Sony’s PMW-F55 cameras were used to shoot Peter Gabriel’s sell-out Back To Front: So LIVE tour in 4K last week. Sony worked with Real World and co-producers Done & Dusted Productions and ERP Productions, as well as CTV Outside Broadcasts, to record the singer-songwriter’s concerts using up to 10 Sony PMW-F55 cameras.
Gabriel is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of his landmark multi-platinum album So, and the production recorded two dates at London’s O2 arena in 4K. Besides cameras, Sony also provided technical consultancy and support to record the two-day shoot.
The shoot mainly used R5 RAW Recorders, recording F55 RAW onto AXSM memory. “All of the cameras shooting in F55 RAW also simultaneously provided an HD Proxy onto SxS cards,” explained Mark Grinyer, Sony’s head of live production business development – 4K & 3D Live Sports.
Two of the F55s were equipped with Sony’s CA-4000/BPU 4K base band processor unit for live 4K capture onto two SR-R1000 high-speed master storage units. “The F55/CA 4K chains were used for cameras where it was not possible to change the media cards during the shoot,” he added.
“All cameras were operated in a live configuration style with the cameramen being provided with talkback, tally, viewfinder returns, etc. HD outputs from all cameras were brought back to the truck to enable a live HD cut to also be created, and this was recorded to SR tape.”
The concert was recorded as ISO records because of the requirement to use 4K RAW for editing and grading, “to provide the utmost flexibility in post production,” using HD as the proxy format.
Eight of the Super35mm sensor cameras were used to capture the first night, while an extended 10 camera production took place on the second night.
The shoot took advantage of the F55’s high sensitivity and colour reproduction and recording in RAW made the most of it, in what Sony claimed was “the first large-scale 4K multi-camera concert recordings to be captured in RAW to date.”
“With live events becoming as much about the overall spectacle as the music itself, production teams and artists are continually striving to push new audio and visual boundaries in creative performance,” added David Bush, marketing director, Sony Europe, who claimed the 4K RAW F55 workflow would result in images of “incredible richness” offering viewers in the cinema or living-room “a stunningly life-like visual recreation.”
“We’ve always enjoyed working at the cutting edge of video technology, whether HD in 2002/3, 3D in 2010 and now 4K,” said Mike Large, COO of Real World Holdings. “Peter has always looked for the best technology to immerse his audience in the show and the music and 4K is the next step on that journey. We’re very grateful to Sony for all the help and expertise they’ve given for this production.”