More Eyes = Better Footage
One of our foundational philosophies is this: The more key people can scrutinize the image as we shoot, the fewer problems you will have later.
We have implemented several on set monitoring tools to help ensure that your footage not only looks good, but has no hidden problems that might keep it from being fully usable for the final edit.
What exactly do we mean by “no hidden problems?” Too often on set, it’s only the camera op, DP and director who have monitors and can carefully scrutinize the frame while we are filming. But while we as DPs and camera operators can see problems with framing, lighting, and focus, there are so many “hidden” problems that only the producers, directors, and clients can catch: Employees wearing security badges when they’re not supposed to. Confidential or pre-decisional information in the frame. Workers not wearing proper protective gear or not following safety protocol. Mistakes in the delivery or deviations from the script. Incorrect pronunciation.
On-Set Monitoring Systems
First, we make good use of a professional 17″ monitor which allows us to monitor the signal for absolutely sharp focus, and a waveform monitor which allows us to obtain optimum exposure. It is also the primary monitor that the director will use during the shoot.
Real Time iPad Monitoring
Secondly, we can bring a few iPads to set for other producers and clients to use, and encourage others to bring their own iPads if they have them. We can then broadcast the signal in real-time to up to ten ipads on set.
Virtual Video Village
Thirdly, in the case that a key client or producer is not on set, we can also transmit the signal from set via 4G cellular modem or wi-fi so that they can monitor the shoot in real time from anywhere in the world.
Real-Time Monitoring of Steadicam Shots
Fourth, we can provide all of this monitoring for Steadicam shots, so that directors and producers can watch the Steadicam shot as it is executed, and know immediately whether the shot was good or not. In the past, it was not possible for anyone but the steadicam operator to watch the shot as it was being made, and we had to continuously hang up the rig and play back footage after each take. The real-time monitoring greatly speeds up the shoot, as the director can make immediate corrections, and move on to the next shot immediately, as soon as they see that the take was good.
Proxy Review Servers
Fifth, for longer shoots, we can send proxy files of each take to a proxy server, and crew, producers, and clients can play back any clip from the shoot during the day. This allows directors to immediately compare clips (and mark circle takes), script supervisors can check for continuity errors, wardrobe can look back and check wardrobe for any past shot, etc. Authorized users can access the footage wirelessly using iPads running LightIron Live Play software. For security, footage is NEVER CACHED on these iPads and viewed footage cannot be removed from set. For additional security, each user’s playback can be watermarked with their name to help deter users from recording footage to another device.
Same Day Dailies
Sixth, we can also have a DIT (Data Wranger) and editor on set that can be preparing footage into dailies that can be reviewed on set or taken home at the end of the day by directors, producers and/or clients. For this, we use LightIron Todailies Software.