Blackmagic Design today announced that YouTube channel Hashtag United is using the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K as part of a production package to document the club’s journey into the English national league system.
Vlogger Spencer Owen first set up Hashtag United as a YouTube Channel in 2016, playing exhibition-style games and friendlies that were filmed and posted online. This season (2018/19) Spencer has gone a step further and taken the football club semi pro.
“Before joining the national league system, training and games were on an ad hoc basis,” begins operations director Neil Smythe. “And scores were not reported live as they are now. Essentially meaning we had control over when and how the story was told.”
Now in the Eastern Senior League Division One South, Hashtag United is playing every Saturday, and a growing number of fans are coming down to the ground to support in real life. “Content production has had to speed up,” Smythe explains. “We need to be telling our story in real time, like any other football club would, or we’ll lose out.”
In order to maintain the high quality fans have come to expect, Hashtag United required a camera solution that would strike a good balance between image quality and more manageable file sizes.
“Both the URSA Mini Pro and Pocket Cinema Camera 4K fit our needs perfectly,” Smythe said. “We have a good choice of professional codecs, and the extended video mode means we can work with the images straight out of the camera with little or no post.”
“The improved low light sensitivity on the pocket camera is another huge bonus. It guarantees we can shoot practically anywhere, even a dimly lit changing room during the manager’s half time talk and rely on nothing more than the available light.”
According to Smythe, it’s shooting outdoors where the URSA Mini Pro really shines. “I use this camera to film training sessions and Spencer’s commentary, and the built-in ND filters are a life saver in the variable weather conditions!”
Highlights of the commentary go into the weekly match package, but the team also live stream that commentary to Twitter using a Blackmagic Web Presenter.
Smythe concludes: “Hashtag United is one of the most watched sides on YouTube, outperforming many of Europe’s footballing elite, which is amazing! But adjusting to non league life hasn’t been without its challenges. While we’ve barely scratched the surface of what these cameras can do, their addition has ensured that we don’t compromise on our core production values.”