Live Web Streaming Music Concerts & Sports
By Angela “AJ” Perez, Queen Of Streaming Media
The concert, music theater and cabaret scene in New York City and Hollywood are increasingly turning to Tricaster technology to record and live stream music events of all types.
It just makes good sense to turn to the terrific, cost saving advantages of Tricaster technology. The idea that you can replace a huge, expensive production truck with all it’s cables run from outside the venue all the way to cameras all over the theater with a small road case Tricaster close to the action is a powerful incentive to video production professionals everywhere.
The fact that thanks to NewTek, smart video. crews can roll in and set up a Tricaster shoot so cost-effectively is the reason that small venues with very limited production funds can afford to live steam a modest musical event. And we see more and more savvy directors and producers turning away from the production truck and toward units like the Tricaster 450 (TCXD 450), Tricaster 850 (TCXD 850) and Tricaster 300 (TCXD 300).
For musical events we generally prefer to use a mixture of Panasonic cameras. First let me say, I have no special love for Panasonic, I actually prefer the Red Cam or Sony for non sports and non music events. But my Tricaster based, streaming video events are usually covered by my team with Panasonic Varicams and HVX 250, HVX 200, 170 and our HMC 150. We like the Varricams for the tripod work and the smaller units for hand held.
I love to get the musicians to rehearse with make up and wardrobe so I can get right up there on stage without blocking an audience view and get the really dynamic close-up shots I love. Now obviously there is a sync issue here as we are dealing with music. What I get are shots of the faces, feet rythrm of the precussion, shots of brass, and other instruments that dont immediately cause a sync issue visuakku… Basically anything I can to convey the emotion of the piece.
I’ll either go hand held or use a slider to get dynamic camera movement in rehearsal.
By getting this material early I gan severalnthings:
I get dynamic shots not easily gotton during the streamed performance where I risk not only blocking the audience but blocking other cameras as well.
I can load these shots in the correct play list order of the musical event. Then I call them up from the internal DVR of my Tricaster 450 Extreme (TCXD 450) during the live stream so I have all that additional material.
I gain the advantage of having four cameras up close and hand held and then later during the live performance using those same cameras on sticks further back innthe venue. So my Tricaster 450 Extreme (TCXD) effectively becomes a Tricaster 850 Extreme. Thus my clients pay for the less expensive machine but gain the advantages of the far more costly Tricaster 850.not to mention the fact that production gets the same great 8 camera results with four less cameras, four less cameramen and four less cable pullers. it’s a totall win win.
The downside, over and over I have explained to bands and their managers the wisdom of the full dress rehearsal so I get the great close ups that their fans will love, that will make the video, really rock. They always nod in agreement and then at least 50% of the time one or more of the band will not wear what they do later in the live performance. My cameramen and I obviously don’t know this until it’s too late during the live performance streaming throughout the Tricaster. So, I can’t cut to all that great footage I spent so much time and energy and wasted flirting when I was capturing video earlier that day. The video production suffers but mostly the careless band members screw up thier own video.
The other issue is lighting. It is essential to get in contact and establish a report with the dude on the lighting console. Two important reasons: One the rehearsal lighting must match the performance for proper continuity in the video. They need to turn off the damn house lights and go through the full lighting sequences in the rehearsal. This is extra work and the lighting tech is unwilling to go for it. If I can’t get willing agreement after I explain how necessary it is for the success of the show, I go to the venue owner or his rep or the sponsor or whomever pays the lighting director and make my case there. I explain how it’s win win for all concerned to have double the amount of great material. I smile and flirt some more. Hey, dudes… girl’s got to use what works!
The second factor is lighting levels. The musical events are often dark and moody with random revolving spots, etc, …not enough light for all the depth of field the cameras would like to keep rapidly moving band members or lead singer in proper focus.
The low light forces the cameras to run with lenses wide open which is not using the glass to optimal advantage.
I can’t tell you how many times after looking me dead in the eye and promising all the light levels I requested the damn LD perversely just goes back to his accustomed low levels of crap lighting for the live stream. So beg him, bribe him, reason with him, flirt with him (I find this strangely successful) make him realize how critical the right light is for good video and a great live stream.
The extreme versions of the Tricaster 450 and Tricaster 850 are important as beyond the live streaming the clients invariably want a n enhanced version of the performance for VOD and posting on YouTube as well as thei own website. So we use the iso camera material to cut into the final Tricaster output.
Next issue I usually put a TelePrompTer (Autocue) on the fixed camera in front of the lead singer. This helps with the patter between songs. Sure the singer could improv but it usually goes on to long and sounds phony. And then there’s the sog lyrics which many lead singers are not confidant of nor screwing up whan doing a critical performance live on the web. The idea that it’s a live web stream sometimes rattles them.
So, to recap. The Tricaster 450 extreme rather than our TCXD 850 is my most frequent go to device for most concerts where cost is a major factor. We can double the cameras effectiveness by shooting a full dress rehearsal as long as we insure that band and lighting tech cooperate. If there is an issue there or if clients have a bigger budget, then we go for the Tricaster 850 Extreme.
Streaming Music Concerts with the Tricaster 450 or 850
Call me, RJ Perez at 212-219-1075
Saw this on the Newtek site and thought I’d pass it on word for word.
High School Football
High school students have only known an Internet-connected, online world. While students’ personal lives are usually connected with friends and family online, schools are just beginning to realize the benefits of sharing major events with broader audiences through cost-effective live Webcasting. Web distribution of major events allows schools to tap into a larger audience and provide access to school events to people regardless of location.
In the world of high school sports, family, friends and former players have had limited options. If they were in town, they could attend the game. If not, they had to rely on a phone call or local news reporting the next day for information. Now that live video streaming is easier and more affordable, cutting edge schools are riding this technology wave to keep their fans and communities connected.
About 85 miles south of Columbus, Ohio is the small town of Lucasville, with about 600 households and less than 2,000 residents. The Valley Local School district has Tom Vallance, an energetic information technology (IT) manager who taught Web design classes; he also took a personal interest in maintaining a Web site for Valley Local High sports teams.
High School Football Game
After a successful year of streaming audio, the school district decided to try streaming live video of some games. Exploring the options revealed that NewTek TriCaster™ was the perfect tool to meet their needs.
The school board made the initial purchase of a TriCaster and accepted delivery of the system on a Wednesday. Just four days later, Vallance and the student volunteers went live and streamed the graduation ceremony. From its very first production, Vallance appreciated TriCaster’s benefits, selling graduation DVDs to help generate revenue for additional production gear.
Live streaming of Friday night football was out of reach, due to restrictions by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). Last year, however, Vallance says the school district was granted a waiver from the state, after demonstrating that more than half of the production team were students, and assuring OHSAA that the game webcasts would be commercial-free. The response was both positive and widespread.
“We’re a small school and the community has really enjoyed it. Alumni tune in and give us positive feedback, and we also hear a lot from our military family from around the world.”
The continuing innovation of NewTek’s live production tools soon elevated the district to a new caliber of live production and streaming. With NewTek’s LiveSet™ live virtual set technology, the Valley speech class is now able to produce network-style school newscasts.
“Our productions really took off once we began using NewTek’s TimeWarp for replays. Now, we have other schools in our area coming out to see how we’re using TriCaster and the accessories to produce and stream these games.”
2012 MSHS Football Cheerleaders
A typical Valley High football or basketball game crew consists of a director on TriCaster, a replay operator running TimeWarp™, another student managing titles and scores on a laptop with LiveText™ and three camera operators.
“Our highest viewership was during a pretty exciting football game, a close game with one of our biggest rival schools. If that wasn’t enough pressure it was also during a storm, so we had to protect our cameras on the field with umbrellas.”
One of the persistent notions that Vallance fought was that live streaming would reduce game attendance, but Vallance says he’s not seen that at all. Instead, he says their live productions have managed to keep the community more tightly connected, regardless of where their lives may take them out of this southern Ohio valley.
“The community has really enjoyed it, and after the district made the initial TriCaster purchase, DVD sales have sustained our growth from then on.”