Everyday Astronaut Brings Rocket Science Down To Earth With Blackmagic Production Solutions

Everyday Astronaut
(Image credit: Everyday Astronaut)

The YouTube channel Everyday Astronaut is using a wide range of video production solutions from Blackmagic Design, including the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro and URSA Mini Pro 12K cameras, to educate 1.14 million subscribers about rocket science.

Everyday Astronaut has captured and live streamed more than 100 rocket launches, including SpaceX’s recent Inspiration4 mission, the first all civilian crew to orbit Earth.

The channel relies on the Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro live production switcher for remote productions and an ATEM Constellation 8K live production switcher in the studio, Blackmagic said.

With gear that can scale, Everyday Astronaut can cover everything from live rocket launches to exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and interviews with leaders in space exploration, it said.

“Since I was traveling to Kennedy Space Center for the Inspiration4 launch, we kept it light and easy, setting up a small studio with an ATEM Mini Pro and URSA Mini Pro 12K and URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 cameras,” said channel founder Tim Dodd. “The cameras captured beautiful slow-motion shots, especially shooting 8K at 120fps with the URSA Mini Pro 12K.”

“High frame rates are essential for shooting rockets, and the ability to punch in and reframe shots is also key. For example, some of our past shoots have been very foggy, so we shot at 8K at 600mm and tracked the rocket. By cropping to 4K where we wanted the focal length to be, we had tons of room to stabilize the shot in post to be rock solid, and we were still shooting at 120fps, which was insane.”

Besides his professional and portable workflow for his travels, Dodd has a studio in Texas at the SpaceX launch site to cover its launches. The studio is equipped with an ATEM Constellation 8K production switcher, 2 M/E Advanced Panel, ATEM Streaming Bridge video converter, Micro Studio Camera 4Ks, DeckLink 8K Pro and UltraStudio 4K Mini for capture and playback and numerous converters The switcher’s SuperSource standards converters for all inputs and 4 M/Es are especially helpful, he said.

“We don't have to think about formats, which is amazing. We just plug things in, and it works,” he said. “The ATEM Constellation 8K is effectively producing two shows at once, as we have a live clean feed of just the cameras, as well as a separate feed using one M/E and SuperSource. We prebuild boxes in the other M/Es and can bring that to air super quickly. When investing in a switcher, I told my producer Andrew Taylor that I didn't want to be told that something wasn't possible, and the ATEM Constellation 8K is as close to that as you can get.”

More information is available on the company’s website

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.