Wednesday, May 22, 2024

MTV Goes Live and Unplugged with Five Peas and Videocraft

Renowned production house Five Peas was recently asked to produce an entire series of MTV Unplugged. For their technology, facilities and post production partner they chose Videocraft.

As Craig Borg from Five Peas explained, “MTV Unplugged is such an iconic brand so we were super excited to be asked to produce this series with the team at MTV. Five Peas has always had a collaborative and successful long-standing relationship with MTV so our technology partner had to be of the very highest order and that’s why we chose Videocraft.”


Five Peas was engaged to find and manage all aspects of the event and shoot and in addition, provide post production for broadcast. This included scouting and securing a suitable venue, coming up with creative concepts and providing production and set design that was unique to each featured artist.

Borg continued, “In terms of the broadcast record, from the outset we wanted to use Sony F55 cameras. As the production required quite a quick turnaround in post, a multi-cam approach was a must. Having the ability to build up the F55s as a studio camera gave us the functionality we needed to meet the project timelines. So we asked Videocraft to supply the cameras and their world-class support.”

In fact Videocraft supplied Five Peas with multiple Sony F55 Cameras with fibre adaptors and studio backs in a multi-cam setup, a switcher, their custom flypack, a Ross Furio dolly system and AJA KI Pro Ultra Plus Recording.


As Videocraft rentals manager George Pana explained, “The technology choice selected for the project was very specific and chosen in close collaboration with Craig and the Five Peas team in order to fully support their comprehensive multi-camera requirements. The new AJA Ki Pro Ultra Plus was a key part in this project and has proven very popular with our rental customers time and time again. The main reason for this is that it in a really small space we can get a reliable four channel HD recorder, or a full 4K single channel recorder in all of the UHD and 4K frame rates our clients need. In addition, the ability to fully control playback from our VSM control systems adds a whole new dimension of ease of use. As a recording solution for multi-camera projects in HD or 4K the AJA Ki Pro Ultra Plus solution is hard to beat.”

The Ki Pro Ultra Plus also supports the latest large raster high frame rate workflows, up to 4K 60p with HDR playout and recording and boasts 3G-SDI, fibre and full HDMI 2.0 digital video connectivity plus a wealth of analogue and digital audio connectivity options.

Borg agreed wholeheartedly with George Pana and added, “The cameras themselves looked fantastic and performed really well as did the AJA Ki Pro Ultra Plus recording solution. The Furio dolly and track was a big hit in achieving the shots we were after without a camera operator and traditional track in front of the stage. There are very few broadcast content series still in existence that solely feature just one artist. As a result we spent a lot of time going back and forth with the label, management and the artist ensuring that everything from the instrumentation, to set design, to camera placement was going to achieve the best result. Videocraft were a big part of helping make the overall show a great success.”

MTV Unplugged is known for showcasing an artist performing a set that is completely different to what you get at one of their normal shows. For Borg and the Five Peas team, it was critical this was underpinned by the technology used to shoot the show.

He added, “Videocraft’s technology solution performed extremely well. The gear and crew did a fantastic job in understanding and accommodating the needs of the project. We think the pictures speak for themselves really. The fact that Gang Of Youths are releasing a live album of the performance online and on vinyl, as well as a live DVD is testament to the success of the project. I have to say Videocraft are the only company we have worked with that can seamlessly integrate the F55s into a studio style operation and workflow. We are very proud of the results and overwhelmed with the feedback we have received from the wider industry and we are very grateful to Videocraft for their technical knowledge, expertise and support.”


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