How To Save £1000s Converting Concert Footage

Posted on Jan 4, 2011 by Alex Fice

Alice Cooper’s Theatre of Death Tour needed to convert HDCAM footage in a hurryNyquest Ltd., a company specialising in producing concert footage, recently used a AJA Ki Pro tapeless recording device as an cost-effective solution for converting 20 hours of HDCAM footage into the Apple ProRes format to enable immediate editing in Final Cut Pro. Nyquest discovered the Ki Pro after directing a 10-camera shoot of Alice Cooper live during his Theatre of Death tour date at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

“We had done this massive HD shoot for the Blu-ray production and wanted a really simple way to get our HDCAM footage into ProRes so we could edit straight away,” said Dave Meehan, director, producer and Nyquest founder. “We went to a couple of post houses with our 30 HDCAM tapes hoping they could digitize the footage for us. We were quoted costs that were in the £4,000 range. We just didn’t have that kind of budget for digitizing.”

Looking around for a solution, Meehan tapped London-based rental house Eastwood Sound & Vision, who suggested he try AJA Ki Pro, a device which records high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto computer-friendly media, to convert his footage. After a demonstration of the Ki Pro’s capabilities, Meehan rented it for three days and got a solution to his problem — for about fourteen times less than traditional digitizing costs!

“When I saw the Ki Pro, I thought, ‘Surely it’s not this easy.’ We dumped footage out of a JH3 deck and into the Ki Pro hard drive. Because Ki Pro can take timecode in and has HDMI input in the back, we were off without delay. It was unbelievably simple. It was just dubbing HDCAM footage over to Ki Pro and ending up with ProRes, which we took straight into the Final Cut timeline for HD, multicamera editing.” He added, “Once we have those files we can do anything with them — edit in any resolution straight off the drives, do the online the next day, even output as DV. It’s as easy as that.”

Nyquest Ltd. has been filming live concerts and artist interviews since 1999, initially specialising in production and post for webcasts, moving into DVD and Blu-ray production, for artists including Ozzy Osbourne, and Brian Eno.

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