Turns out that Free Dimensional Video, or “freeD”, is technology developed by Replay Technologies Inc. http://replay-technologies.com that uses multiple cameras to capture ultra high definition footage of sporting events… And then, through a type of computer magic they call “3D Pixel Recreation”, turn it into this: https://vimeo.com/124957068 Just watch the video. I’m not going to attempt to explain it here.
So what does all this have to do with Fresh Coast? Apparently even though Replay Technologies’ systems are used at major sporting events throughout the world, Major League Baseball was not totally convinced the resulting computer generated imagery was accurate enough for the official replays viewed by umpires and coaches. They wanted to test it for themselves and reached out to Fresh Coast for help.
Three high speed Phantom Flex 4K camera packages http://www.visionresearch.com/Products/High-Speed-Cameras/Phantom-Flex4K were rented from AbelCine in L.A. and Fresh Coast’s Chicago office provided three Phantom-certified camera assistants, three PA’s, and a key grip.
The testing took place over four days at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field. Actual and simulated game action was recorded in 4K slow motion with the Phantom Flex cameras. MLB Advanced media would then compare the Phantom footage with Replay Technologies’ “3D Pixel Recreations” to confirm its accuracy.
No idea what MLB learned from the experiment, but thanks to the efforts of our crew, Tim Moder, Mike Pavisan, Shaun Fleeger, Andy Cook, Nick Turner, Ricky Rudolph, Thomas Andrejek, and Eyliece Richardson, MLB Advanced Media left Chicago with a whole lot of terabytes of high speed, 4K footage to study and analyze.
From Ireland to London to Aurora IL
Headquartered in Ireland, Glanbia Nutritionals manufactures nutritional ingredients for the food, beverage, supplement, and animal nutrition industries worldwide. http://www.glanbianutritionals.com/
When Glanbia needed video coverage of their U.S. Investors Meeting to be held in Aurora, IL, they reached out to London-based production company World Television. http://www.world-television.com/uk/
World Television called Fresh Coast.
Our task was to film the meeting multi-cam and then rough-cut the footage on-site for review by Glanbia’s head office representative at the meeting. The original Sony XDCAM ISO camera footage along with an Apple ProRes switched master would be overnighted to London. The low-res rough cuts would be uploaded to World Television as reference for their final edit. After our site survey, we learned that we would also need to provide all the stage lighting and audio support for both the video and audience PA.
Steve Pantaleo of SP Video provided the audio & lighting gear, and along with Fresh Coast Producer Ralph Pabst and Technical Director Jake Demoske, made the trip from Milwaukee to Aurora. They were joined by Camera Ops Todd Tue and Jeff Hadick from Fresh Coast’s Chicago office. http://www.film-video-production-crews-chicago-illinois.com
It was a long day (and a very cold load-in) but the Fresh Coast crew pulled it off without a hitch.
Immediately prior to the Janesville shoot, MBM’s producer/director team Steven and Lisa Sulkin, along with DP Chip Nusbaum had been filming in Italy and the UK. Since they would arrive in Janesville only one day before filming began, Fresh Coast’s field producer handled all the on-location pre-pro coordination and location scouting.
With the shoot only a few days out, we learned that DP Nusbaum had some very specific gear requests. Bob Donnelley at North American Camera came through for us and was able to assemble an extensive camera package that included two Canon C-300’s, both Canon and Angenieux cinema zoom lenses, and a long list of camera support gear.
Jed Henry at Recon Productions in Madison was able to locate a steadicam rig with the requested wireless audio and video feeds and had it shipped in from Kentucky. Jed also worked the shoot as 2nd camera and steadicam operator.
Blue Moon Lights provided a very robust lighting & grip package that included a full complement of HMI, KinoFlo, and LED fixtures.
But even the best gear means little without the right people behind it, so a big shout out to our 10-person crew whose talents and resourcefulness made this shoot a success.
Audio Recordist Tom Beach, Gaffer Chris Marks, Grip Kenny Somerville, Grip/AC Tim Moder, 2nd Camera Jed Henry, PA/Utility Grip Jake Demoske, Makeup Artist Susin Greenberg, PA Ben Ramsdele, Data Manager Jeff Taylor, and Field Producer Ralph Pabst.
Our thanks to all the Fresh Coast crew and equipment suppliers whose talents and resourcefulness made this shoot a success.
But then we learned that Professor Kang’s support visuals were not PowerPoint, Keynote, or anything else we had ever heard of. He was using a touch screen, interactive program called “Mind Manager” which allowed Kang to move through the visuals and link to a variety of different media more or less at will. There was no way we could re-create this presentation in post.
We needed to find a way to capture the Mind Manager visuals live in high definition during the presentation. After assessing Katten’s in-house AV system, we realized we would need to tap into their 5 BNC / VGA system. This would require scaling the image to 1920X1080 using our TV One Universal Scaler (http://www.tvone.com/video-scalers), convert the signal to HDSDI with a Black Magic Design Terranex 2D Broadcast Converter (https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/teranex), and then send it to an AJA KiPro hard disk video recorder (https://www.aja.com/en/products/ki-pro).
We ended up hauling in a little more gear than the IT people at Katten had probably expected, but everything worked and the finished video looked great.
Fresh Coast has shot a lot of assignments for Discovery Channel programs over the years, but for whatever reason, recently the assignments have been coming from producers in the UK. In March we shot an interview in Milwaukee for RAW TV. Ltd of London (http://www.raw.co.uk), and in April we provided production support for another Discover Channel program being produced by BriteSpark Films (http://www.britesparkfilms.com), also based in London.
We can’t discuss the details of either of these jobs because both program are still in development. But I can tell you a little about the BriteSpark job. BriteSpark would be sending their own camera crew from London and needed our help in facilitating what was to be a 7-day shoot at multiple locations in Wisconsin. What they required, to use their term, was a “Fixer”- typically a “local” in a third world country that facilitates the movements of a foreign film crew. I suppose to a London producer, Wisconsin may very well qualify as a third world country.
The first person that came to mind to fill this role of “fixer” was Edward Johns. Technically Ed works for us as a PA, but he’s a lot more than that. He did an amazing job making sure the London crew got the footage they needed, and even delivered them to O’Hare for their flight home. Thanks Ed for the great job.
Another successful project from “across the pond”.
In June, Fresh Coast had the opportunity to help PraeMedica Digital (http://praemedica.com/index.html), a medical marketing company based in Northern Ireland, negotiate the baffling rules of unionized Chicago hotels. Our task was to film physician interviews in a small meeting room at the Chicago Hyatt. Each was to be an on-camera interviewer and two interview subjects – all shot with 3-cameras against green screen.
Early in the conversation, PraeMedica inquired why the hotel was charging them $138.00 per circuit for electrical power. “Is there something special about the electricity in the US? About all we could say was “Welcome to Chicago”. We didn’t even want to bring up the potential of having to pay Teamsters to load-in and load-out our gear. The shoot was on a Saturday so at overtime rates, we could have been looking at as much as $1500.
The only answer was to “keep it simple”. We bought 30ft of Chroma -Green fabric to hang from seamless background stands. We used small cameras (Sony EX-1’s) and low-power KinoFlo Divas and LED fixtures. Still it was a lot of stuff (they also requested a teleprompter.)
We managed to fit all the gear and our 4-person crew into two SUV’s, pulled up to the hotel’s main entrance and generously rewarded two bellmen to haul all the stuff to the room. At the end of the day we generously rewarded two more bellman to get us out of there. Estimated savings to our client - $1400.
Fresh Coast Production Resources pulls off last minute filming of Sing-Off Live Milwaukee concert.
Every now we get the question: “Just what does Fresh Coast Production Resources do?” Well, we do a lot of different things, but foremost is we find ways to “make it happen” for our clients. Here’s an interesting example from last week.
11:00 pm: First email arrives.
“Subject: Sing-Off Live!
Hello, I am in charge of Video for the Sing-Off Live tour. We have 2 shows at the Pabst Theater on 3/20 (yes in 3 days) and I am looking for a crew to shoot the live show multicam (4-6 cameras) with the possibility of 1 jib and 2 steady cams. Please let me know ASAP if you have these capabilities.”
A quick Google search revealed that the Pabst Theater performance was part of a 32-city tour featuring groups from the popular NBC a cappella singing competition TV show “Sing-Off”, produced by Sony Pictures Television.
The touring groups included the 2013 season winner “Home Free” http://www.homefreevocalband.com/ along with “VoicePlay”, http://thevoiceplay.com/ and The Filharmonic. http://www.thefilharmonic.com/
11:41 pm. Fresh Coast’s reply email:
“We just might be able to pull this off but I will need to speak with you no later than tomorrow morning to discuss the details. Call my cell. 414-405-5850”.
9:00 am - Phone call from the client:
The client initially wanted to shoot all Canon dslrs. Providing 6 dslr camera packages wouldn’t be a problem for us, but we suggested it would be a good idea to have a couple traditional HD video cameras in the mix. After clarifying the client’s expectations, we explained that getting a “real jib” into the Pabst Theater was probably not an option at this late date. We said we would try to convince the theater to let us bring in a smaller 10ft. Intel-A-Jib that would at least give them some dynamic camera moves. We also explained that finding two steadicam rigs and operators on this short notice was iffy.
10:00 am. We put the word out:
Phone calls, texts and emails went out to Fresh Coast’s Milwaukee crew resources with the hope we could somehow line up the needed people and gear on such short notice. The shoot was now only 48 hrs. out!
4:00 pm – We got lucky
OK. So we could only confirm one steadicam & operator (Carl Whitney). But all the crew positions were locked in by late afternoon. Jeff Thomas and Rich Clifford would be shooting Sony XDCAM from the house – hopefully one of them with the jib. Tom Caldardt, along with Carl and his steadicam would be on the stage with their 5D’s. Tim Moder was managing data backstage and shooting pick-up shots with his 5D. Fresh Coast producer Ralph Pabst also did double duty – roaming the house shooting performance and audience B-roll.
9:00 am – Phone call from the client:
Question: Could we get them 4 Crown PCC mics?
Studio Gear came through.
1:00 pm – Site Survey
We met with the theater’s technical director and house manager to finalize camera positions. Turns out both performances were sold out. No place for camera platforms and any hope for even a small jib went out the window. We broke the news to the client.
Thurs. 3/20/14 – Shoot Day
We arrived at the theater; delivered the Crown mics; and finalized camera positions and scheduling with the client. Crew call was noon.
1:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Rehearsals, lighting & sound checks began at 1:30 with the first show at 4:00 pm. Over the next 8 1/2 hours, we filmed two performances, shot some special footage for a music video, and did fan interviews before and after each performance.
11:00 pm – We were done – sort of.
As the Sing-Off Live folks began their strike and load-out, Tim Moder was still off-loading cards and organizing the 350 plus gigs data. Everything was backed up over-night and FedEx’d to the client the next day.
The whole project was a little crazy and last minute. But thanks to our great crew, we made it happen – and “making it happen” is what Fresh Coast is all about.
But as we packed up and patted ourselves on the back for a job well done, the Sing-Off Live performers and crew were getting on their tour busses and hitting the road to Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle, Salem, OR , San Francisco, Riverside and Los Angeles. 8 performances. 8 cities. 8 consecutive days. Ahh ....the world of show biz!!