Universities around the world are using high quality professional video equipment to increase student and community engagement, enhance communication and highlight academic research and expertise.
In Australia, the University of Melbourne has set up a full service video production team and studio with the primary aim of enhancing the reach of academic research and building up course content for students. The studio has now become an integral part of the university's communication strategy, producing diverse content spanning various fields, both in house and on location, to amplify academic research and expertise.
The studio's role was expanded during the pandemic as it swiftly adapted to a live streaming format, facilitating discussions with notable guests including Anthony Fauci, former chief medical advisor to the President of the United States, and Dame Sally Davies, former chief medical officer for England.
Enhancing Courses and Communications
The University is using Blackmagic Design’s ATEM Mini Extreme ISO and ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K for live streaming and multi camera switching of a variety of university events and classroom streams, HyperDeck Studio 4K Pro for recording and playback, and Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pros as the main studio cameras. These are also used with Blackmagic Design Micro Converter HDMI to SDI 3Gs.
University of Melbourne Immersive Media Coordinator Ben Loveridge spoke about the impact of the initiative, saying, "The response has been overwhelmingly positive. The public video content we've produced has positioned us as a hub for high quality academic discourse.
“Our faculty members are taking advantage of the studio's capabilities to enhance their courses and internal communications. Through the use of an efficient and professional video setup, we’re able keep the process as simple as possible for our staff to get their messages across. With a script and a presenter, we can promptly handle the rest in post. When everyone is short on time, that’s a crucial advantage, especially in today’s video centric world."
Other Australian universities, such as Curtin University in Perth and Deakin University in Geelong, have also embraced Blackmagic’s equipment, highlighting a key growth sector for Blackmagic Design amid increasing adoption of video in both external and internal communications.
Production and Post at Deakin
Deakin University’s Bachelor of Film, Television and Animation program now uses a suite of Blackmagic gear including ATEM live production switchers, URSA Broadcast G2 cameras and DaVinci Resolve editing and post production software.
The three year program includes the opportunity for students to produce live broadcasts of Women's National Basketball League games that are streamed on Fox Sport and Kayo, and Victorian Football League games streamed on SevenPlus.
For these games, students work alongside trained professionals in Deakin University’s own OB van, which incorporates Blackmagic equipment to create a professional production environment. Students gain experience on URSA Broadcast G2s equipped with URSA Studio Viewfinders, Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2 digital film cameras, the ATEM Camera Control Panel, ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K and ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K live production switchers, HyperDeck Studio Mini broadcast decks, SmartView Duo 2 monitors and Micro Converters SDI to HDMI.
The Deakin University team started working with Blackmagic Design devices and software over a decade ago when the team was using Davinci Resolve to create digital screening packages.
Dr Simon Wilmot, head of group, film, animation and performing arts, said, “What makes our course different is our focus on developing real world skills, using technology that our students will encounter in a professional setting. Our students become fully integrated into the workflow of a real, valuable product – operating cameras, auto cues, EVS servers, floor managing, assisting with audio and lighting and so on. The relationships the students are able to develop with professional crew have created pathways for many of them to gain paid employment in the broadcast industry.”
The quality and pricing of Blackmagic Design’s products and the ongoing development of the DaVinci Resolve platform gave the team the confidence to invest into Blackmagic Design over time. Dr. Wilmot also finds the menus and layout of the cameras make them relatively accessible and easy to use in teaching compared to other cameras.
He said, “Over several years we have purchased Blackmagic Design equipment to do specific tasks, such as the HyperDeck. But the development of DaVinci Resolve really cemented the company in our minds as the ideal platform for our students to learn professional level skills. This became a key part of our workflows, and the rest of the technology stack has come together from there.
“The URSA was also an ideal camera for us to create a set of production cameras to develop intermediate skills on. The cost was such that we were able to purchase eight cameras and kit them up for production. ThePocket Cinema Cameras were useful to develop an introductory class set to introduce students to cinematographic concepts, including changing lenses. When we eventually developed the OB van, once again, Blackmagic’s quality and pricing made the project affordable.” www.blackmagicdesign.com