Another great video production complete!

Over the past few months the IABM had been gearing up for their 10th annual international business conference last week, which included plenty of videography before the conference for videos to play during the presentations and around the venue.

axon peter wayne iabm award 2014 winner

To give you an idea of the content produced beforehand, some of the edits and cut downs from the 'IABM Panel Discussion', videos from IBC, as well as some short videos I produced a couple of weeks ago on the IABM's plans for 2015 and the future!

iabm adam plowden videography portable studio setup

I also created a selection of motion graphics for video titles and award titles in After Effects, following a similar theme that I used for the IBC videos, but adding something funky and new.

Whizzing back to November 28th, I went to the Beaumont Estate in Windsor to film a number of piece-to-cameras of the IABM team's plans for 2015. I used the 3 Manfrotto 1x1 Spectra LED bi-colour for a 3 point lighting setup, but here I did find a limitation in that having three soft light sources are great, but it means that one of the light acts as a key being brighter than the others. Dimming the other two lights down could make the subject too dark, hence moving the light closer.. In hindsight I think a hard light source (Manfrotto do have a 1x1 LED hard light but it isn't bi-colour) would have worked better in that situation. After that, I donned the black tie attire and attended the Royal Television Society Dinner & Dance!

Skip forward to December 4th..

As well as producing the video event coverage, we also captured a number of interviews of the keynote speakers and panelists in the portable studio that was located in a tiny office space (which also housed all our equipment as well as my tower workstation). The portable studio is a great combination of Manfrotto LED lighting, pro stands, tripod and super clamp, with the Lastolite Panoramic Background; a 4m fabric screen clipped onto a lightweight frame. The background being in sections and flexible made it perfect for the tiny office we had the use of. The two smaller frames can be angled to create an infinity cove-esque background.

Using two of the 1x1 Spectra bi-colour LED lights, we set the colour balance correctly using the dial on the back of the lights, and then left them on for the whole day. They didn't get hot, the light didn't fade, and continuous light is perfect in contrast to traditional 3 point lighting red-head setups..

Glen accompanied me over the conference to help with the filming and editing/backups, so both of us needed to be relatively mobile throughout. So, I decided to kit ourselves up with Manfrotto 536 carbon fibre 3-section tripod and 504HD head for me, and the 755 CX-3 tripod and MVH500AH head for Glen. As always, I had the Pro Media Gear Dual-Arc Slider with me too. Glen captured the view of the audience and a great variety of alternate angles of the speakers on stage using the Canon 5D mkII, Sigma 28-70 and Canon 100mm L macro.

As usual, I was on the Canon 5D mkIII with the Tamron 24-70, Sigma 70-200 and Samyang cine lenses which in low light coped well, especially during the awards reception. I think one thing I've learned from this experience is not to be afraid of pushing the camera and lens in terms of low light. It's surprisingly impressive. 

An awesome thing about covering events like this is that you bump in to so many people you've met before, and make many new friends too. It was great to chat to Paul from Chyron Hego and Dominic from IBM (both panelists in the discussion videos).

For the awards ceremony, I prepared some graphics to be used before and after the nominee videos following the same house style as the rest of the conference, as well as a couple of nominee videos. One being the 'Honorary Member' award which went to John Ross, a very inspirational inventor and broadcaster. It was great making a short reel of John's friends and of David, his son's thoughts on his life in the industry. The reaction in the room was electric when John accepted the award, a standing ovation and cheers roared throughout.

It was a rather late night celebrating, as I also won an award; the 'Young Person of the Year'! Steve's wonderful comments prompted an unrehearsed speech, I'm so grateful for the help of Manfrotto and the IABM for their help in getting me where I am today!

Day two of the conference begun at 9am, Glen had transferred all of the footage from the award the night before so we had fresh cards and batteries for the next days filming. Following the same setup as before, we captured the last two parts of the conference as well as more GV and interviews of the panelists in the portable studio.

Audio-wise, I used the Zoom H6 with the XY connector in the L+R channels, and also a clean mix out of the AV mixing desk (as the speakers were using wireless microphones). As a reference audio channel, I attached the Roto-mic to the 5DmkIII. This won't be used in the mix, but will be a source of reference for Pluraleyes during syncing.

In the portable studio, I setup the Zoom H1 with the Rode Lapel microphone for the main audio source, with the Rode Video Mic on the 600D for reference audio. We were stretched for cameras and lenses, so the portable studio had a permanent camera-audio setup so interviews could be captured at any time. I borrowed a couple of cameras from my very trusting friends for a simple setup.

Once the conference closed, we grabbed some lunch and continued to transfer the rest of the footage to the workstation. Over night, Glen copied over the footage from part one and two of the conference for him to edit when we returned home, and then sent over the edited multi-cam Premiere project file which I easily linked up my end, added the graphics and edited the audio, then exported and uploaded only a day after the event.

It took us about an hour to de-rig the studio and depart from the Radisson hotel, one of the great things about the porta-studio is it's rigging time; because all the pieces are connected via elastic it quickly goes up into it's frame and down into the bag. Also, using LED lights mean that we didn't have to wait for them to cool before packing them away! The light stands I'm using have a cool feature that clips them together, meaning for transporting them and carrying them you don't end up with one in each hand and one under your arm.. They are all locked together. It's one of those little life savers that you don't think about until you reaalllyyyy need it!

Now back at home, before beginning to edit I backed up all of the projects and footage onto other drives - very important as a 'just in case' solution. I now swap in and out internal 3Tb hard drives and an SSD with an Inateck dock for backups as well as working drives as USB 3.0 is relatively fast to work off.

First things first, syncing in Pluraleyes. We arranged the footage into a file structure so importing the separate video and audio sources fast. The app can sync around 1 hour 30 mins of footage in 30 seconds, it saves an unbelievable amount of time.. Especially when you create the new Premiere Pro project and simply import the XML file exported from Pluraleyes; the XML imports all of the footage and can replace the audio sources too, making the sequences ready for multi-camera editing pretty much straight away.

Once the importing was complete, I started multi-cam editing. You can do this by right-clicking the multi-camera sequence in the project panel and selecting 'New Sequence from Selection'. This creates a nested sequence which will open in the timeline panel, you then right click this and select 'Enable Multi Camera'. In the 'Window' tab you can then open the multi-cam monitor by opening the window!

NB* You might not hear anything in the multi-cam monitor when you play and cut the video sources, this may be because in the original synced sequence some audio layers may have been muted, or the main audio clip is not in 'Audio Layer 1'.

I did minimal colour correction on the clips of the conference due to filming in low light, but for the clips in the atrium it had an awful white balance that was incandescent mixed with cloudy daylight from a huge glass roof. I simply used the RGB curves to minimally adjust the level of green and yellow to heat the picture up a bit.

For consistency and quality control, I favor watching the entire sequences through to identify any large gaps, unwanted re-framing or focus setting etc. However, I do quickly scrub through the first couple of minutes to place the lower 3rd graphics and text in the timeline. I used the previous version of lower 3rd graphics that Glen created for the IBC videos, to keep consistency with other IABM media, for the text I used the text tool in Premiere to create a text layer. I find that this is easier to control and edit when you're working for a fast turn around rather than compositing the text onto the graphic (in AE), then using the dynamic link for example.

While I was editing the third and fourth parts of the conference, Glen edited the first and second. That allowed me to take advantage of my workstations power so I queued up the sequences to render and export in Media Encoder and set them to it while I continued editing the other sequences.

Over the weekend I got out pretty much all of the videos from the conference, the interviews and the awards ceremony , last up were the conference and award highlights videos which I completed the day after. I used music from Audio Jungle, a great source for researching music and getting good deals on collections, I often download demo versions of tracks I like to test out in the edit, which is completely free. The music itself is very well priced for video productions like these as well.

Working with events like these, you soon become accustomed to long waiting times for 45 minute+ videos that could be up to 2Gb in size, which will obviously affect the uploading time. A bottleneck of videos being uploaded occurred on a number of occasions, not being able to upload more than 5 large videos when you have 28 videos (and increasing) to upload!!

It was wonderful to work with the IABM on another successful event, they have over 300 members worldwide so it is important for us to deliver engaging video content to those who could not attend. It not only captures the excitement and enthusiasm of the attendees over the two days, but also communicates the up-to-date knowledge on the broadcasting and media industry. It is fantastic to be there just to learn, let alone work.

I was out again on Wednesday filming a presentation that the Royal Television Society put on (associated by the IABM) about IT-IV-Live; a new system for remote and distributed video production. I took the same setup; 5D with Sigma 70-200, and the 60D with the Tamron 24-70 for a wide. They coped well in the low light, and I used the wide to mainly capture the presentation being projected rather than the speaker. Once I got home and backed up the footage, I begun the same multi-camera workflow as always, finished cutting and adding the graphics the next day.

It was awesome being recognized with the 'Young Person of the Year' award too, the IABM have helped me immensely to start my business and kickstart my career in the best industry ever. Adam Plowden Videography celebrated 1 year of business operation yesterday (12/12/14) since I was successfully granted my start up loan! It has been a great year and the production company goes from strength to strength as I look forward to the future.

2015 will hold many more IABM events throughout the calendar, as well as creating an animation campaign for Screen Subtitling Systems, but I'm sure there will be much much more!

It's time to take a break now after an intensive year.. The Christmas jumper is on, and the research has begun for the new camera and equipment investments for early next year. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday!