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HomeCraftsCameraWSMV-TV Adopts Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and DaVinci Resolve

WSMV-TV Adopts Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and DaVinci Resolve


Blackmagic Design announced that Nashville’s WSMV-TV is using Blackmagic Cinema Cameras to shoot promotions and PSAs for the station’s news broadcasts. The station also is using DaVinci Resolve for color correction. Brian Hallett, creative services senior producer and writer at the station, chose the Blackmagic Cinema Camera for its high resolution 2.5K sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range and CinemaDNG RAW and Avid DNxHD codecs.

“When it came time to invest in a new camera, I didn’t want something that was more of the same,” Hallett said. “I wanted to take the production up a step and think forward. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera helped us do just that while providing an extremely efficient workflow. Time is of the essence in everything we do, and our deadlines are quick. Shooting with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera makes everything easier.”

For studio shoots, Hallett mounts a Blackmagic Cinema Camera on a slider, hooks up audio and headphones and is ready to go. “With other cameras, I would have to hook up a monitor and recorder as well as batteries, and before you know it, it has taken 45 minutes to set up,” he said. “Now I slap a lens on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, put it on a slider, and I’m good to go. I try to keep everything as simple as possible because it’s faster that way.”

When shooting outdoors, Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s 13 stops of dynamic range prove especially useful.

“The camera’s dynamic range lets me shoot in broad daylight without losing any detail in the footage,” Hallett said. “I’m able to get a better look and more out of the camera, and the footage looks hands-down better, which means there’s not as much time spent finessing in post. And the ability to shoot in DNxHD means I can pull the files right into Avid and start editing right away.”

Hallett also cited Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s 1/4″ TRS audio connectors, which allow him to connect high quality microphones to the camera and sync audio to footage during shooting. He saves approximately two to three hours during the postproduction process because he no longer has to import and transcode footage into the Avid codec, as well as spend time syncing audio. When shooting is finished, Hallett transfers media off the SSD and onto his MacBook Pro for editing and then into Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve for color correction.

“I don’t know which clips I will use until I listen to how the reporter or anchor delivers the lines, and it’s a nightmare to sync audio after you’ve edited,” Hallett said. “The camera’s flexibility lets me change my workflow around, and the feature set doesn’t hold me back.”

For a recent promo, Hallett shot the city of Nashville at sunset and during post, decided to change the yellow hues to pink and blue pastels. He cited Resolve’s Power Windows as being especially useful in helping him control the dynamic range in the sky.

“I changed the colors in the sky drastically to help show the team that the colors are not baked in and that we can change anything we want,” Hallett explained. “They couldn’t believe it was the same shot. Resolve is an essential tool and should be a part of any production company’s recipe of how to improve footage. Having Resolve included with the camera was such an amazing perk, and it’s nice to have it available for a smaller station like us.”

“Both Resolve and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera give us a level of detail that’s more professional,” he added. “When everyone else is using a DSLR and you are using a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, you stand out. With such stiff competition in our region, our promotions and PSAs need to look better so viewers will pay attention.”

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