Just to prove it’s not all dance shoes, web design and abseiling at Video Artisan, I’ve been in Cardiff this week working for Dilip Patel at Double-Barrelled (one of my dear IOV contacts) as a freelance shooter editor at a medical conference in Cardiff.
The brief was quite straightforward – although challenging. Dilip had to provide two-camera coverage of the main presentations taking place in the ballroom suite at the Cardiff Hilton – plus he also had to shoot some separate talking-head interviews with key presenters and attendees in a break-out room. This was all for Lundbeck, a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company and was in relation to the treatment and effects of Alzheimer’s disease. I must admit the most of the content went over my head but it wasn’t aimed at me but rather those involved in the diagnosis, treatment and care of those suffering from this terrible disease.
I must admit it was really nice working with professionals. Dilip is a belt and braces kind of guy and had organised a rig in the main presentation area consisting of two Canon XF105s which were feeding two separate Samurai recorders via HD-SDI cable and recording in Pro-Res (all nice bits of kit by the way). The cameras were also recording to internal Compact Flash cards in their native MXF file format (35MB – 1920×1080 res). Audio was being recorded straight to the cameras via a front-of-house mix from the AV desk plus I’d also wired up our main presenters with a separate radio mic (in addition to on-board mics for room ambient).
My job was to keep an eye on the two cameras whilst Dilip was recording the talking head stuff on his Canon 5D DSLR. He’d obviously done his homework as all worked faultlessly on the day. I also had to edit two of the presentation sessions on the day so had brought along my entire Edius edit suite which could work with the MXF files straight out of the camera. With one session lasting around 40-mins and the second around 20 it was no mean achievement cutting the two camera coverage, plus around 60 PowerPoint slides, into a sleek master and then outputting it to Windows Media at the end of the day (the format requested by the AV company).
The reason this had to be done, and completed the same day, was that this particular presenter couldn’t make it to another event they were holding in Leeds a couple of days later. The reason for the Samurai recorders (besides providing a little security and backup) was that Dilip also has to edit together all the other presentations later so that the attendees can watch them back at their leisure after the event – and his Apple system much prefers the ProRes codec.
The team at Lundbeck were also a dream to work for as they were well organised and knew exactly what they wanted at the end. Even though we all had an early start (on set for 6am) they were very understanding when they were still with us in the hotel at about 8pm that evening when the final presentation was finished being edited and encoded – after which we all faced a similar drive back home!
Anyway – a challenging day which was fun and rewarding.