TED is a fantastic brand, institution and method for sharing ideas. Naturally, we were excited to produce the audio/visual live event for TEDxLa Jolla on April 12, 2014.
The event was put on by Amanda and Mitch Thrower on a beautiful rooftop deck over looking the La Jolla Cove.
If you’re familiar with any TED or TEDx event, they’re mostly held indoors. This was a problem and an opportunity for us. TED has strict brand standards to follow as guidelines, meaning we had to work within a set of preconceived lighting and video requirements. Brand guidelines are great, they make your job easier as it takes out some of the guess work, and you have the confidence that it will look great, and consistent to all other TED events.
The challenge for us was that most TEDx events are held indoors. Herein lies the opportunity for us to do something unique, stand out and take advantage of the gorgeous view we had as a backdrop. We would have to deal with weather, sun, sunset and nighttime exteriors. La Jolla is notorious for marine layers being that it sits practically on the water. During sunset, our speakers would be facing directly into the sun- great for the audience and cameras as it produces great lighting from our vantage point. But, this can be tricky for the speakers and we really didn’t want them squinting or wearing sunglasses as that would take away from the connection we receive from them. The day, of course, had a hefty marine layer and an ocean breeze, making it kinda chilly on a rooftop. We had heaters on standby and scouted out the placement of each as to not interfere with the camera location.
When nightfall came, we turned on the lights and lit it up in beautiful TED fashion. Being California and outside, we had to light the palm trees across the way, of course. The event went on without a hitch thanks to our experienced, tried and true producers, Mitch and Amanda Thrower.
We used a standard DMX LED lighting, these are great because they have fantastic range in color, produce no heat and are light on the power consumption. For the cameras, we chose Canon C100s and output via HDMI. The nice thing about HDMI cables is that the video and audio feed travel over one cable, but the range isn’t that long. So, we attached the HDMI to a BlackMagic converter to SDI. SDI has a much longer range and these plugged directly into our video switcher – the BlackMagic ATEM TV Studio. We actually ran the mic inputs from our presenters into our A-camera and used the camera to output audio into our board for the lifestream and recording.