President Obama’s Farewell Speech handled with Blackmagic Design Workflow
The President’s farewell speech took place on January 10th at Chicago’s McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. Atomic Imaging was tasked with providing IMAG, playback and social media content to the large LED wall and three large video projection screens in the main hall, and to monitors throughout the main hall and a large overflow ballroom, as well as sending feeds to the dozens of working technician’s monitors in the various areas and to the press pools.
Atomic Imaging is a full-service film/television production facility, and was hired by production company C3 for the event. Ari Golan, the founder and owner of Atomic Imaging, previously worked for several presidential administrations, as well as a host of feature film and television projects and other high profile live events
“This was a massive event, with media from all over the world, a large security presence and huge numbers of people filling the main hall and overflow room to hear Obama speak. Space was at a premium both inside and outside the halls, so a standard production truck setup was not an option. What it needed was an AV setup that would only create a small footprint but would also be able to handle all of the video needs. Our Blackmagic fly pack setups were perfect for this,” said Ari.
The workflow consisted of an ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K and ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel for switching the various feeds coming in from cameras around the hall. Also included were a Smart Videohub router, HyperDeck Studio Pro for SSD recording, Teranex Minis and Teranex 3D for converting various video feeds, SmartView Duo and SmartView HD monitors, SmartScope Duo 4K for broadcast quality testing, ATEM Camera Converters and Mini Converters HDMI to SDI 4K for sending signals to press monitors and President Obama’s backstage monitor. Mini Converter Optical Fiber 4K was also used to connect to the HD optical fiber feed to the various projectors, a distance of more than 700 feet.
As part of the IMAG feed, Atomic had to add both social media feeds and add effects into one large LED wall in particular, which required setting up its own separate feed and dedicating the switcher’s second M/E specifically to this process.
“We had a completely different task with one large screen and were asked to add fader transitions on the big LED wall. We had to do this while managing all of the other feeds and sources for the dozens of monitors in front of the stage and even into the president’s backstage monitor. Obviously there was no room for error,” continued Ari. “The ATEM let me easily set up a workflow where I used a second M/E on the switcher to handle this separate process.”
The speech was also shown around the hall with a changing set of Twitter feeds coming in from around the world added into the video feeds. In conjunction with the ATEM switchers, Ari used Atomic Imaging’s own Tweet-Mag© proprietary software, a hardware and software based system that allows attendees at any live event to text or Tweet messages to IMAG screens, monitors and/or projection systems live in real-time. To provide input and outputs into the Tweet-Mag system, Atomic Imaging used Blackmagic’s Ultrastudio 4K.
With so many different AV needs, it was imperative to do as much prep work as possible beforehand to define and automate the various switching actions. The ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K’s ability to create power macros gave Atomic Imaging the ability to predefine the complicated settings required so that the various tasks could be selected with the push of a single button.
“With the ATEM, I was able to set up macros beforehand that allowed me to be efficient. And Blackmagic products are built around providing high level broadcast and AV in as small a space as possible. I was able to do everything I needed, from switching, converting with Teranex, monitoring my feeds with SmartViews, sending video over optical fiber and testing the feeds with SmartScope, all within a complete Blackmagic Design workflow. There were no miscues at all during the event and it all worked flawlessly,” finished Ari.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia.