Videocraft provides turnkey OB and post production facilities for 2015 ARIAs
The ARIAs is commonly regarded as one of the biggest, most complex live outside broadcast events of the calendar year and this year was no different. At the 2015 ARIAs, held at The Star, the entire turnkey OB and post production facilities were provided by Videocraft.
Videocraft has history with the ARIAs having been contracted by former OB providers to facilitate the extensive onsite editing requirements into the OB EVS workflow for the previous two years’ shows. This year ARIAs production company, Gigler Communications, chose Videocraft to provide all of the OB and post production facilities.
Gigler Technical Producer Phil Goulden explained, “I’ve dealt with Videocraft for many years so I knew what they were capable of. I also saw their large FlyPack kit at SMPTE this year and was impressed with both its capability and presentation. Their Sony F55 large sensor cameras in OB configuration, also displayed at SMPTE were what we were looking for to take the ARIAS into a new era.”
Videocraft’s successful bid for the ARIAs came off the back of their proven large sensor camera solution for this season’s X Factor Australia where they demonstrated just how well the F55 could perform, particularly for live music events and shows. With X Factor a runaway ratings success Videocraft then embarked on major upgrade and systemisation of their F55 solution that included purchasing Sony CA4000 fibre adaptors, BPU4000 baseband processors, Fujinon Cabrio lenses, Canon lenses and a wide range of accessories.
Videocraft NSW State Manager Andy Liell explained, “After everyone saw it, there was a huge demand for the large sensor camera solution that we’d provided to X Factor so we invested heavily in order to offer this on a larger scale. We were also able to demonstrate to the ARIAs broadcast partner Network Ten, Gigler and the ARIAs themselves how we had repeated our X Factor success on several other live music events including gigs by the Hoodoo Gurus, Florence and the Machine and #The Beebs.
Having presented successful proof of this concept, the ARIAs awarded the turnkey OB and post production facilities contract for the 2015 ARIAs to Videocraft who in turn went on to provide a solution that incorporated 26 cameras, 2 control room areas, large Avid and EVS setups and an OB truck.
Goulden continued, “The ARIA production effort had previously been achieved using multiple truck based facilities creating a headache for production staff working between the various zones. Improving on this, Videocraft worked with Gigler to design and construct a purpose built facility, containing all of the key production elements in a concise layout. The Red Carpet Production area was re-purposed during the main show as a Profanity Edit Suite, Network Coord and QC facility for the outgoing programme segments, bringing oversight of this key part of the production within easy reach of the executive team. In addition, the Videocraft MPC OB truck acted as a stand-alone production facility for Telstra’s expanded second screen requirements. It was overall a complex yet highly efficient setup.”
Telstra’s second screen content came from red carpet and back stage interviews and was edited into packages for mobiles and tablets alongside the on air Network Ten TV broadcast. This workflow was carefully designed for rapid turnaround using EVS systems for the base edits, then moving into AVID for finishing, export and upload.
Videocraft also provided shared EVS and CCU resources between the main show and the red carpet and a separate edit facility for both sides of the production where the EVS was also utilised for the final playout to Network Ten.
The red carpet alone consisted of an 8-camera rig that included Videocraft’s Ross Furio robotic camera, Steadicam and jib. The main show raised the technical bar again with a 13-camera rig that consisted of Sony HDC-2400 2/3” cameras for the awards presentations and the large sensor F55s along with Steadicams for the live performance pieces. The entire main show was delivered in 25 psf.
Liell added, “Our objective was to cater for long lens cameras for award presentation and utilise the F55s for performance pieces. The F55s did their job superbly giving a more cinematic look for the live performances due to the shallow depth of field and stunning dynamic range of the Sony sensor. With this at our disposal we used the F55s for mid to long length shots off Steadicam and handhelds, where the cameras excelled.”
As Phil Goulden witnessed prior to the ARIAs, two of the main reasons Videocraft were awarded this prestigious contract were the look they were able to achieve with their F55 solution and the “can do” attitude that the company brought to the project. He added, “At all stages of the ARIA process, Gigler was able to engage directly with the people who would ultimately make it happen on site. This built a strong team spirit and generated confidence in the delivery right down to the minute details.”
The Videocraft large production FlyPack worked particularly well at The Star as the venue is well provisioned for the latest in interconnectivity with the Videocraft team making full use of all the fibre at the venue to ensure a seamless workflow.
Phil Goulden added, “Videocraft really did an excellent job at the ARIAs and this only further cements their position as one of Australia’s leading large OB providers. We also have to give special mention to the highly complex workflow they were able to create from capture through post to playout. This combined with the amazing look from the F55s made this year’s ARIAs the best yet in Gigler’s five year association with the production. Videocraft’s investment in the success of the 2015 ARIA Awards was outstanding.”
With the ARIAs wrapped for another year it fell to Goulden’s colleague and Gigler’s Director and Creative, Vicki Gerrans, to have the last word about how Videocraft performed. She added, “I am so very, very happy and proud of a significant technical achievement and aesthetic that has polished an Australian icon and brought it into a new technological environment. Every single member of the Videocraft team wore a smile – led from the top – a team of extraordinary professionals, and a much needed and refreshing experience at this level of outside broadcasting.”
For more on the ARIAs go to: http://www.ariaawards.com.au