Mumford & Sons Tours South Africa With ATEM Multicam Workflow
For the band’s first ever tour of South Africa, promoter Hilltop Live approached local specialists Militia Broadcast, with nearly 150 live shows under their belt, about supplying the IMAG projection, PPU, camera packages and crew during the band’s Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria gigs.
Armed with the tour’s technical rider, Eban Olivier and the Militia Broadcast team specced out the tour’s production requirements. “We spoke with Steve Price, the live show director, via Skype and ran through our workflow using a wall to wall Blackmagic solution, which reassured him that it would deliver on all his expectations, including tally, program return for monitoring in camera and remote shading to address any shifts in color when using pyrotechnics,” explains Olivier.
Coverage of the shows consisted of five ground positions, including two Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K with 400mm and 600mm long lenses, two 24-105mm pit cameras on dollies as well as an interchangeable, shoulder mounted stage camera for capturing any down the line shots and pick ups. A Micro Studio 4K was also used to capture a reverse shot of the piano, alongside two Pocket Cinema Cameras on the drum kits.
Militia Broadcast ran optical fiber feeds back into the eight channel ATEM Talkback Converter 4K and then split each ISO signal to its own HyperDeck Studio Pro for recording while also routing them to the ATEM switcher, where Price produced the live feed for the two big screens, flanking either side of the stage. A pair of 17 inch SmartView 4Ks were used for monitoring, whilst shading ran through the ATEM’s Software Control on a laptop. S1 Sennheiser Aviator Headsets were used for program audio and show calling.
“The all in one modular approach of Blackmagic’s studio cameras means they are pure utopia for a traveling tour such as this. You simply drop down one fiber cable per channel and that gives you camera control, tally and talkback as well as shading,” explains Olivier. “The cameras themselves are robust, take up a fraction of the storage space and can effectively become any shot you want, at any given time.”
Militia Broadcast was confident from the outset that a Blackmagic multicam workflow would meet the rigors and demands of a six date tour in South Africa. “Eban’s confidence and enthusiasm helped to allay any initial concerns I had coming into this leg of the tour,” explains Price. “He went out of his way to ensure that I had everything I needed to do my job well, and unimpeded.”
“Having never worked with Blackmagic’s ATEM switchers before, I found it simple and intuitive to operate, while the camera crew supplied by Eban were all first rate,” concludes Price. “Regardless of the camera system you use, it will only ever be as good as the crew you have operating them, and these guys were good.”