Blackmagic Design has announced that The Daily Aus, one of Australia’s leading social first news services, employed an array of Blackmagic Design products, including Blackmagic URSA Broadcast camera and Blackmagic Camera app, to deliver insightful coverage of the recent Voice referendum, including three nine-minute shorts focusing on issues around the vote.
The in-depth coverage spanning three episodes was spearheaded by The Daily Aus’ Head of Video Joe Kiely, who deployed URSA Broadcast as the main camera alongside an iPhone, integrated through Blackmagic Camera app, serving as a reliable camera for pickup shots.
This innovative setup was essential in capturing the nuanced narratives from the remote communities most impacted by the Voice referendum. A total of nine and a half hours of raw footage was distilled into approximately 30 minutes of compelling narratives, underscoring the Voice referendum’s profound implications from a variety of perspectives.
URSA Broadcast stood as a steadfast companion to Kiely, whose journey through Australia emphasized the need for mobility and a quick setup. The URSA Broadcast’s ruggedness also shone through amidst challenging weather conditions, from scorching temperatures and dust to relentless gales, particularly during a shoot on a picturesque headland among a bustling crowd of tourists in northwest Australia.
The synergy between the URSA Broadcast and the iPhone, empowered by the Blackmagic Camera app, helped Kiely bridge the gap between spontaneous pickup shots and the high-quality capture synonymous with URSA Broadcast. The series was color graded in DaVinci Resolve Studio, and the magic mask feature was instrumental in harmonizing the footage from both devices, ensuring a cohesive visual narrative.
Kiely said, “The URSA Broadcast allowed both journalist Tom Crowley and I to be light on our feet while racing around the country. Most days we set off with just the camera and a monopod. It’s just so reassuring knowing that everything you need is bolted onto the camera itself. Your mind isn’t thinking about ND filters, spare batteries, or media cards running out. I could focus on getting the coverage we needed, and Tom could focus on conducting interviews and writing pieces to camera. The footage from the URSA Broadcast is beautiful, capturing cinematic shots in less than ideal conditions. It really was the workhorse that let us do this ambitious project on short notice.”
He continued: “The Blackmagic Camera app was an amazing tool to have on our project. It turned the iPhone into a reliable pickup camera. The ability to adjust frame rate, ISO and white balance helped us get surprising quality from an iPhone, and the Apple Log profile made it really easy to adjust the grades in Resolve to do any camera matching. It uses the same interface as other Blackmagic cameras, which made it incredibly easy to work with, saving us time on the occasions when we didn’t have a lot of time to get set up and only had one take.”
“With the URSA Broadcast, I loved being able to ditch the ‘grab bag of peripherals’ and just take the camera. We’d often be driving for long periods through the outback and would spot a terrific vista or magic moment where I could pull over and be filming in under a minute. While on foot, I had everything I needed on my shoulder, which was kind of my ‘news superpower.’ Combined with the Blackmagic Camera app on my phone, we were able to pull off a multicam shoot on a shoestring, capturing fantastic vision to accompany our series on the Voice referendum,” Kiely concluded.