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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old January 21st, 2011, 10:58 AM   #1
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PSA Filming: My first work on TV, what should I know?

Hey everyone,
I just got hired to shoot and produce a PSA that will be run in Philly on an ABC network 3 times a day for a month. I'm really happy because this is certainly an accomplishment for me being that I'm only 20 years old. My question is though, now what....?I mainly do event videography, and some website promos here and there. So this is certainly a different scheme

First off, I'm shooting with a 7d, and it will be under very good light, none the less, what is the highest ISO that should be seen on Television, I doubt I would even need to pass 320 anyway, but I'm talking worst case scenario (and yes I am aware of the iso multiple of 160 rule).

Second, When finishing the final edit, Do I have to include the Color bars and tone? Do I have to have the colors in a certain way? What format do most places take clips in? is there a max and/or min bitrate allowed on TV?

Clearly I am somewhat over my head, but the company that hired me really liked my work alot and are willing to work through the fact that I am new to the broadcast industry.
Any info, links, and personal stories would be of SO much help. Thank you

Nick Popa
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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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All good questions that should be able to be answered by the ABC affiliate the spot is going to air on.
The tech people there will give you all the info you need. How much black, how long for the tone and bars, whats needed on the first slate etc.
Give 'em a call they're generally pretty good people and easty to talk to.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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What about frame rate? does 24p look okay on tv from the 7d
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:03 PM   #4
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iso up to 320 is fine, even higher is ok...
24p is fine

Then take Don's advice in spades, get the spec requirements before starting!
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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They might not want 24P, it may have to be 30P or 60i. As Don say's make sure you get the correct tech requirements. Nothing worse than shooting everything only to find you have to re-shoot.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 08:04 PM   #6
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Hi Nick.
I too have done much event videography and have recently delved into broadcast about a year ago with my 7d. Like you are now, I was a bit intimidated.
If it is airing on SD channels, I wouldnt worry too much about the ISO. They compress the video so much it's sad. I've shot 1600 on my 7d and it has held up. Of course, at the time, I had no choice. I didn't have all the resources I have now (nice lighting kit etc...) They are probably going to want it in 30p, though I have given them 24p before and it has been fine.
Regarding color bars, my network I uploaded the videos to, Comcast, did NOT want any bars and colors. They wanted the finished video files, converted and ready to air. Ask your contact at the network for a spec sheet and they will email one over for you.

Best of luck!
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:19 PM   #7
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PSA/Commercial for TV spec sheet

"Ask your contact at the network for a spec sheet and they will email one over for you."

Hey Nick,
Please follow up, when you are able, with what info you were able to find out from the networks or Comcast. I know WPVI CH6 in Phila used to have a community affairs director that handles PSA's.

Myself and others in Philadelphia have found it extremely difficult getting straight basic answers from Comcast about deliverables for commercials or PSA's. It was never as easy as ask and you will receive. I hope you have better luck or connections.

I wish you success and would love to hear what you learned.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 09:08 PM   #8
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Hey everyone. thanks or all the answers. I will certainly contact them with in the next few weeks, and follow up on this topic. Thanks!!
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Old February 1st, 2011, 12:53 AM   #9
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I do a lot of stuff for broadcast. The specs are all over the place. Some stations will spell it out to the exact detail even specifying the size of the GOP, peak audio levels, etc. and some will take just about anything.

Some stations will take the files via YouSendIt or ftp transfers or via services like Extreme Reach / DG Fast channel. They all have a spec sheet. Make sure you get that before you start and that you understand it.

In general, they want .mpg2 or .mpg4. Most want 60i. They have different specs for HD and SD.
Be aware that if you submit HD video the titles have to be 4x3 safe. The video should also be 4x3 safe.
Make sure you watch the PSA once it airs. The stations can make mistakes too.

Adobe CS5 media encoder can handle all the broadcast specs I have had to make. If you don't get it right, they'll let you know about it.

Good luck!
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