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Reid Caulfield
Best solution for unique live situation
on May 23, 2008 at 5:47:46 am

I hope this is the right forum. I'll try to be brief, and in advance let me say I appreciate all input for this unique project. I also need to be a bit vague regarding the exact details of the project. This is for an adventure-style multi-part doc series. I need a cross between a standard doc-style shoot & a live broadcast/capture situation, though none of this will go out live to the world.

We need to install some flavor of HD cameras in 2 distinct environments:
- Remote habitat: 6 cams in the habitat as follows: 4 HD "lipstick cams" (2 primary, 2 backup) & 2 local operator-controlled cams
-"Control" environment = 2 "lipstick cams" (1 primary, 1 backup) and 2 operator-controlled "grab & go" cams (probably a P2 variant)

The 6 "lipstick" cams need to be "live" at all times, though only 3 will need to stream at any one time. The other 3 are backup cams. An operator will monitor the action and decide when to record what's going on. We need the ability to simply hit a big red button for each cam to begin recording to disk. No live camera switching is required. Just hot record.

All remote cams to feed disks in the Control environment. We'll run cables between the 2 environments. Because of the nature of the remote environment, tapes are not an option.

Our constraints are:
- very limited space & power in the control environment. Stacking up dozens of hard drives for the 3 month shoot is not an option. Even a week at a time is a problem.
- 2 man tech crew. These 2 people will shoot, edit, prep & maintain.
- no tech access to the remote environment. This means that even the operator-controlled cams in the remote environment need to feed into drives in our "control" environment.
- VERY close proximity to a salt water environment
- No provision or budget for remote trucks or satellite uplinks.
- reasonably portable

If i had my way, I'd uplink everything so we didn't even need to deal with local storage at all, which I worry about because of the salt water as well as the risk of keeping primary & backup drives together without the ability to constantly move them off-site. We'll be able to move off-site about twice a week.

All thoughts welcome.

Reid Caulfield


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