Raven PMG Relies on Blackmagic for A/V at Mountain Dew’s NBA All-Star HQ
Blackmagic Design announces that its Micro Studio Camera 4K, Video Assist monitor/recorder, ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K live production switcher and Teranex AV and Teranex 2D Processors were used by New Orleans-based Raven Production Management Group (PMG) for an A/V installation at Mountain Dew’s Courtside HQ during NBA All-Star 2017.
Located in New Orleans Board of Trade building, the installation was a collaboration between Motive, a full-service advertising agency, and Mountain Dew. Raven PMG helped actuate the vision by transforming the space into a more unique experience.
The inside featured a large LED cube stage used for a live performance, a gallery of mixboard-infused paintings, a heat press station allowing fans to customize apparel and a professional-styled photo studio that gave fans an exclusive, personalized art print. Outside, the patio featured a large LED screen that showed programming and content, a live feed from attendees playing basketball-themed video games and broadcasted the NBA All-Star game itself.
“Raven PMG provides the fabrication, design and technical connectivity to create a successful interactive and immersive event,” says Ben Lewis, Technical, Video and Lighting Director, Raven PMG. “My specialty is show production, and I make sure everything works on a technical level, which is why we use Blackmagic Design. It interfaces easily with other gear, provides connectivity to multiple screens and has enough customizability to deliver projects above and beyond expectations.”
The Micro Studio Camera 4K, paired with the Video Assist for monitoring, shot a wide angle view of the stage during a live performance. Ben commented, “I often use the camera and Video Assist to get unmanned shots at unique angles to spice up a standard broadcast. In addition to using the Video Assist to set the camera’s focus and iris to make sure everything looks good before going back to the ATEM, I also use the Video Assist as a mobile monitor to check issues with feeds or frame rates.”
Ben fed the Micro Studio Camera 4K directly into the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K, which was the hub of the installation’s setup. The ATEM was connected via a Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K to Ben’s computer, which was running a video and effects mixing software along with the ATEM Software Control. He used two Teranex AVs and two Teranex 2D Processors to interface with additional inputs, such as the video game and broadcast feeds, connecting, routing and conditioning the signals.
Four Blackmagic Mini Converters HDMI to SDI 4K helped get the HDMI devices, such as the video game and broadcast feeds, into the ATEM, and the Mini Converters allow Ben to run SDI instead of expensive fiber cable. “The Mini Converters give me audio output options in remote locations and allow me to run mostly SDI on my jobs without having to worry about expensive cables getting destroyed,” he notes. “All the feeds were output via SDI to the LED screens.”
According to Ben, there were three main needs from the video system. First, there was regular programming throughout the day, which involved switching the schedule, televised game and video game feed. Second, was to freeze the content on a frame from a video that they could use for branding purposes or to quickly change to another look whenever there were photo opportunities of the players.
Third, was a pre-recorded music video and live feed of the concert. During the live show, Ben and his team used the system to its fullest extent by taking the live footage and manipulating it through a video and effects mixing software, adding logos and visuals, as well as routing the live feed of the show to the outside LED screen.
“Blackmagic Design made it possible to do complex cable routing through a venue with SDI and gave us full control of the entire system from one location,” explains Ben. “Having the ATEM with a reference monitor hooked up made the client feel good that we didn’t have to run around and check everything. We knew there was hardware to back up the randomness that pops up in a gig situation. Having the ability to freeze frame and switch routing on the fly made the client comfortable knowing their vision was accomplished.”
For Raven PMG, when it comes to creating these types of installations, it’s all about flexibility and peace of mind. “The ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K was chosen for its big screen and range of outputs. The Teranex was chosen because of its signal conditioning, output options and the ability to route them, which all are very important for me because they allow me to load a still frame as well as plug in any computer, camera, game system or whatever is thrown at me due to the wide variety of standards conversions,” he concludes. “I really love the Teranex as it’s a highly-used piece of gear in my rack. You can really push video and have quick control on a hardware level that takes some of the risk out of a gig.”