Blackmagic Design’s Cinema Camera NASHVILLE—WSMV-TV was just about to enter the May sweeps when our Blackmagic Cinema Camera arrived. I was looking forward to getting to know the ins and outs of our new device as we started shooting our sweeps promotional pieces, taking it to the studio to capture reporter and anchor stand-ups. I shot in DNxHD as we’re an Avid house and this made it possible to do a very quick turnaround, with the footage easy to accessible by anyone in the department.
BIG BOOST IN IMAGE QUALITY
Later in May, I started shooting all of our news story promotion B-roll material in 2.5K and have to say that I fell in love with the camera’s dynamic range and the resolution. I found that processing the footage through Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve also gave us an edge over our competition with the color and a polish it added to our spots.
The big test for Blackmagic Cinema Camera came during a sports spot shoot. At the end of May, Tennessee high school football teams play one final scrimmage before the summer season kicks in. My team and I had 30 minutes after a scrimmage to work with the two football teams to create a single-shot Steadicam spot. This much production value meant that we had to shoot in 2.5K. Good fortune came our way in the form of two full football teams, referees and some amazing lighting effects from the setting sun. This is where the Blackmagic Cinema Camera really shone. The sun dipped behind clouds and revealed itself on every single take, and the dynamic range of the sensor ensured that we had a very good image to finesse in post. The camera’s ease of use allowed us to lock down the shot quickly and efficiently. I don’t think things would have gone nearly as smoothly using our DSLR, and the shifting daylight would likely have forced us to shoot things quite differently.
This camera has certainly made my life as a producer easier. We no longer have to sync audio for every single stand-up, which saves me at least a couple of hours in the edit bay after every shoot.
In another project we needed some new footage of Nashville for our news opens. I found that shooting with the Blackmagic camera provided me with a lot of white balance and color selection capability in post, allowing me to match shots from different days for precise color and tone. This capability was especially valuable in matching late afternoon and sunset shots.
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera has a fast learning curve and is really invaluable in the fast-paced world of broadcast news promotions or as a full-fledge production capture device. Now, the choosing between ProRes, DNxHD and 2.5K Raw comes down to the content of the spot and not the limitations of the camera. With everyone else usingENG-style cameras or DSLRs for promotions, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera really allows us to stand out in front of the crowd.
Brian Hallett is the WSMV-TV creative services senior producer and writer, and is a two-time Regional Emmy award winning photographer. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408-954-0500 or visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.