Atlanta-based DP Michael Chase shoots multi-camera interviews on a daily basis. “We shoot for Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Oz, Harpo Productions and others,” explained Michael. “We do two or three cameras almost all the time during our interviews. We do the press tours for most of the motion picture companies when they come through the Southeast.” Michael utilizes the Convergent Design Apollo to aid in these productions.
By recording multiple HD or 4K camera outputs on Apollo, the production workflow has been streamlined. “The backend is now so much nicer,” noted Michael. “Before you would have to media manage multiple cameras, multiple formats, multiple media types and multiple card readers. You had to deal with the whole nine yards and then conform it down to something that your client could use in a cohesive sense. It was just constant media management. Clients don’t want to have to deal with that.”
During setup the multi-stream monitoring is extremely beneficial for matching our cameras.
“The difference can be felt by everyone. We deliver the exact same timecode and the exact same clip length for each camera. We don’t have anybody calling us wondering how to sync because Apollo stripes on the correct timecode to every signal. Instead of all the media management from the past, now we just push the one Apollo SSD through Convergent Design’s ProRes Transfer Tool and let it do the work. We literally just hand over a hard drive containing a folder with an A, B, C, and D file that all match up, and then away we go. In fact more and more I’m finding our clients are buying the units for themselves. If not the Apollo then at least the Odyssey7Q+. And they’ve got the drives and the readers. So sometimes if it’s a fast turnaround we’ll just give our SSD for them to offload and get it back from them later.”
“We’ve definitely been able to eliminate onsite media managing to a certain degree. Even when we’re doing a big 4K shoot it’s benefited from recording together on Apollo. For example, today we were done shooting at 1pm and by 2:30-ish files were already uploading to the web for the client to download the same day. In the past we would have had to organize all those files, transcode and match them out. It probably wouldn’t be until early evening that we could even start thinking about uploading the footage. Apollo saves us considerable time, especially on the press junkets and media tours where we have a dozen different outlets that we serve. It’s cut the turnaround time by 60 percent.”
Playback is a breeze. It’s so simple and quick; no fuss no muss, it just does it. Switch between the playback of each camera, all in sync. My field producers like having it.
Michael utilizes Apollo’s unique capabilities before shooting as well. “During setup the multi-stream monitoring is extremely beneficial for matching our cameras. Using Apollo’s vectorscope and pointing the cameras at a color chart, dialing the settings in is an exact science where before it was a bit of a hunt. Now we’re getting much better camera matches just by having that monitor all by itself with it’s built-in tools and ability to switch between inputs.”
Also enjoying Apollo are the clients themselves. “The producers can view up to four cameras all at once or they can switch to any one feed if they want. To have an active switcher for them is great even just for viewing. They love being able to look at whichever camera they want to see whenever they want to see it. I use multiple Apollos just for that purpose. One will be doing the master recording and I’ll give the client something that they can be switching downstream.
Not all of Michael’s shoots are press junket interviews, and Apollo is useful on these as well. “Playback is a breeze. Clients might want to go back 13 takes. It’s so simple and quick; no fuss no muss, it just does it. And they can switch between the playback of each camera, all in sync. My field producers like having it. If we’re doing a shoot where we travel to multiple locations, they plug in their headphones, stick a battery on the back and sit in the car logging footage.”
Everybody I know in the industry has Odysseys and swears by them. It has definitely become the standard....Right now it’s the best tool in the bag.
“Sometimes we use it in conjunction with Teradeks as well, transmitting to the Apollo for client monitoring. I bought the Convergent Design battery bracket to mount two receivers on the back of Apollo so the producers can walk around and view two cameras wirelessly.”
“I wish the camera manufacturers would catch up to the technology Convergent Design has. Everybody I know in the industry has them and swears by them. It has definitely become the standard. And no one can beat your customer service. I just can’t say enough good things about your product. Right now it’s the best tool in the bag.”