New to TV production filming.  Ten Hours long HD video 1080p recording.

In early November we did a groundbreaking experiment for a new type of TV production. The goal was to record a long HD video with continuous footage without a break, throughout the day. This pilot project was made even harder by the producer wanting to start with underwater footage.

The camera I used was a Nikon D800 in an Aqautica Housing. This is my weapon of choice for all my work.

This led to some very interesting and challenging technical requirements. First of all since the camera was to be installed in a fixed location underwater and not moved we needed to provide power to the unit. This was accomplished by adapting 5 pin bulkhead fittings from Ikelite on one end of a very long power cord. The other end was spliced into a AC/DC converter which was supplied by 110v power. The connection to the camera inside the housing was with a nikon DC adapter.

Power issue solved. Now onto the video feed.

Hdmi cord output and DC power input to Aquatica housing and Nikon D800The goal was to record as uncompressed as possible to an external recorder. Processing to internal memory cards gets rid of a lot of data so we decided on using an Atomos Samurai external digital recorder. The use of this enabled me to record in Apple ProRes 4:2:2 codec.   To get the feed out of the camera I combined some HDMI plugs with special bulkheads from Dive and See. With this setup I was able to run a 30 foot HDMI cord to the recorder.  I did not need the recorder to be in a waterproof housing as the camera was going to be stationary and quite close to shore, in fairly shallow water.

Starting before the sun came up on a cold autumn morning we got ready and layed everything out. The camera was mounted securely to a tripod in the river with the cords secured and connected to the power supply and  recorder.

Eiko setting up camera in housing with HDMI feed to recorder and AC power in.

Eiko setting up camera in housing with HDMI cord feed to recorder and AC power in.

 

Camera all rigged up and ready to go in the water.

Camera all rigged up and ready to go into the water.

At 06:50 am we started the camera rolling.

Early morning start before the sunrise to film a long hd video sequence.

Early morning start before the sunrise to film an all day sequence.

I then sat on the side of the river for the next ten hours and monitored everything. With plenty of cups of coffee delivered by my girlfriend and wrapped in blankets I endeavored to stay warm.

HDMI cord feed via SD/HD converter to external recorder for continuous footage.

HDMI cord feed via SD/HD converter to external recorder for continuous footage.

At just after 5pm and just on dark I put my drysuit back on and waded into the water and ended the recording sequence.

The footage was sent off to the Post Production studio where it took a week, and several system crashes later,  to colour grade and get ready for broadcast.

Here is the final result. Over 9 hours on Youtube and in shorter chunks on Telus Optik TV.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM1CEZ36lh0

 

 

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