For many years the only way to produce a two camera vision mixed shoot was to humph a load of gear into a hall 2-3 hours before the event and start rigging, the alternative is 2 cameras, tripods, monitors and two operators and post produce the shoot via multicam…that is till now…
I am experimenting with the Panasonic GH4’s capabilities while producing material for my user review, in this case utilising 4K. I have always had the idea that 4K material would be great for interviews but never crossed my mind that it would be any use for a live production like a children’s dance show.
Last evening I turned up to my friend Alister’s dance show recording, as usual he had a full rig, 2 SDI camcorders, talkback, vision mixer, multi screen, XDCAM EX-30 recorder…the lot.
I turn up with a GH4, 12-35mm f2.8 Lumix G lens and a tripod.
See what you think…I am rather amazed at the results especially the post produced pan shots.
Here is the trick, firstly don’t shoot at maximum aperture I was between f3.5-4 and the critical part of this shoot was focus, you can’t afford to be anything other than spot on, I would suggest using an external monitor to make sure you have focus, don’t shoot using anything other than manual focus, 4K is very unforgiving especially in crop mode.
I used a Lumix mic (DMW-MS2) for the experiment but would highly recommend the Tascam DR60 (£200) as you have the option to use 2 phantom powered XLR microphones and record to SD card as a safety backup.
Finally the show lasted 2 hours so two 64G cards would give you 2h 40m, the saving in labour both in humphing a lot of gear up one flight of stairs and the wages for a second cameraperson would be enough to persuade me this is the way forward for children’s theatre shows, plus filming it this way takes out any fear of missing something off camera.
What about the workflow…The 4K file needs rendering on my 1080 25p timeline but I am still using a full spec iMac, having a MacPro would certainly speed the process up considerably. The one minute edit…time wise, compared to having two streams of 1080p footage on top of each other and cutting away the unwanted footage.
I dont film domestic jobs like dance shows so I can’t take this experiment any further but if you want to save a lot of effort producing a 2 camera event this must be a serious option.