Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Collapse Details
    Live switching advice
    #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bidford upon Avon, UK
    Posts
    264
    Default
    Apologies if this is in the wrong section. I wasn't sure where to post.
    I have been asked to quote for a three camera studio shoot of two seated talking heads and the client wants to live switch it to avoid editing. It would be shot in HD. It's 36 10 minute clips for a training video shot over two days. At the moment I don't know if the content is scripted or not. Based on this clients current Youtube offerings I would think it isn't going to scripted. A director who is willing to do the two days has suggested it would be very unlikely to not need some editing. I am quoting for editing and no editing. I have never done this so I'm hoping for some advice regarding workflow, pitfalls and equipment needed.

    The plan at the moment is to add two Sony FS5's to the one I own. I do have three Nikon D4's but apart from anything else wouldn't the HDMI only be a bit of an issue?

    What switching device would be suitable? Something by Blackmagic perhaps but which one?

    I assume there is a long cable run to a director sitting in front of the switcher pressing the buttons and talking back to the camera ops?

    Is it better to use SDI equipped cameras?

    Do switchers have the ability to record? If not how is it best to record the resulting switched output? Would a BM 7" Video assist work, which I already own.

    As I said any advice on any aspect of this scenario would be very gratefully received.
    Thank you in advance. Patrick


    Reply With Quote
     

  2. Collapse Details
    #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Central NC, USA
    Posts
    1,506
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by patrickbaldwin View Post
    A director who is willing to do the two days has suggested it would be very unlikely to not need some editing. I am quoting for editing and no editing. I have never done this so I'm hoping for some advice regarding workflow, pitfalls and equipment needed.
    Unless you can read people's minds (hint: you can't, nobody can), your live switching will always be late. The only way to make it "on time" is damn good anticipation which you can gain with lots of experience and limited options for the talent -- for example, a local news show. And these are still scripted (teleprompter), even if they allow a little ad libbing.

    I'm particularly slow at this. I find that with multi-cam cooking classes (for example) that even sitting in Adobe Premier watching the three or four feeds in the multi-cam editor and next to zero pressure, and having already been the camera op and having seem all the footage prior, I'm still almost always late as I switch back and forth between the various camera angles. That first pass typically requires fine tuning of just about every cut. Just sayin'.

    So if it's me (and it very clearly is not) I don't quote them a "no edits" option, because that's not what they really want and we all know it. And I'm not doing the edits for free.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  3. Collapse Details
    #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bidford upon Avon, UK
    Posts
    264
    Default
    Thank you very much Bruce. That makes total sense.


    Reply With Quote
     

  4. Collapse Details
    #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West of the Pecos
    Posts
    2,239
    Default
    I've been directing live broadcast for 25 years. It is very doable for an experienced director. There will be takes that are not ideal. But an experienced director should get it 95% right.

    "What switching device would be suitable? Something by Blackmagic perhaps but which one? " Rent a Black Magic ATEM.

    "I assume there is a long cable run to a director sitting in front of the switcher pressing the buttons and talking back to the camera ops?"


    Yes, you need a way to get the camera signal to the switcher and you need a decent size monitor (ask the director what he wants). The ATEM can split that monitor into multiple views including the cameras, a preset, and program. You may also want a graphics monitor. The director does not make the switches. His eyes are glued to the monitor(s) and he has to concentrate on listening to the show. He calls the shots to the technical director, who makes the switches on the ATEM. The director and TD should either know and trust each other or be brilliant. There is a rhythm and language that happens in fractions of a second between the director and the TD. A TD that knows the director will know exactly what to give the director in preset so all the director has to do is say 'take'. That's how you get great takes. The camera operators also need to know the language of the director. The director expects the camera operators to know what the commands mean and execute them immediately. Talk to the director and ask him what he wants to do about rehearsal. It may be 5 minutes or it may be an hour.

    The director calls shots to the cameras and calls takes and FX to the TD. You need some sort of communications system. You can rent Clearcom systems for very cheap. It's hard to find the rentals, but do a search for Clearcom rental.


    Is it better to use SDI equipped cameras?
    No, the ATEM can use HDMI.

    Do switchers have the ability to record? If not how is it best to record the resulting switched output? Would a BM 7" Video assist work, which I already own. Not the ATEM. You can record directly to Adobe Premiere.

    Do they want lower thirds done in real time for the speakers names? If so, then you need to make up the graphics in advance and the TD will call up lower thirds graphics as needed.
    Last edited by Paul F; 12-16-2017 at 03:22 PM.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  5. Collapse Details
    #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bidford upon Avon, UK
    Posts
    264
    Default
    Wow. Brilliant. Thank you Paul that's fantastic advice. I hadn't thought about the need for a director AND a TD but what you say makes total sense. I have seen that in action as well.
    I don't have Premiere but Fcpx. Can it record straight to that?
    I imagine I need to record all camera output to a card in camera as well as record the switched output in case of the need to edit?
    Many thanks Paul


    Reply With Quote
     

  6. Collapse Details
    #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West of the Pecos
    Posts
    2,239
    Default
    I'm not familiar with FCPX.

    Normally, on a multi-cam shoot, there may be recorders for one or more cameras to cover for bad takes, but not all cameras are usually recorded. But in this case, with just 3 cameras, yes, have the cameras make a recording as well.

    You should ask more about what the content is (scripted or unscripted) and how it is going to flow. If these are pros or naturally good talent doing an unscripted show, then you will likely get 98% of it right in one 10 minute shot with only the need to tweak it here or there in post. If this is people who are not used to being in front of a camera and/or scripted, it could be a nightmare of starts and stops and a big bugger to edit. But since the customer wants to do live-to-tape, one hopes they know what they are doing and they can pull off 10 minute segments in one shot.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  7. Collapse Details
    #7
    Senior Member ceejay7777's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Oz
    Posts
    125
    Default
    Having started in the television industry fifty years ago, this is a kinda dejau vu all over again. It's what we used to do day in and day out and the comment that all members of the team should know and trust one another and work as a team is the most important advice. However, it sounds like you don't have that (in fact, it's very hard to find anywhere these days) so you're gonna have to allow for editing. You don't have to record all cameras, but you have a choice - either the guest, the interviewer or the wide shot. In my own experience I always went for the interviewer 'cos you can always drop a "noddy" in to cover an edit or fluff. Others see advantages in a different approach so it's ultimately up to you, but if you're working with freelancers who've never worked together in a real live environment, you're facing a challenge!! Good luck.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  8. Collapse Details
    #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West of the Pecos
    Posts
    2,239
    Default
    One of the nice things about live-to-tape is that you know exactly what you have after the 10 minutes is up. If you have a proper director and talent, that show will start on zero and it will end exactly at 10:00 without a hiccup.

    You need to figure out how you are going to time the show and manage the segments. They may just set a timer up and let it countdown to zero with the host watching the timer. Normally, there is a floor manager. The director and TD are in another room since they are talking over the show. The floor manager relays information from the director, count the show in and give time cues to the talent. They may also have to provide other signals during the show to speed up or slow down, toss to someone else, etc. Another way to do this is to give the host or hosts IFBs (earpieces) so that the director can talk to them directly during the show. An IFB is part of the Clearcom setup.

    If you don't do these 10 minute segments in one shot and need starts and stops, then you have a mess because you're not sure how long the segment is running and then it becomes a lot of post work.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  9. Collapse Details
    #9
    Senior Member 8string's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    673
    Default
    All good info from long time pros. If you have never done live switching before, and the client is only asking for this because they believe they will save money, then you are in trouble before you start. You need hardware you have practiced with before doing this. Believe me, there is lots that can go wrong. I have a live setup traveling rack mounted setup using BM ATEM and Teranex, and Wirecast for doing the lower thirds and other overlays. My kit also includes a BM Smartview dual monitor setup, one for the ATEM and one for the output of the teranex. The last monitor is the Mac itself which shows me the overlays from Wirecast and the feed. I've done a number of live productions using this gear in the last three years. With this setup you need a director for the switching, sitting in front of the ATEM and Liveview (with a second mac attached to run the ATEM switcher software), and an *output* director (I call myself the technical director) who runs the MB Pro running the Wirecast and monitoring the output feeds. You can't do all that alone!

    The only time I recommend doing live editing is when you are doing a live feed to the internet, like a live show. Otherwise it's not the optimum way to get good product. Without a script you are asking for trouble. I shoot a lot of live bands and you need to know timing! Who is playing and singing and when? When does a guitarist take a break? With your interviewees, Who is going to say what, when? Your client will get a *much* better product by recording all the cameras and going back and editing it after the fact.

    36 10 minute clips without script and all live is a recipe for disaster. There is *no way* you will get a quality product with an unscripted 360 minutes of interview. Whoever demands this simply does not understand what they are asking for. I have done this for a living and could not guarantee the client a good product doing this in this way.

    As stated, the Switchers do not usually have recording capability. They output to another device, which in my case is a Teranex, for standards conversion from SDI/HDMI in to TB OUT. Then I go out of the Teranex into a Macbook Pro, using Thunderbolt IN to the Mac. Wirecast can handle the feed at that point, so , I do overlays using Wirecast and OUTPUT using Wirecast to either HDMI OUT (for a projector or other monitoring device), and/or external broadcast locations like Youtube LIVE. I also can simultaneously record to DISK. It's *well* worth the $900 or so you pay for the base product and the add on for SDI Professional camera output. You also need to *practice* in advance of using it, and get your overlays done and in the can before you start.

    SDI equipment is *better* than HDMI because HDMI cables are not secure! I've used both and I *hate* using HDMI. Go with SDI if you can. There is no reason not to. I own a number of HDMI to SDI converters for this very reason. I own hundreds of feet of SDI cable to avoid having to run HDMI which is not specced to run 100 feet.

    Your best idea is to convince your client that they are *not* going to save money with a live switching of this event without significant preplanning. Even then, there will be mistakes. It will give them a much better product to simply capture and pay you to edit it correctly. Three camera editing is trivial. You should be able to do it in your sleep. With this setup, you need FCPX or Adobe after the fact. You simply edit in either with recorded video.

    I hope all this makes sense. If you were in the Pacific NW I would show you my setup and offer to do this work, but would insist on recording everything. I'm sure you can find someone in the UK (likely London) doing something similar, maybe with different gear. If the client is insistent, find that person, or better yet, walk aways and tell the client it's not your area of expertise. Good luck.


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Reply With Quote
     

  10. Collapse Details
    #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bidford upon Avon, UK
    Posts
    264
    Default
    I cannot thank everybody enough for such fantastic advice. You have saved me from disaster! I think the client has been told he can save money doing this. I am not going to offer to do it live and only quote for the post shoot editing scenario which as has been said is trivial in comparison. I have edited multicam in Fcpx so that holds no fear for me. Even if if we just had three locked off cameras it would still be an order of magnitude better than his current offerings on YouTube.
    Thank you again everybody I really appreciate it not least the fast response! Amazing.


    Reply With Quote
     

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •