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Streaming Media West [19-20 Nov 2019]
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Like a Mighty Stream: Webcasting Rock Shows with Ryan Bodie Films

Streaming concerts and other live events has established Ryan Bodie's Studio 26 as the go-to live event webcast provider in his region and in some key entertainment areas, ranging from concert series in the spring to festivals in the summer and one-off arena gigs like a Chaka Khan show. Bodie estimates that his crew shoots, switches, and streams 80 live events per year, with maybe half of those involving music.

Crewing the Show

Bodie's Home Invasion crew currently consists of 2 camera operators and an audio tech. The crew sets up with 3 main cameras and sometimes a GoPro, and Bodie will operate the moving camera. One of the challenges for him, Bodie says, is whether to shoot or handle the switch and run the audio, since he loves to do both. "It kind of just depends on the situation, if I need a shooting fix, so to speak. It depends on how long it's been since I shot something that I liked. Directing and switching is cool, but once we get set up, I love being behind the camera."

Bodie says it's nice with these smaller shows to have the option of shooting, since that's not the case with arena concerts and other productions/webcasts of that scale. "If we're running a bigger show and I have multiple cameras, then I kind of have to direct because there's so much going on. But if it's just two or three cameras like we've been doing with the web show, then I have the two guys that work for me and they both just shoot and direct. They can live switch. In fact, that's who live-switches all of the local government webcasts we do."

Large-Sensor Shooting With the Panasonic AF100

As for gear, Bodie says his company shoots virtually all of its events using Panasonic's AG-AF100 these days because "they'll let us put the DSLR lenses right on them. So we get that great, great low-light look that you get with DSLRs, which saves us on set up time for lighting." With smaller-sensor cameras, Bodie says, "I would need to bring six or seven lights, but now I only need to bring two or three."

As for opting for the AF100s over DSLRs, Bodie says, partly it's the 12-minute continuous shooting limitation that makes it hard to cover live events. "And the other serious handicap with the DSLR is it's extremely difficult right now with the Canon cameras to get a signal out where you can still use your monitor and also be running a good signal back to your switcher. There are lots of factors involved. We've done it. We live-switched the Canon 5D and we were the first people to do it two years ago at WEVA just as a test. It was real low-quality. We weren't doing HD or anything in the live stream.

"From that date, I've spent the last two years trying to figure out how we can live-stream with the Canons, because I love the look of the cameras. When the AF100s came out, we tested one, and it was just simple, easy, and beautiful. It's one cable coming off of the camera, sending an HD signal-so easy to use, user friendly. The camera is a little heavier, a little bigger. I like the simplicity of the Canons but I'll deal with having a little bit bigger camera." After all, Bodie notes, when Studio 26 started producing live events 7 years ago, "we were using huge shouldermount cams anyway."

Ryan Bodie Films

Many event shooters have been put off by the boxiness of the AF100, and Bodie acknowledges that "it's a weird shape. And it's pretty light despite its shape. Obviously, people can throw it up on a rig and then it's the same as anything else. Once you put a lens up on it and you have that capability of having a Canon lens on there it's almost lie shooting like with the Z1U or Z7 or HVX200."