Panasonic 4K Cams Take the Lead in Phish’s Country Wide Tour
201 Productions has invested in 10 Panasonic 4K cameras (five AK-UC3000 studio/field cameras and five AW-UE70 pan/tilt/zoom cameras). The cameras are performing as integral components of 201 Productions’ new 4K mobile fly-pack system.
Since building the mobile system in May, 201 Productions has completed the first two legs of a cross-country tour with the legendary jam band Phish that will continue throughout the winter (including four performances at Madison Square Garden for New Year’s Eve and three nights in Mexico). 201 Productions’ chief assignment for the band is live production, but the company is also tasked with providing a feed for live webcasts on LivePhish.com, as well producing performance videos for the band’s YouTube page and archiving each concert.
201 Productions’ principal Trey Kerr explained that, having decided to upgrade to an all 4K mobile system, he opted for the Panasonic cameras based on his longstanding use of the company’s HD PTZs. “I have an established relationship with Panasonic and have experienced first-hand the reliability of the PTZ cameras,” he says. “Consequently, the 4K PTZs were an easy choice for us and, that decision made, it made sense to complement those with the UC3000 4K camera systems and CCUs.”
“As expected, the cameras have been completely road-worthy, reliably up to the challenge of four-hour set-ups and one-hour breakdowns in totally divergent performance venues,” adds Kerr.
Kerr shoots and archives the Phish tour in 4K, 3840 X 2160 29.97. The UC3000s are outfitted with Fujinon XA99x8.4 ultra-wide 2/3” field production lenses and 22x telephoto zoom lenses (11.5-253mm). At most venues, he uses one UC3000 each in the pit, handheld on stage and stationary at the front of the house mix position, with two deployed in various ways contingent on the layout of each space. Four UE70 PTZs are always used on stage (left, right, on the drum kit and upstage center), with the fifth reserved as a “bonus-cam” for interesting aspects or angles.
“The cameras performed very well with exceptional reliability, as anticipated,” says Kerr. “These benefits are particularly noteworthy on a Phish tour, with the band improvising a different set-list at each and every performance. The fact that each unique show was archived facilitated our posting select 4K song segments to the band’s YouTube page throughout the tour.”