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URSA Broadcast G2 Cameras Capture Billboard Women in Music Awards in 4K

Blackmagic Design
(Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

FREMONT, Calif.—Blackmagic Design has announced that the 2022 Billboard Women in Music Awards was captured with Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 cameras. 

California and Nevada based production company Hollywood Motion Picture Experience (HMPE) supplied a 4K and 12G workflow for the live broadcast which was supported by the cameras and additional Blackmagic Design gear. 

For the 2022 event, executive producers Tim Owens, owner of Liquid Arts Media, and Jenifer Hersch, vice president productions at Redrock Entertainment, brought HMPE onboard for its expertise in delivering the 4K and 12G workflow.

“The unique thing about our production truck is that it’s built around Ultra HD and cinema glass, as well as a Blackmagic Design 12G workflow,” said HMPE CEO Todd Fisher. “The event was quite a production because it was broadcast in Ultra HD 59.94 full 12G, which might have been the first of its kind for a live award show.”

Supplying six URSA Broadcast G2s along with two Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 digital film cameras, HMPE outfitted the cameras inside the theater with Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converters. 

The feeds were sent back via fiber to the truck, which also housed Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converters, an ATEM Constellation 8K live production switcher, ATEM 4 M/E Advanced Panel, ATEM Camera Control Panels and Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 router for camera switching and CCU control. All camera feeds were ISO recorded via several HyperDeck Studio 4K Pro broadcast decks.

“Our truck became the camera truck with the fiber workflow and CCU capability. We even had a DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel next to the CCUs, so we were color grading as well,” noted Fisher. “The look the cameras provided and the glass used were very important to Tim, and we were able to deliver on both fronts thanks to the Blackmagic Design cameras.”

“As a former filmmaker, I know image is critical,” he added. “A lot of cameras have good sensors, but the real question is, ‘What does the end product look like and how much control do I have over it?’ In that regard, the cameras’ integrated DaVinci Resolve technology is a huge selling point. Being able to build LUTs, set them in camera and finesse color grading from there is a huge tool for us.”

Fisher also cited the URSA Broadcast G2’s interchangeable lens mount as essential to the workflow. “We were using high end, PL-mounted cinema lenses with some of the cameras. Since we were in a remote truck, Redrock Micro devised a motor, controller and cable solution which allowed for iris control of the lenses for all the locked off cameras using the PL glass,” he explained. “It’s a great solution that gives new life to the sought after non motorized lenses out there.”

“We also have a lot of high end HD and Ultra HD B4 lenses, but many cameras will automatically center crop the image or there will be vignetting with the HD lenses,” Fisher continued. “But that’s not a factor anymore with the URSA Broadcast G2 and its 4K B4 mount. Instead of worrying if the lens will hold up and if I have to crop to make it look good, the URSA Broadcast G2 and the lenses work great with no detectable loss.”

“It’s a seamless way to utilize any high end B4 lens, and there is amazing value there in my opinion as an end user of these lenses,” concluded Fisher. “We shoot cinema, remote truck and studio applications, and in all of these environments, the Blackmagic Design cameras have proven themselves time and time again.”

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.