010 at 12:44 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




Bench Fashion Show

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Working on an exclusive fashion show for Bench, I operated underarm handheld on a cabled Triax camera for the catwalk section of the show, to track models up and down the catwalk at the beautiful Gorton Monastry in Manchester. I had my Canon J9 x 5.2 wide angle on the camera for this, which helped bring out the best in the fashion and accentuate the architecture of the monastry whilst also featuring the crowd.

Following on from the fashion show, DJ Calvin Harris performed a set.

Calvin Harris performs his DJ set

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 11th, 2010 at 1:26 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




BGI Awards

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The team were at Birmingham ICC in January 2010 for a live awards show. With the requirement for 2 Steadicams on RF links to walk up winners and provide GVs of the event, Steadi Facilities provided their client with the entire solution. With a 4-strong crew working on the event and logistics, kit provided included 2 Steadicam rigs with onboard zoom / focus / tally, SDI RF video links, camera bodies, lenses, iso recording of cameras and even signal processing and conversion at the Vision Mixer.

In addition to the live multicamera mix for the main event, iso recording of cameras prior, during, and after the event provided Production with additional material for an edit at a later date.

Working on the production alongside Steadicam Operator Jason Torbitt was 2nd Steadicam Operator Jonathan Galione and Steadicam Assistants Simon Sharpe and Peter Pallister.

A ‘behind the scenes’ video of the event is on the YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogJHdyo4uvA 

2 Steadicam rigs with RF links

2 Steadicam rigs with RF links

Hall layout at the ICC

Hall layout at the ICC

 

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 11th, 2010 at 1:18 pm : Posted in Uncategorized




Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room

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Over the coming weeks I will be catching up with blog postings for more interesting recent work. One of the short films I’ve been involved with recently has been ‘Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room’, (Dir: Mike Le Han, DoP: Stephen Murphy).

This was shot on the RED on locations around South Manchester, and involved scenes shot on extremely cold nights, with meticulous set dressing (including a lot of false snow) and on one evening, a cloudburst of torrential rain. My Steadicam was in full HD mode with HD monitoring both on the sled and at video village, using my Boxx HD RF video link.

 Steadicam on High Street  High Street set  On set

Written by Steadi Facilities Ltd : August 11th, 2010 at 12:01 pm : Posted in Uncategorized