Filma Media Makes Larger than Life Productions Fly Around the World

Following the release of Julio Iglesias’ record breaking album “1”, fans and the music industry alike were eager to learn more about the man and his vision behind his prolific recording. However, given time constraints and travel logistics, it was not possible for Iglesias to visit every journalist in each country for an in person interview. Instead, the world renowned tenor hosted a virtual “meet and greet”, with press and fans, from his house in Marbella, Spain.

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To manage the live global production, the music legend turned to Spanish production company, Filma Media. The company provides a range of audio visual services including coverage of celebrity centric events, image acquisition, lighting rigs, and streaming and multi camera television productions.

Small is Beautiful
Using an outside broadcast truck was not practical, so Filma Media set up a portable studio inside Iglesias’ home instead. Key to the transmission was the company’s compact flyaway kit, built around Blackmagic Design production components. This unit, which fits into flight cases and, when assembled, occupies a very small area, proved more than powerful enough to stream an on location press event with eager journalists attending virtually from around the world.

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“Journalists and others, from all over the world, tuned in and asked questions in real time,” explains Gonzalo De Leon, technical director of the Madrid based production company. “We connected with the media from locations as diverse as Indonesia, China, Japan, Brazil, Germany; 22 countries in all at the same time.”

The Filma Media team made use of the Blackmagic Design ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher with an ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel, the HyperDeck Studio, Smartview HD and DeckLink SDI, all of which form the core of the flyaway unit. “We didn’t want to show just a single shot, something often seen at press conferences, of Julio during the program, so we utilised two cameras controlled through the switcher. This allowed us to offer a variety of shots, as Julio answered the questions posed by his global audience,” reports Gonzalo. “The compact nature of the production switcher within our Flyaway kit made that possible because it is easy to operate in a relatively confined space.”

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In fact, the size of the unit meant that the switcher, multiviewer and recording deck were all positioned on just one small table in the tenor’s home. The unit is so compact, set up time can be measured in minutes, rather than hours. “It really is simply a case of plug in and go,” asserts Gonzalo.

Despite the impressive nature of the two way program, disruption to the home was kept to a minimum.

Multiple Streams
Two signals were generated for the presentation. The first, in standard definition, was used for the live streaming of the event, while the second produced a high definition feed for recording purposes. The subsequent FTP file was placed on the Internet to allow those who were unable to watch the live stream to view the program as well.

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That recording was made using a Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio. “My favourite features of the HyperDeck Studio are its simplicity and efficiency. It incorporates familiar VTR style controls, records the signal without a hitch, and passes it to the computer for future editing. As a result, the workflow is very fast and efficient,” declares Gonzalo.

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He continues, “Julio’s producer at Sony organised the interviews and he was delighted with the results. And I have to say that Julio is very forward thinking and likes technological innovation such as we used at his home, so he was very satisfied as well.”

Variety of Productions
Gonzalo states that Filma Media was one of the first companies in Spain to use a Blackmagic Design ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher for live events, and those productions are quite diverse. For example, the company was commissioned to record a multi camera theatrical performance of a burlesque called The Hole for DVD sales.

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“We worked on another theatrical production called Eoloh, [which was] something similar to Cirque du Solei. Although it is a Spanish production, it has already become popular all over Europe. For these productions, we utilised all our Blackmagic products located in a room near the auditorium. On other occasions, we have set up the unit in the actual auditorium. A flyaway kit is ideal for these situations,” says Gonzalo.

He reports that Filma Media has been commissioned by TVE, the official state channel of Spain, for multi camera broadcast productions.

When it comes to live streaming, Gonzalo says that the coverage includes large scale events at the Palau St. Jordi, an indoor multipurpose arena in Barcelona. The wide range of performances held there include popular European music acts such as the Manic Street Preachers.

“Even when the streaming is worldwide, we know we can rely on the Blackmagic Design equipment. And because there is no second chance with a live presentation, we have the assurance that the equipment we are using is totally reliable.”

Gonzalo says that he chose Blackmagic Design because it was the only manufacturer that offered the best product value in terms of quality, price and innovation. “The equipment allows you to create modern and versatile projects of many different kinds. It is straightforward to operate; it functions well and doesn’t give us any headaches. And, of course, the flyaway kit is ideal where space is limited, but where high performance output is demanded. In short, it was the combination of great quality at an affordable price that sold us on this equipment.”

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