Furthering its expansion into full editing and production solutions Videocraft recently produced a one-hour daily highlights show for Beyond Productions, Channel 9 and the Tour Down Under cycle race.
Videocraft sales director James Taylor explained, “In order to achieve 48 minutes of daily content on the move we had to use Videocraft’s mobile edit facility. This production was not like the Tour de France which is one continuous live broadcast. The Tour Down Under footage is created from scratch while the race is on. This is no mean feat and relies completely on the equipment you use and editors and producers who really know their jobs.”
Videocraft’s mobile edit truck moved with the race as the cyclists powered their way across South Australia. Moving with them were multiple Sony PDW-700 XDCAM 4:2:2 cameras acquiring and storing footage on optical discs.
Taylor continued, “We used Canon’s new image stabiliser lens for the main motorbike camera material which helped us get far more stable shots. It’s a great lens and perfect for this type of shoot.”
Videocraft also provided all the technical management for the production and put together the workflow that included multiple XDCAM cameras feeding material into their edit truck. Inside the truck was an EVS XS server and IP Director which were used for all live stages, ingest from OB trucks and all playout of finished shows.
Taylor explained, “We got material into the system and logged it to make the editors job easier. Then the producer could find all the shots they wanted from the OB and put together the highlights for news.”
Videocraft also brought a level of functionality and flexibility normally associated with a fixed production house setup to a constantly changing mobile environment – all within 15 minutes of parking their editing truck.
A cycle race involves long hours for all involved and the Tour Down Under was no exception. The production was based around 18 hour days every one of which saw producers and editors sitting alongside James Taylor in Videocraft’s edit truck so there would be no interruptions to the workflow.
“It was a no frills set up, that’s for sure,” added Taylor. “The camera guys on motorbikes would drop their discs at agreed points and we would ingest the material into our edit system. The editors would then pick content from logs that the producer had created and we would add in graphics from within our system. The story was then put together and cleaned up with the final voice over added using Avid Media Composer’s audio punching tool. Once complete the finished edit was stored in the EVS server for playout later via satellite.”
Videocraft also created and encoded news highlight packages for the Internet within their mobile editing facility for the entire duration of the Tour Down Under. All in all a complete production and editing solution.
James Taylor concluded, “A production like the Tour Down Under is fast, furious and often hectic but at Videocraft it’s what we do best. In this case we used an Avid Media Composer, Nitris DX and Isis 5000 shared storage solution as this setup is perfect for the fast turnaround, high-pressure environment and critically, it delivers time and time again. Our discussions with our clients as we prepare for this type of production is always the same – what’s required is a reliable and trustworthy workflow with a systems integrator who can make it happen in far from perfect environments. After 40 years in the business, it’s something we pride ourselves on achieving.”