STAYING AHEAD OF THE BBCS QUALITY CURVE


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
At True Vision TV, our tagline is “Films that make a difference” – and it’s been our guiding ethos since the company was founded in 1995. We strive to make television that engages viewers with issues that matter, and we produce character-led documentaries that entertain, but also inform and educate. As such, we’ve built a particular reputation for human rights-related filmmaking, and for making films that look at issues through the eyes and stories of children. The two most recent examples are Poor Kids, a view of the impact of extreme poverty on children in the U.K. as told by four engaging youngsters, and the film’s counterpart in the U.S., Poor Kids USA.
As director and filmmaker for Poor Kids and Poor Kids USA, I faced some specific technical challenges. Both films were commissioned by the BBC, which only accepts high-definition footage shot in data rates of 50 mb/s or higher. Since we would be going into the children’s houses and other low-light situations, we wanted a small camera, with a -inch sensor, so we decided the Sony™ EX1 camcorder would be our best choice – but the EX1’s maximum internal record speed is only 35 mb/s. We would have to bridge the gap with an external recording system of some type, and ideally one that could record in native ProRes format since True Vision’s post production is a Final Cut Pro® based. After surveying the choices on the market, we settled on the sideKick HD, a camera-mountable digital video recorder (DVR) from Fast Forward Video. The sideKick HD is relatively new to the industry, but its release coincided perfectly with our shooting schedule for the two documentaries – and it met our requirements to a “t.”
Not only does the sideKick HD capture full HD video at speeds up to 220 mb/s, far surpassing the BBC’s minimum standards, but it does so directly into the ProRes codec. In fact, this “straight-to-edit” capability for file distribution is one of the most important features of the sideKick HD, and something that truly sets it apart from the rest of the field. By recording video in native ProRes, we’re able to completely skip the time-consuming “log and capture” process that Final Cut Pro® would require in order to read Sony’s native camera files. Instead, we merely remove the 2.5-inch SATA drive from the sideKick and pop it into the computer, where we can simply copy and paste the original video files, along with their metadata, directly into the editing system. This is a real advantage in the field, because it means we can quickly bring new footage into DI systems and do basic editing on the spot, without having to spend excessive time at a computer at the end of a long day’s shoot.
Plus, although the sideKick HD is slightly larger than some other camera-mounted solutions, it is extremely lightweight – a feature we especially appreciate after carrying a fully-loaded camcorder around for a full day of shooting. The sideKick HD can be powered off the camera’s battery, which lightens the load even further. When you consider that the camera is already weighted down from glass filters, radio mikes, and other gear, the addition of a camera-mounted DVR can really be a factor; in fact, it can spell the difference between holding the camera steady for five minutes vs. two hours.
Because the sideKick HD is able to record high-quality HD video at such a high data rate, it truly changes the economics of equipment management for a smaller production company or independent videographer. For instance, the older Sony Z5 and Z7 are fine HD cameras, but they are only capable of shooting in HDV. With the sideKick HD, we can breathe new life into those cameras by recording their output directly in HDMI 2 (an easy task since the sidekick HD provides both HDMI and HD-SDI inputs and outputs). Whereas the purchase of a new high-definition camera represents a significant investment when you add in camera, batteries, and other accessories, a much smaller outlay for a sideKick HD and a hard drive means you can future-proof your existing camera inventory. And, because the sideKick HD’s record speed far surpasses the BBC’s most stringent requirements, we’re assured that the system will be able to meet our needs well into the future -- even if the BBC raises its standards down the road.
###
Jezza Neumann is a multi British Academy Award-winning producer and videographer with True Vision TV, a television production company with headquarters in London.

Tags: iss064 | fast forward video | ffv | sidekick | true vision tv | bbc | final cut pro | fcp | prores | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • FFV and TNP at BVE 2012

    FFV and TNP at BVE 2012

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Bluebell at NAB 2012

    Bluebell at NAB 2012

  • Chyron at BVE 2012

    Chyron at BVE 2012

  • Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

    Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

  • Doremi at IBC2011

    Doremi at IBC2011

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos Samurai Blade demonstration at NAB 2013

    Atomos Samurai Blade demonstration at NAB 2013

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013


Related Shows
  • The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE

    The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE


Articles
Celebrating Chroma-Q with 15 Years in LED Lighting
Ian Muir LED lighting brand, Chroma-Q® recently held summer BBQ & open day events to celebrate with the industry reaching its 15th year in LED technology.
Tags: iss138 | ac-ent | chroma q | ac-et | led | lighting | color force | vista 3 | Ian Muir
Contributing Author Ian Muir Click to read or download PDF
Review: JVC GY-HC900 Camera
Andy McKenzie JVC has a long history of developing relatively low price-point equipment, dating right back to its success in the 1970s with the VHS tape format. JVC products sometimes impact the broadcast mainstream but generally find greatest success in niche market segments such as news production where price and portability take priority over the no-comprise quality and robustness demanded by the leading studio-based and OB content producers.
Tags: iss138 | jvc review | camera | sdhc | sdxc | mpeg-2 | nab | gy-hc900 | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Making a Difference in Wireless Transmission
Lukasz Malankowski

We are very proud to say that we are the only company that provides a highly specific service, and that is the hire of wireless video transmission solutions operating in the licence exempt spectrum.

There are other companies that provide licensed equipment and offer a diverse range of wireless solutions based on different modulations, but our products, coupled with the offerings of others rather than competing with them produce a wireless workflow that is greater than their separate capabilities.

Tags: iss138 | boxx | production | wireless | 4k | Lukasz Malankowski
Contributing Author Lukasz Malankowski Click to read or download PDF
How LiveU Has Changed The Way We Work At ITV Daytime
Tim Guilder As my job title suggests, I’m responsible for planning and executing technology projects across ITV’s Daytime, including outside broadcasts, which are central to what we do. We broadcast live for more than six hours every weekday with four shows: Good Morning Britain, This Morning, Lorraine and Loose Women. With a history as one of the main UK terrestrial broadcasters – of course, we have also evolved alongside the industry in terms of viewing options – we have high standards. We constantly generate new ideas to keep audiences engaged and we also need to be responsive to the latest breaking news.
Tags: iss138 | liveu | itv | daytime | cobham | explorer 8100 | satellite | lu600 hevc | ka-band | lu300 | garland | Tim Guilder
Contributing Author Tim Guilder Click to read or download PDF
How Broadcasts Can Simplify The Delivery Of Live Video Streams To Affiliates
Phillipe Gonon In today’s fast paced environment broadcasters need to quickly, easily, and simultaneously share high-quality live content with multiple affiliates or other broadcast facilities. However, today it’s typical for each third-party transmitter to be connected to its own receiver with its own platform and management system. This results in major TV channels having several web interfaces and/or screens to receive and distribute feeds coming in from third-party devices.
Tags: iss138 | aviwest | stremaing | rtmp | rtsp | rtp | hls | Phillipe Gonon
Contributing Author Phillipe Gonon Click to read or download PDF