Blackmagic Covers Empire of the Sun in 360

LAS VEGAS—FlightLine Films provides aerospace, live television and motion picture producers with the highest quality in broadcast and cinematography services. Since 1984, we’ve been dedicated to providing the industry with innovative solutions for challenging productions on the ground, air and in space.

We were hired in April by the Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun to work on their 4K, 360-degree show in partnership with Immersed Live, a production company that specializes in 4K/360 live production. To support the dual 4K and 360-degree production, we used our 53- foot OB Ultra HD truck, which is designed for 12G routing and signal management. The truck is equipped with two Blackmagic Design Smart Videohub 40x40s, an Ultra HD mixed format router with built-in video monitoring and spin knob router control. The Smart Videohub 40x40s allowed us to move the 4K/60 and 4K/30 signals as well as the HD projection images throughout the truck on a single link.

FlightLine Films’ OB truck is stocked with a pair of Smart Videohub consoles from Blackmagic Design.

Equipped for dual productions, Flightline’s OB Ultra HD truck can support a standard 4K flat shoot as well as more complex 360-degree streams through secondary switchers. For the Empire of the Sun project, we shot three 360-degree angles simultaneously, then integrated them for what we call “Hybrid VR,” which includes adding 2D flat images. The Smart Videohub 40x40s were instrumental here as they handled different frame rates and resolutions, streamlining our workflow at the concert.

The Smart Videohub 40x40s also created efficiencies by allowing us to see the footage we were routing through their front screens. This feature in particular helped us confirm that we were capturing exactly what we were seeing. As a result, we were able to place graphics and content on top of the videos right where we wanted them. For example, we added Empire of the Sun’s latest album cover to the stream while people watched on Facebook Live.

Other useful Smart Videohub 40x40 features were the remote router control and alpha-numeric tagging. We had 16 Videohub Master Controls networked to the routers, which allowed various crew members to route signals to recorders, instant replay units and monitors. The technical director also had two Videohub Master Controls. From the TD position, we could route any signal to any device while seeing the alpha-numeric tagging of sources and destinations. This saved us from walking from one end of the truck to the other to make changes if the engineer in charge was busy with something else. We used iPads to connect to the routers, giving us a visual matrix to work with from anywhere in the truck.

A few weeks after the concert, we showcased the Flightline OB Ultra HD truck and invited people to come in and see how we produce our shows, which has led to new collaborations with innovative live event producers and music festivals.

Selecting Blackmagic Design for our OB truck was a great decision. There’s so much expensive equipment and when you’re working on a project like this, affordable pricing and high quality are what matter the most. Thanks to Blackmagic Design, we got both. Our equipment is rock solid and has performed flawlessly ever since we installed it.

Jay Nemeth is the CEO of FlightLine Films. He has worked as an aerial cinematographer since 1984, producing images for feature films, commercials and documentaries. He can be contacted

For more information, please visitwww.blackmagicdesign.comor call 408-954-0500.