As the fashion world returned to the French capital for the most prestigious of the 'Big Four’ fashion weeks, historical venues such as the Carrousel du Louvre and the Grand Palais played host to famous emblematic brands such as Chanel, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney, showcasing their autumn/winter 2019 collections.
The services of live production company, and fashion show specialist, Freecaster were in high demand, delivering live streams for Chloé, Isabel Marant, Tommy Hilfiger, Givenchy and more. The team employed a 12-camera PPU solution based around the Ursa Mini to produce live coverage of the runway action.
On working with such high-end clients, Tugdual Le Boru, executive producer at Freecaster, says, “The labels always keep the location of their shows shrouded in secrecy. Often we only find out where we’ll be shooting ten days before, so it’s challenging to have everything organised for a professional production, but it’s exhilarating too, you don’t know where you’ll be next!”
Once the location is known, the Freecaster team works closely with the client’s video teams to understand the concept of the show. “They tell us their creative direction, what kind of image they want and then it’s up to us to explain how that would look from a technical point of view,” Tugdual explains.
Across Paris Fashion Week, the team worked with a variety of setups from drones and cranes to handheld cameras, steadicams, and tripods. However, according to Tugdual, it can be quite difficult advising brands on camera positioning. “There are always constraints, whether that’s location, the set design or creative vision,” he explains.
“A venue such as the Musée du Louvre, for instance, was not designed or built with video production in mind. You then struggle with positioning camera ops or finding space for larger setups, and more often than not, the lighting just isn’t optimised for video.
“That’s why we invested in the Ursa Mini 4.6K and Ursa Mini Pro. The cameras are so versatile and can be adapted to suit the environment and situation. On Paris Fashion Week, we had a total of 12 in use, complete with a range of Fujinon Cabrio lenses,” says Tugdual.
“At the back end, we use an Atem 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K switcher as it gives us up to 20 in and outs,” he continues. “In fashion shows, we don’t have that many layers or graphic elements, so it’s quite a simple program mix that we produce on an Atem 1 M/E Advanced Panel.”
In addition to streaming to labels’ websites, Facebook pages or YouTube channels, Freecaster is also seeing more client demand for Instagram Live. Tugdual leaves us with a useful tip for Instagram stories; “Bearing in mind the vertical framing, you can use the key signal on the Atem to apply a mask to the sides of the screen, et voila!”