Coldplay in the Stade de France

Early in September, British band Coldplay gave a huge concert in the Stade de France, an 80,000 capacity stadium just outside of Paris. United were given the task of making a flawless recording of the show.

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This time, the job involved linking up a variety of different cameras which ran on different frame rates – some of them cameras which are primarily used in the world of film.

The different cameras had a frame rate of 25 P, 25 PsF (Progressive segmented Frame) or 50 P at 1080 lines. Thus 8x Sony 1500’s (25 PsF), 2x Sony 2500’s (50 P), 3x Arri Alexa Broadcasts, an intern 50P on SxS cards, a LogC at 25 PsF (a prototype camera which was presented at IBC 2012), 1 Alexa wireless on a steadycam (50 P), 1 Spidercam (25 PsF), 4x C300’s (which run on 50 and 25 PsF), 1 Grass Valley (25 PsF) on RF, a Spidercam and, naturally, various dollys and other grips were used. The Alexa’s film lenses were pre-integrated with zoom controls.

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The 25 PsF cameras could be used in the usual manner in the truck – the OB14 – where 3 EVS and 6 X-files were used. For the 50 PsF ones, United developed its own procedure. For the editorial workflow, these cameras also recorded in 25 PsF. The ambient audio was recorded using 28 microphones. Stade de France is a huge stadium which created a great challenge for the audio team and was big enough to allow for a good mix of microphones.

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For this technical masterpiece, the UNITED crew consisted of 30 people: the entire team totalled around 65. This team took charge of the show build in this massive stadium in just one and a half day.  In order for the variety of different disciplines to be able to communicate properly in this recording, nine different wireless intercom circuits were used.

Excellent collaboration ensured a seamless show. The team did not have much time to casually take it all down afterwards: 8 hours later, OB14 had to present the political party leaders’ debate at the Carré in Amsterdam.

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