Procam has successfully completed its first webcast, streaming 9hrs 30mins of live coverage from a pioneering two-day dance event by the Musée de la danse at Tate Modern, providing two online feeds of live vision-mixed content each day.
London's iconic Tate Modern gallery is well known for its innovation and experimentation, with the vast open space of its Turbine Hall regularly housing a wide assortment of hugely creative installations. One of the most ambitious of these took place in May, when the Tate Modern teamed up with BMW and the world-renowned Musée de la danse to transform the gallery into an immense modern dance installation.
French dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz along with around 90 dancers and choreographers took over both the Turbine Hall and the gallery spaces at Tate Modern for two days. A large group of the general public also took part in the all-inclusive spectacle of contemporary dance.
The event was visually compelling and creatively inspiring, while also being technically challenging as the entire two-day event (9hrs 30mins each day) was streamed online from Tate Modern via two online feeds. Procam worked alongside live producers Siren Productions to take care of the live broadcast, ensuring the streams worked seamlessly and high quality live content was available to online viewers throughout the two days of the installation.
The Canon C300 was selected as it has a 35mm sensor and the client requested a filmic look. A dedicated fixed-rig Canon C300 on the Turbine Hall bridge provided the images for one of the two live streams. This camera was static and un-manned, capturing a wide-angle view of the performance area in the hall, documenting the performances and mass audience reactions.
The second stream was more complex, consisting of a multi-camera setup with manned, wireless cameras. The camera feeds were fed into a vision mixer where Nick Walters directed a live vision mix using talkback to the operators. The feed from the fixed wide-angle feed was also fed through the vision mixer, providing Walters with multiple cameras to choose from.
The two live streams enabled the Musée de la danse to capture all the activity surrounding the event and vary the shots over the 9hrs30mins of online broadcasts each day. The vision-mixed output made it possible for Walters to react to the performances and follow the activity rather than restrict the audience to fixed viewpoints throughout the day. The cameras were either handheld, on tripods or on wheeled Peds so the production team could move and react quickly to both the performers and audience.
Siren Productions ensured Procam were involved in the early planning stages of the project, so they could work with Tate Modern by looking at different ways it could cover such a large-scale event.
Specifically, it needed to know what was possible within the inevitable restraints of the budget, as well as the technical restrictions the location would present during the rigging and live broadcast of the event.
“Procam acted as our technical supplier and were able to advise on the many technical elements the production presented,” says Siren Productions' co-founder Yolanda Neri.
“Everything went to plan; we maintained two live streams without any disruption to the audience watching at home. Audience figures were strong and dedicated for the length of time the live streams were available to watch. It was a great success.”
Neri adds: “Procam's attention to detail is paramount when organising a production on this scale. The big draw is the incredible crew that assist throughout the planning and subsequent event so everything goes smoothly on the day. We were very happy with the level of service provided by Procam – everyone was 100% dedicated to the project and making it a success – the drive and discipline was evident throughout the production and we would not hesitate to use Procam again.”