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Old June 1st, 2007, 08:28 AM   #1
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Rock Concert Shoot

I'm at the planning stages of a shoot due to happen later this month. It's a concert being put on in medium scale venue (1000+ attendance) by a well known folk(y) rock band.

At present, it's looking like a four camera shoot - most likely being my HD100 - to be used roaming at different locations in the auditorium, 2 x Sony HVR-Z1's for on stage stuff and probably a Standard Definition JVC DV500 locked off front of house to give a full stage shot.

Why I'm posting is that I'd like anyone's input on how difficult it will be to pull together the footage from the differing cameras in post. My intention at this stage is to edit in 720p - which would involve downconverting and de-interlacing the Sony's 1080i and upconverting/de-interlacing the SD JVC.

Any thoughts or ideas on a workflow would be really appreciated.

Also, in terms of costing this - can anyone offer an idea what they would approach it? I have to rent three of the cameras (JVC DV500 & Sony Z1's) and pay fees to three camera operators. My ball park at the moment for the shoot is around 3000 ($4000) - this doesn't include the post work.

Thanks.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:26 PM   #2
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Hi Michael,

You're least common denominator is the DV500 SD and of your 4 sources, 3 are interlaced. Where/what are you planning on distributing the video? DVD? Web?
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Old June 1st, 2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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Hi Stephen,

I am aware that DV500 is SD - it is still possible we'll be able to afford a HDV option instead of it, but as this is for a fairly wide shot of the full stage I am hoping we might get away with Standard Definition.

Regarding distribution, initialy it will be just DVD, but the main reason for opting for the HDV route is to be able to offer a HD-DVD/blu-ray option further down the road.

My main concern is whether the 'look' between the HD100 and the Sony 1080i units will end up being very different.

Thanks.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 10:20 PM   #4
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The motion rendition of your interlaced cameras will be different than you'll get out of the HD100. Your interlaced cameras are scanning a full 50Hz, while the HD100 is only scanning 25Hz unless you put it in one of the 576-line modes.

As for cost, $4k is too high for 4 cameras and 3 crew, especially if it doesn't include editing. I remember hearing somewhere that it costs about $10k to broadcast a professional sporting event with 8 cameras and 20 crew, and that's renting a multimillion dollar TV production truck. The production company I work for is broadcasting a minor league baseball team this summer and while I'm not privy to the numbers, I would be *extremely* suprised if we were getting $4k a game, and we do 6 cameras with 13-15 crew.

For what to actually charge, I wouldn't go more than 25% over actual costs, that's rates for your camera operators (probably a full day rate for you and half day rates for the other two guys), equipment rental, and a reasonable hourly rate for post. The 25% should cover production services (i.e. the actual work involved in crewing and organizing the show).
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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:44 PM   #5
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My personal preference when using a mixed bag of cameras has been to use the lowest resolution camera as the roving camera and to use it as close as I can get it to framing the performer's face, guitar picking hand etc.. The inferior resolution in close ups seems to be less apparent.

As a wide view or locked off master shot, the poorer resolution SD camera will look very furry because of the finer textures of crowds and the small scale of the stage and performers in distance.

I am just a dabbler in this so do not pay much heed to my comments.

http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=570589631

This link is to a studio session clip made with four different cameras of two differing family types. I kept the sharpest camera for the wide master.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kn9a3K989g

This link is to a vid of a live performance. The wide was a HDV cam the roving close up was a PD150 with an AGUS35 on front for shallow DOF. There was minimal lighting, everyting was opened right up and resolution suffered.

I was also lazy and did not crop and re-scale the 4:3 image but simply overlaid it on the 16:9, again also to hang onto some resolution.

Edit - assembly on "Boneyard Rider" was done on PP2 with mix of cineform CFHD and MiniDV origination.

This posted clip was aparently extracted from the DVD-Video disk I gave the band and their recording from the mix desk replaced my mix of deak and ambient camera sound.

When you set your cameras up, make sure you go into menu and disable the handheld IR remote function or mask the sensor off.

There are idiots who go to these gigs who take a remote with them and shut your cameras off. Also keep mobile (cell) phones away from your cameras.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 2nd, 2007 at 12:01 AM. Reason: added text and link
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:30 AM   #6
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That's great guys.

Thanks for the input - I really appreciate it.

Michael.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:51 AM   #7
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I'd second Bob's comment re- using the SD camera for tighter shots only.
There's no point in giving the wide shots to the camera with the least definition.
As for the costing, if you're using professional camera operators, then your figures are about right. I wouldn't think of undertaking a gig like that for less -

Go n-eiri an t-adh leat!

Robin
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 08:25 AM   #8
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Ignore the following if you have had any experience with these gigs and cameras previously.

Unless you are taking a separate sound recording of the gig and somebody accepts responsibility for the project loss if that recording fails, try to get a two channel mixed down sound feed from the mixdesk to two of your XLR capable cameras, the Z1's, or your JVC.

There likely will only be one pair available off the mixer. In that event you'll have to be satisfied with a mixdown to mono to each camera or take the risk of assigning stereo left channel to one camera and right channel to the other and mixing and balancing in post if your master audio recording also fails.

When you hook up to the Sony cams, you may find audio level to be very, very low. You may find you have to switch to the "mic" setting in XLR submenu and trim down, because XLR "line" may not trim sensitive enough.

When you plug your XLR's into the camera, touch the outside of the shields to the tripod leg first if metal or to the tripod head, then to the camera XLR socket spring latch first before shoving the plug in.

If something big, bright, blue and smelly goes across with a sharp crack, there's half a chance the camera electronics will survive.

Carpet sparks are definitely not your friend. High voltages on the line are not either.

Check the phantom power switches on front of the camera are set to "off".

When you check you have set your camera to take a line-in audio signal, be careful not to "double button " back to the "internal mic" setting if the camera is sitting on a springy tripod.

If the staging for your tripod is shared with humble jumping public, expect camera shake and maybe set up elsewhere if you can.

Give the internal mics a rub whilst wearing your phones and looking at the metering display, to make sure the audio is not from those internal mics.

If you are under the pump from something else going wrong, in the low auditorium lighting you will find youself in, this is a mistake which is easy to make. I did, - disastrously.

Audio to the phones from the Z1 is quite low and may not compete against ambient sound leaking past the muffs to your ears. Separate level control to the phones also is adjusted by the control in the panel which is covered by the LCD panel whe it is folded to the closed position.

Another reason for disabling the IR remote is that if any of your camera positions are in the master wide shot, you can point any IR TV remote at your master camera and button the remote for a few seconds as you button-on the other camera after changing a tape cassette.

This will give you a pinpoint multiple flash cue in the wide master which will not be readily apparent in the final presentation, but there if you know where to look for it when syncing up a broken track on the multicamera timeline.

The remote is not intended to start or stop anything just provide a high-intenisty IR signal the camera only will see but will not detract from the live performance for the audience.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 2nd, 2007 at 08:57 AM. Reason: errors
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 09:55 AM   #9
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Bob's right about using the SD for the tight shots. At the current rates however you should be able to rent another HDV camera to use as the wide shot lock down.

4k is a little high for a budget, but not much. By the time you pay for equipment, meals, etc. it will be right below that.

Stephan,

Whatever source told you a network sports production is done for only 10k was wrong. The real number is over 150k per show for a network production. You're talking equipment costs, airfare, rates, hotels, meals, rental cars, and the list goes on. The idea of a network show for 10k is unrealistic. And be ready for a surprise because even local shows costs more money than what you think.

Ben
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 12:05 PM   #10
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the help.

Regarding audio - it's going to be recorded seperately to a 24-track hard-disk unit via active splits at the stage end. I don't have to worry too much about it as we will provided with a mix down for post-production purposes.

I've taken on board your thoughts regarding the locked-off front of house camera and I will endeavour to squeeze a HDV unit in there also. At present, the other three cameras are scheduled to be my HD100 along with the two rental Z1's. However, I am hoping the supplier will be able to source two HD100's at a similar price point instead which obviously would be better suited for the shoot overall.

I met with the promoter yesterday evening and hopefully we're getting closer to a final figure that we can both live with. The original costing had a mini jib rental included as well but my thinking at the moment is to lose that completely and reduce the operator fees slightly. I'm going to drop my fee by a bit and waive the rental for my HD100. All this should bring the final cost to about 2,000 ($2,700) - which will hopefully be acceptable. Any less and I could risk losing money should there be any over-runs. I will most likely be handling the post, so I should be recoup a bit there.

Please keep your thoughts coming.

Michael.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 02:32 PM   #11
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I think that you will find Cineform HDLink, especially the ProspectHD version will give you good format changes from 1080i to 720P. I have not tried going the other way.

If you can keep all the cams HDV, this will help assembly-edit as you are already committed to one format blend already.

I would favour using your 1080i Sonys for your locked off wide and for another minimally moving or second fixed view, maybe backstage to audience view and use your JVCs for roving and the more dynamic moves. As shoulder cams they will not cripple your operators when worked agile.

Unless you have large batteries or mains power, you are going to need lots of batteries for the JVCs. They kill the small back-of-camera batteries which you may likely already know.

The differences in colour and contrast rendition will be less obvious if one of the Sonys is your backstage cam facing the audience because the viewers will buy the different look because of completely different lighting conditions for the opposing direction of view.

This would seem to contradict my previous post about using the lower definition cameras for the roving and the higher definition for the locked off master wide. The 1080i conversion to 720P could be expected to lose vertical resolution and these cameras then assumed to be 540P or thereabouts for resolution.

However, if there is minimal movement in the images aquired by these 1080i cameras, then the conversion may yield much sharper results. HDLink seems to be pretty clever. Maybe drop a post on the Cineform forums here to investigate the best approach as I may be completely wrong.

In regard to the audio, if you can get a backup audio feed to at least one of the cams I would still do it as Murphy doesn't take a break. If you lose the 24 channel digital mix to disk recorder, you are done. I'm probably paranoid but I just don't trust technology that much.

Good luck and enjoy.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 2nd, 2007 at 02:39 PM. Reason: error
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 05:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lynn View Post
Whatever source told you a network sports production is done for only 10k was wrong.
I'm not talking about national shows where you're flying the crew in, I'm talking regional and local shows, for example over-the-air or FSN. Local truck, local crew, no airfare or hotels. Just paying the crew their rates and renting the truck.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 06:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen View Post
I'm not talking about national shows where you're flying the crew in, I'm talking regional and local shows, for example over-the-air or FSN. Local truck, local crew, no airfare or hotels. Just paying the crew their rates and renting the truck.
Your dollar figure is way low for my area as well. Where are you located?
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:31 AM   #14
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I'm in Minneapolis. And I'll admit that the guy I heard it from was hardly an official source, so I could be wrong about this. It's very possible that $10k is referring to just a subset of the production like renting the truck or something. Or it could be that FSN was getting a bulk discount because they were using this company for everything. I know it definitely doesn't include things like broadcast rights, transmission, and over-the-line personell.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
As for cost, $4k is too high for 4 cameras and 3 crew, especially if it doesn't include editing. I remember hearing somewhere that it costs about $10k to broadcast a professional sporting event with 8 cameras and 20 crew, and that's renting a multimillion dollar TV production truck. The production company I work for is broadcasting a minor league baseball team this summer and while I'm not privy to the numbers, I would be *extremely* suprised if we were getting $4k a game, and we do 6 cameras with 13-15 crew.
Sorry Stephan, I think you heard wrong on your numbers. $4k is a fine, sane number for a DV concert shot by professionals, even if only 4 cams. I've produced more than I can remember, from $6k to $65k.

Michael, your biggest problem is going to be getting the cameras to match. I'd recommend downconverting everything to SD and shoot 25p.
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