Pro Moviemaker Spring 2019


S treaming is all around us, whether we’re pulling up the latest must- see series on Netflix, logging on to a webinar or YouTube channel that interests us, or watching a live sporting event. It’s become a part of our everyday lives – largely on the back of advancing technology and the huge increase in download speeds to desktops andmobile. As with somany things connected to modern filmmaking, streaming started as an option only available to those who had the wherewithal and budget to hire out the required equipment. This would have been a version of a full-scale outside broadcast set-up, complete with a truck fitted with a satellite dish. Even so, there were those, such as filmproduction company, Cherryduck, who were ahead of the game (see our case study on Cherryduck on p41) and offered facilities ten years ago, plus forward-looking clients. Over that time, things have moved quickly. The arrival of live streaming on social media platforms over the past couple of years was instrumental in democratising the whole area. Now, pretty much anyone can get involved at any level, but, crucially, it’s not just a case of being able to get content out there; it’s also very much about the quality of that content. In this respect, experienced filmmakers have a crucial advantage: they already have the gear and expertise required to produce a professional-looking production. All they need to do to get involved is pick up the additional streaming skills necessary to get footage out there. The list of things that streaming can deliver is increasing all the time and, in many ways, it’s an opportunity for those with imagination to create their own openings. Sporting events – even relatively small events – can be livestreamed to a specialist audience for a subscription fee. Or even things like gigs by a popular band. A promoter might get a few thousand spectators in for a non-league football match, with another couple of hundred people payingmaybe £10-15/$13-20 for the chance to tune in from the comfort of home, while the same scenario applies if a small venue sells out for a band and offers those that can’t get tickets the chance to still savour the atmosphere. Maybe you could livestream from a wedding if it’s big enough, meaning friends and family from around the world could feel as if they were part of it. Increasingly, there’s alsomajor commercial interest. Any

company launching a product can share the press launch with the widest possible audience, while multinational companies can now involve their staff from around the world in virtual conferences and presentations. There’s also the opportunity to edit and archive live footage. A resource is created that can be stored online and accessed by interested parties, prolonging the life and reach of the broadcast. Tantalisingly, access to streaming is now open to everyone and it’s possible, via the likes of Facebook and YouTube, to stream to a live audience fromnothing more advanced than your smartphone. It costs almost nothing and quality for online viewing is acceptable (depending on which smartphone you are working with and how advanced your filmmaking skills are). It’s just a case of finding an audience and something that’s engaging enough for people to feel the urge to tune in. Man in themiddle One man who saw the opportunity and has been involved heavily in the streaming revolution for many years is freelance visionmixer, SimonMalone. Having originally fallen into the industry almost by accident, he’s now hugely in demand for his skills at mounting andmanaging the coverage of live events. He’s the manmany turn to for help when unsure of this sector’s ground rules. “Those that already have filmmaking skills have a huge advantage . They have what’s required tomake a success of streaming,” he says. “They have much of the equipment – such as cameras, lenses, support, lighting and audio equipment – already and will know how it all works. That’s maybe 80%of what’s required, but there is still a lot you need to know to bring a live production together in a professional way. Youmight need to feel the burn of something going wrong before you come to someone like me, but my job is tomake sure everything runs smoothly and looks professional from start to finish.” The ease of streaming has proved to be the downfall of many, since companies might look at something online and become convinced it’s simple to join in. Malone explains: “A lot of it is down to programmes such as Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, which look unscripted and just ‘happen’ in front of the cameras. This relaxed kind of production relies hugely on the skills of the presenters and it’s all rehearsed

“Those that already have filmmaking skills have a huge advantage. They have what’s required”



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