Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Inside the high-tech, high-pressure world of Outside Broadcasting

16/04/2018

-- --

Facebook

Twitter

Google

Pinterest

There are few sectors of the production industry as technically demanding, and few environments as highly pressured, as outside broadcasting (OB) and its related service, electronic news gathering (ENG).

As viewers, it's fair to say that - with the slickness of live sports events, music concerts, news segments and awards ceremonies - we are blissfully unaware of the frantically moving parts that allow the production to run smoothly. The art and the skill of outside broadcasting is to make us feel like we are there' - but to achieve this requires not only an arsenal of equipment, but a truly collective effort, characterised by the ability to remain calm and to problem-solve in even the most stressful situations.

-- --

As Anton Pretorius, founder of the Johannesburg-based company Obeco says, the basic components of OB broadcasting consist of a studio control room in a truck. Simple as that. We add components that you don't really see in a studio, like EVS systems, but essentially that is what an outside broadcaster provides.

However, when you begin to break down what that service entails, it is clear that the operation is far from simple. As Pretorius explains, You have many cameras, with cables that connect them to the van, you have a vision mixer in the van, and you have recorders that record what is being mixed. If it's a live event, you have a Satellite News Gathering (SNG) van parked next to it that sends the mixed signal to the station. Obviously, there are a few more devices to make the end product look more exciting, but that is the gist of it.

For Greg Nefdt, managing director of Alfacam SA - an independent company which established itself, largely, through the process of capturing the 2010 FIFA World Cup - what is essential about outside broadcasting is the multi-camera facility that it provides. In the context of news, and ENG broadcasting, someone might go out with one or two cameras and the uplink vehicle, and they shoot what they need and uplink to the broadcaster, Nefdt says. But for covering a sports game, for example, you're using somewhere between 12 and 24 cameras, and for some of the bigger event shows it could be more.

Nefdt gives an insight into the unique pressures of working within such a setup. All these cameras are filming at the same time, it's generally live, and what you're basically doing - in the OB van - is creating a show as it happens. You get one shot at it, and that's it. It's a kind of magic, really.

Of course, such a production feat would be hard enough without any unexpected surprises along the way. However, as Nefdt explains, with so many elements involved in a production, hiccups can happen - and how they are dealt with is, ultimately, what distinguishes one OB crew from another. Before you get onto a job, you've specced it, you've spoken to the client, you've done a technical brief and you've got a very good idea of what the show is going to look like and what it's going to take. But, when you arrive on the show, things change. It can be various circumstances or situations that come up, and you've got to be able to blend in and work with those changes in a live environment, which can be challenging. And when things don't go exactly according to plan - and because you're working with so many components, things can go wrong - it's vital to keep the temperature cool in the OB van and solve the problem quickly and calmly.

He goes on to explain that one of the key features of any successful OB production is effective collaboration between the various sets of crew members. You can have in excess of 50 crew members on a job. You have the cameramen and support crew in the venue, and then you have people inside the OB van: the director, the assistant director, EVS operators, vision controllers, vision mixer, graphics operators, auto cue operators, producers and engineering crew. Then you have crew on the audio side that are making sure everything sounds good, then the people who are managing the signal - and everyone on the crew needs to be in communication and know exactly what's going on at all times.

Pretorius underscores the point, saying, Any OB van is only as good as its communications system.

Luckily, the advancement of communications technologies such as fibre has had a tremendous effect on the OB production industry. As Thandekile Nyembezi and Eddie Seane of Vision View Productions explain, In the past, the distance of where the van could park could cause serious challenges, but since we run our vans through fibre now, this challenge isn't really a factor anymore.

Pretorius emphasises the importance of this innovation. To me, the greatest technological innovation in our industry over the last few years has to be the use of fibre. Two weeks ago we did a recording of an event in Cape Town that needed 13 cameras, video feeds all over, audio feeds and communications to everyone on the crew. The van was parked 250 metres from the stage and on the other side of a river. Every single feed had to be done using fibre - and without it, the job would have been impossible.

In addition to the multitude of micro problems that outside broadcasters encounter - as Pretorius puts it, Once you're parked and you have three-phase power, because the equipment is so sensitive, the fight starts to keep the dust out and the cold air in - hearing Nefdt describe the costs involved in equipping and maintaining a first-rate OB production truck gives a sense of the broader challenges facing the industry, and particularly independent players within it.

A good outside broadcasting van, like our OB-1, if we had to replace it with all the cameras, all the long lenses, the EVS recording equipment and the audio
LINK: http://www.screenafrica.com/2018/04/15/technology/film-tv-video-broadc...
See more stories from screenafrica

Africa Stories

18/07/2018

Panasonic SA launches new South African headquarters in Cape Town

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest On 12 July, Panasonic South Africa - a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation - launched its new South African hea...

18/07/2018

DPP releases groundbreaking report on how production really works

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Digital Production Partnership (DPP), the media industry's international business change network, recently ...

18/07/2018

Lawo and d&b lead Italy's Ravenna Festival into immersive realm

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Playing during June and July, the annual Ravenna Festival is currently taking place in the city of Ravenna in I...

18/07/2018

Blackmagic Design and Apple collaborate on new eGPU

ProEXR File Description =Attributes= channels (chlist) compression (compression): Zip dataWindow (box2i): [0, 0, 2399, 2999] displayWindow (box2i): [0, 0, 2399,...

18/07/2018

NFVF statement on The Number

18 July, 2018 - 08:02 The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture that was created to ensure the equita...

18/07/2018

Terry Pheto to star in international movie Faces

18 July, 2018 - 08:05 The International award-winning South African actress has been announced as the new lead actor in new international feature film Faces...

17/07/2018

Globecast partners with JungoTV to distribute English language content in Indonesia

Globecast partners with JungoTV to distribute English language content in Indone...

17/07/2018

NBCUniversal International Formats brings The Real Housewives to JHB

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Building on the global success of its hit franchise, The Real Housewives, NBCUniversal International Formats ha...

17/07/2018

Women shine at ZIFF 2018

The Wedding Ring by Rahmatou Keita won the Chairman's Bi Kidude Award at ZIFF 2018 -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The Zanzibar Internatio...

17/07/2018

BBC Studios and BBC Worldwide financial results for 2017/2018 revealed

? -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest BBC Studios delivers profit in its first year as a commercial subsidiary BBC Worldwide EBITDA up 42 per cen...

17/07/2018

VFX Legion Completes Effects for Superfly' Remake

17 July, 2018 - 08:01 VFX Legion created over 100 digital effects for Superfly,' Sony's highly anticipated remake of the iconic 70's Blaxploit...

17/07/2018

Sibongile Mlambo stars in hit mermaid horror 'Siren'

17 July, 2018 - 08:03 Zimbabwean-South African actress Sibongile Mlambo stars as a mermaid in Siren, the number one new drama with young adults in the Unite...

16/07/2018

NFVF statement on The Number

NFVF statement on The Number The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture that was created to ensure the eq...

16/07/2018

The 3rd BRICS Film Festival is set to kick off this July (22 - 27 July 2018) in Durban

The 3rd BRICS Film Festival is set to kick off this July (22 27 July 2018) in ...

16/07/2018

NFVF supports Nature, Environment, and Wildlife Filmmakers Congress

NFVF supports Nature, Environment, and Wildlife Filmmakers Congress The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department of Arts and Cu...

16/07/2018

The future of branding is personal

A public lecture at UCT Graduate School of Business with Dr Talaya Waller and Solly Moeng -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUS...

16/07/2018

The true story behind Kenyan medical thriller 18 Hours

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: In 2015 Alex Madaga, a labourer from Nairobi in Kenya, was a victim of a hit and run a...

16/07/2018

Cartoon Network launches the Africa Creative Lab

Ariane Suveg, head of Programming and Acquisition at Turner Kids Africa -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Animation has...

16/07/2018

Sierra Leone filmmakers join forces to document the devastating effect of...

A mother with her child who tested positive for Ebola -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: The 2014 Ebola outbreak, which ...

16/07/2018

South Africa gets its big podcasting moment

-- -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The ground-breaking content of Sanlam's future-facing podcast series, The 200 Year Old, paints a pict...

16/07/2018

DIFF celebrates Mandela centenary through film

Still from An Act Of Defiance -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest 2018 marks the 100th anniversary celebrations around the globe of President Nels...

16/07/2018

A day in the heels of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg

The Real Housewives of Johannesburg -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The first ever local version of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg is set...

16/07/2018

NFVF statement on The Number

A scene from the film, The Number -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department...

16/07/2018

NBCUniversal International Formats takes The Real Housewives to Johannesburg

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Building on the global success of its hit franchise, The Real Housewives, NBCUniversal International Formats ha...

16/07/2018

FCB Joburg's TVC For Toyota's New SUV A Total Rush'

16 July, 2018 - 06:02 FCB Joburg's television commercial launching Toyota South Africa's new compact SUV is a total rush', pun intended. Dubbed...

13/07/2018

SA fashion film nominated at the International Fashion Film Awards 2018

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Be My Woman, is a short film by South African director Makere Thekiso (Simple Love and Stripped Down), which ha...

13/07/2018

Digital Lab Africa is joining Tshimologong's Digital Content Hub

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Digital Lab Africa will integrate the Digital Content Hub launched on 9 July 2018, at the Tshimologong Digital ...

13/07/2018

FCB Africa Appoints Chief Technology Officer

13 July, 2018 - 08:01 In a move which underscores the importance of technology to successful companies worldwide, FCB Africa has named Andre Pillay, current...

13/07/2018

Call for the 91st Annual Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Category

13 July, 2018 - 08:03 The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, is extending a call to all South Afric...

12/07/2018

OTTv Kenya to highlight the future of TV and digital video...

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The OTTv Kenya 2018 summit is scheduled for 5 September 2018 at Golden Tulip, Westlands, in Nairobi. This first...

12/07/2018

Fighting intellectual property pirates with the cloud

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: The modern-day pirate has a new target - by stealing original digital content such as ...

12/07/2018

Rohde & Schwarz at IBC 2018

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest From strategies for ultra-reliable multi-user shared media storage to OTT's convergence with linear terrest...

12/07/2018

LiveU's IBC 2018 preview

LiveU covering the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The year 2018 has been a milestone ...

12/07/2018

Ericsson Media Solutions rebrands as MediaKind

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest A new global media technology leader - MediaKind has been launched. The new brand was unveiled on 10 July 201...

12/07/2018

Multichoice Talent Factory Set to Empower New Generation of Film Makers

12 July, 2018 - 08:02 The African movie industry will experience an exhilarating transformation when scores of filmmakers breakout of the Multichoice Talent...

11/07/2018

IBC 2018 Preview

IBC 2018 Preview Published on 11 Jul 2018 Share Paris, 11th July 2018 Stand: A.129 IBC 2018 show debut Globecast Digital Media Hub for sports and live e...

11/07/2018

OTTv Kenya 2018 summit aims to highlight the future of TV...

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The OTTv Kenya 2018 summit is scheduled for 5 September 2018 at Golden Tulip, Westlands, in Nairobi. This first...

11/07/2018

Sibongile Mlambo stars in hit mermaid horror Siren, now streaming first...

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Forget everything you learned in The Little Mermaid: the happy ending the mermaids in Siren are looking for has...

11/07/2018

Teraco is the Amazon Cloud on-ramp for sub-Saharan Africa

Andrew Owens, Teraco technical manager, Interconnection & Peering -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect is ...

11/07/2018

Digital and Audiovisual Content Hub launched in Johannesburg

Lesley Williams, Tshimologong CEO -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, founded by Wits University has lau...

11/07/2018

IBC announces shortlist for the IBC2018 Innovation Awards

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest IBC2018, the world's most influential media, entertainment and technology show, has announced its shortlist...

11/07/2018

Vin Diesel's Bloodshot Movie to Shoot in Cape Town

11 July, 2018 - 08:03 Vin Diesels latest anticipated film Bloodshot has finally received a filming start date. In pre-development since its announcement in ...

11/07/2018

Get more ZAR for your car and rhyme for your ride

11 July, 2018 - 08:10 If you haven't heard the lines More ZAR for your car, Dough for your Renault, Dinero for your Camaro or Bucks for your Trucks - th...

10/07/2018

South African animation at Annecy and MIFA

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, was part of a s...

10/07/2018

Inside the making of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class ad

Mercedes Benz commercial -- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: In 1990, Mercedes-Benz released an iconic commercial aimed a...

10/07/2018

MultiChoice to donate funds from ad sales for Mandela 100 Tribute...

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest DStv will broadcast a special five-day long pop-up channel to celebrate and honour the extraordinary life and l...

10/07/2018

Durban International Film Festival announces films in competition

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The 39th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which takes place from 19 to 29 July, has announced its fil...

10/07/2018

Ladima Foundation hosts Women Achieving Influence panel discussion at DISCOP Zanzibar

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Established as a mechanism to s...

10/07/2018

Leap forward for SA animation industry

10 July, 2018 - 08:02 The South African animation industry cemented its position as a key industry player when locally produced film Belly Flop was screened...

09/07/2018

Anant Singh announces Mandela centenary initiatives

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Following the briefing by minister Jeff Radebe on the centenary celebrations of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Si...