This year’s Sowing the Seeds music and lifestyle festival went off with a bang last month, with headline acts, ‘Of Monsters and Men’ (OMAM) and ‘Jungle’ playing to packed crowds in Jo’burg, South Africa.
The festival’s portable production unit (PPU) and IMAG projection equipment and crew were supplied by Militia Broadcast, who produced the live to screen visuals for festival performers. The fully customisable PPU is built around optical fiber and also features Blackmagic Design’s range of studio cameras, ATEM Talkback Converter 4K and HyperDeck Studio Pro.
Six cameras were used to cover the live performances during the festival, consisting of two front of house cameras, two dolly-mounted cameras in the pits, a BM Studio Camera 4K on stage, and a BM Micro Studio Camera 4K for capturing detailed shots.
Sarah Chu, live director in charge of OMAM’s live to screen, was able to capture close ups of the drum kit and snares, along with hand-held shots adding different dimensions to the live screen feed.
Each camera’s feed is sent back through two ATEM Talkback Converter 4Ks, to the ATEM 1M/E Production Studio 4K switcher where Chu cut the live program and fed that back out to two 5x4m LED panels at either side of the stage.
Eban Oliver, Founder of Militia Broadcast explained that the bright sun of an African winter combined with an all-day event had provided a few challenges for his crew.
“There was a lot of direct sun to the front of the stage, particularly at midday,” he recalls. “And by the time the festival had wrapped up, the stage was in total darkness.”
Over the years, the MB crew has built-up a library of LUTs, which allows them to compensate for lighting changes on the fly.
“We use DaVinci Resolve to create them and then our shader is able to upload a LUT based on the time of day and conditions from a central position. That meant the operators were able to stay focused on the shot,” Eban said.
“You only ever get one chance at recording this kind of event and so it has to be good. You cannot afford for anything, technical or otherwise, to go wrong,” concludes Eban.
“Thanks to the modular design of Blackmagic’s products we can now transport everything that’s required for any multi-camera production to a site, drop down a single piece of fiber per camera and you’re wired for action.”
Excerpts from Press Release.