Fremont, CA – July 9, 2019 – Blackmagic Design today announced that the hit Tony winning Broadway play “Network” used its products to help create an immersive experience for audience members, putting them right in the middle of a live news broadcast. Video Designer and Cinematographer Tal Yarden used Micro Studio Camera 4Ks, Studio Camera 4Ks, Video Assist 4K monitor/recorders, ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K and ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel on and off stage to film and live switch the performance, helping to create a unique multimedia spectacle for the audience.
Directed by Tony Award and Olivier Award winner Ivo van Hove, “Network” was adapted by Lee Hall from Paddy Chayefsky’s Academy Award winning film which follows anchorman Howard Beale’s (Bryan Cranston) live on screen breakdown. Set inside a television studio, the cast and crew made use of video equipment on and off stage to power the newsroom and feed content to the onstage screens. This included the Micro Studio Camera 4Ks, which were in handheld rigs complete with Video Assist 4Ks and wireless transmitters, and Studio Camera 4Ks, which were mounted on tripods complete with teleprompters for filming Cranston during news desk scenes.
Yarden explained, “The Micro Studio Camera 4Ks were in constant use and were the main cameras for the show. We did many long fluid steadicam shots navigating around the set and catching moments of action in a complex choreography. Most importantly, Bryan Cranston’s climactic ‘I’m Mad as Hell’ monologue was captured as he moved around the stage and interacted with other characters.”
There was also a scene that took place outside the theater, with a Micro Studio Camera 4K filming actors Tatiana Maslany and Tony Goldwyn as they met on the street and proceeded down an alleyway before entering the theater through a stage door and appearing on stage. During each performance, the scene was filmed live and broadcast to the audience inside the theater.
“I started working with the Micro Studio Camera 4Ks because I was moving over to handheld and wanted to work with gimbals on stage. The Micro Studio Camera 4K’s flexibility in terms of size and feature set helped not only make the outside to inside scene possible, but also, filming on stage in general. There’s a cinematic feel to the images which attracted me to Blackmagic Design cameras in the first place, as my background is in filmmaking,” Yarden added.
All the camera operators were actual performers with camera experience who joined the production through an Actors Equity contract. “They’re not classic video engineers or camera operators; they’re actors trained to use the cameras who also had lines and were performing,” Yarden noted. “As such, I needed cameras that were straightforward, easy to use and that weren’t full of gimmicks. The Blackmagic Design cameras delivered on this, and their affordability helped me stay on budget.”
While performers took on the camera operator roles, some of the “Network” crew were also featured on stage as part of the live newsroom. “The ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K was in a rack underneath the stage, but the ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel was on stage and used by our onstage operator,” concluded Yarden. “In addition to monitoring the cameras, our onstage ATEM operator followed a script with many ATEM cues, recalled presets on the matrix router and switched video feeds from the cameras to multiple onstage screens. The ATEM’s multiview also came in handy for use on a variety of monitors within the set as part of the general look of the show.”
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com