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Cheltenham Literature Festival powered by Blackmagic Design

All venues equipped with three URSA Broadcast cameras and one Micro Studio Camera 4K

Blackmagic Design has revealed that a multicam live production workflow, built around Blackmagic URSA Broadcast, was used to deliver simultaneous events across the ten days of the annual Cheltenham Literature Festival in October.

Each of the three Festival venues were equipped with three Blackmagic URSA Broadcast cameras and one Micro Studio Camera 4K, all paired with B4 Fujinon HD lenses. Teranex Mini Quad SDI to 12G-SDI and Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad SDI converters were utilised as a multiplex system. Cameras fed back to these units in 1080p50.

Two of the venues were linked by tactical fibre from the quad split back to a central control area, which housed an ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K with ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel. Reverse feeds were sent back for comms, tally and sync. The third venue was one kilometre away from the central MCR, so for this the team vision mixed locally and recorded onsite. The mixed feed was then uplinked via transport stream back to the MCR for content output.

All cameras were ISO recorded via software recorders and backed up on HyperDeck Studio Minis. Each master mix had a ProRes 422 version and an H.264 web ready version recorded. The workflow then linked to the shoot’s edit crews, who were creating social media content, to allow them access over a 10GB network to any mixed performance for use in their productions. Finally a high res file was shared with production partner, Dreamteam TV. This was edited as highlights films for Sky Arts and Marquee TV.

Bubble Production enabled the internationally renowned festival to go ahead in a digital format for the first time in its 71 year history, having successfully delivered more than 300 events online for the Hay Festival earlier in the year.

“We’ve been growing fans of Blackmagic Design over the past ten years now, slowly replacing nearly all of our production gear,” said Graham Essenhigh, managing director at Bubble. “We were concerned there may be noise with the URSA Broadcasts in the dark auditoriums, however the pictures from these cameras were simply stunning. No other word for it. We now have ten of them on our kit list and can’t fault them.

“The biggest challenge I have always faced is that people don’t think outside of the box. A prime example is using the Teranex Quad to 12G units as a multiplex system. This may be an unusual application, but it delivers a solution to what we need, and isn’t that the end goal? It can’t be done though without the right kit [though], and we believe we have found that in the Blackmagic chains we have in place.”