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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 15th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #1
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Live projection at event (question!)

I have a question about projecting one roving and one anchored camera onto a screen for an upcoming event. What is the most efficient way to get live footage up on a screen? Would camera's have to be tethered (I see complications with the roving cam) or can footage be streamed wire-less to a receiver then projected. I have only done live shows recording straight to tape with no projection, so this is new territory for me. I'm eager to find a way, any assistance/ advice would be greatly appreciated!

Jim Stork
www.ForestBeachFilms.com
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Old March 15th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stork View Post
What is the most efficient way to get live footage up on a screen? Would camera's have to be tethered (I see complications with the roving cam) or can footage be streamed wire-less to a receiver then projected.
There are many wireless SD systems. For HD, however, you have to run cables (SDI if you have big bucks, or component on the cheap.)
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Old March 15th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #3
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You may need to stick with a long cable if a wireless system is too expensive. I have seen this very scenario tackled by professionals. TThe difference was they had 4 studio cameras, all tethered by Triax cables to a truck outside. A trick to use to prevent the cable from being pulled out of the camera is to attach the cable to a carabiner with gaff tape, then clip it on to your back belt loop. If someone steps on the cable as you are moving, your pants get pulled down, rather than your video plug getting destroyed. It would also help to have a cable man to pull the cable so the cameraman doesn't trip over it.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #4
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If this is your first time working with a live feed then keep it simple. Find two positions and put the cameras on tripods at those positions. Roving around is not neccessary to put together a great show. Run cable because wireless is expensive and something you would want on only one camera anyway. You can pick up bnc cable very cheap and it will last you for years if you treat it right.

Have a director and some type of communication between your cameras if possible. Little handheld radios with ear buds will work if the venue is quite, but if it's a club setting just make a game plan or signals before the shoot and use those visual cues during the event.

Which leads me to ask, what event are you covering?

There's a lot of ways to do an event, but keep it basic this first time and work on nice, clean shots because you'll have plenty of technical areas to focus on without trying to get complex shots at the same time.

Ben
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Old March 15th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the responses. Yes this is my first time doing a live feed, but I have worked on many live event shoots. The event is for a baptist church, and they would like two cameras roving and one stationary. By chance does anyone have names of companies of these wire-less receivers(I've been searching and can't find any). And yes Ben, I completely agree with you on keeping it simple, but I think they want these roving shots. thanks again for all the great tips and advice.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 05:00 AM   #6
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Nobody mentioned a switcher? You need a switcher - that way you can mix the sources and output it to screen. You can get some pretty cheap switchers out there that will work great. You'll definately need a seperate person to operate that, as well as monitor (preview) each source to see which shot is the best to take.

As mentioned above, communication systems are really a must. There are hard wired and wireless systems from companies like telex, clear-com, porta-com, etc.

Real broadcast quality wireless video is very, very expensive. Don't buy the cheapie auction site transmitters & receivers - they produce a very poor signal and are not made to move around. There is a technology out called COFDM, which is a licensed personal microwave system. SD systems start around $20,000, HD systems start at $80,000. This is just the transmitter and receiver. We rent one a few times a year when we produce some of the college football games so we can have one of the roaming cameras that is able to get up in the stands, mainly the student section. We also have another handheld teathered to a triax and someone pulling cable the whole game. Then there are another half dozen pro cameras on tripods, all going to a TV truck where it is switched and broadcast from.

Roland maks a VT-4 switcher that is a simple 4 input mixer for pretty cheap. It will take 4 composite or 4 s-video sources and mix them for you. There also some smaller, quick mixers like some of the Extron stuff that you can find used for dirt cheap, just to do some hard switches.

Good luck with all of that.

Last edited by Kit Hannah; March 16th, 2007 at 12:27 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #7
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thanks for your insight Kit! I was surprised for how much those wireless SD were running for.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 02:45 AM   #8
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cheap 2.4 ghz transmission for SD works if you care to respect some points.
1-antennas
they must be high (at lest 10 inches higher than any standing people)
Receiver will be prefferably a directional antenna (you can find many in computer shop for wifi transmission) covering the shooting zone
receiver will be very close from antenna. Long video cable are not a problem, long antenna cable is.
cameraman should have a back pack with a mast that allow the antenna to be at the correct height.
if you can, you can fix the emitter on a tripod an run a cable to the camera, so it gives some freedom to camera but keeps emitter fixed.
Camera can move, but should stop when shooting (or displayed on the screen)
eventually add a frame TBC on receiver output, so if you loose video it will freeze on last good frame instead showing bad picture.
you can get a transmission set (receiver/emitter) for less than 100$, and as said above, in that range of price (until several thousand dollars) they perform all the same (all same crap), so the cheaper , the better.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 03:13 AM   #9
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The biggest problem with the whole 2.4 Ghz range is there is soooo much clutter on it now - everything from wi-fi to cordless phones to cb radios. The cheap RF Transmitters are just flat out junk. I've seen a few in the couple thousand dollar range, they too work very poorly, especially in realistic conditions like you'll be using them. Sure, it might be fine when testing in your living room, but introduce a ton of people, etc. etc. and you're in for a rude awakening. That's why the COFDM technology is so expensive - because it works (it's a personal microwave device).

Just to clarify about the COFDM systems. Like I mentioned before, there are some very nice, but very expensive systems out there. We always rent a Link Systems Transmitter / Reciever for about $1000 - $1500/ Day. Since we rent them so often, I checked in to purchasing one and the ones we rent (Link Systems - Literally the size of a Wireless microphone receiver / transmitter, half rack space) is $60,000. Yes, sixty thousand. And that's for SD. The High Definition version is $120,000. Same size. Don't get me wrong, they work wonderfully - they use them at all the major events you see from the superbowl to the macy's thanksgiving day parade, but they sure do cost a lot!

You're much better off just getting some nice Beldin Composite Video Cable and hiring omeone to page/pull cable for you all night (they make sure you have enough and nobody trips on it). We do this for sporting events and corporate events all the time.

I'll give you an example. We did video for a corporate Christmas party in December for a very large well known Security products company (well, the biggest one in the world) and they had a live band with people dancing. We had a few cameras, and we were roving around with one of them. We placed ourselves between the stage and the dance floor so we could get shots of both for the screens. It's all about placement of everything, especially if you're running a few cameras. The proper placement can get you incredible results.
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