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Tokyo’s TOHO GAKUEN Goes Behind-the-Scenes with Blackmagic

Tokyo-based TOHO GAKUEN Media Training College, an institute that prepares students for the entertainment industry, recently used a Blackmagic Design production and post production workflow, including Blackmagic Camera iPhone app, Blackmagic Cloud and DaVinci Resolve Studio, to shoot and edit a behind the scenes video for its recent “DENPA-SAI” campus festival. Additionally, the festival‘s various programs were completed using URSA Broadcast G2 cameras, ATEM SDI Extreme ISO live production switcher and ATEM Camera Control Panel.

TOHO GAKUEN Media Training College is part of the TOHO GAKUEN Group, attracting students aspiring to enter the entertainment industry, focusing on fields like television, radio program production, and lighting. The school includes TOHO GAKUEN Film School for training creators in film, anime, and music videos, TOHO GAKUEN Sound School for audio related studies, and Tokyo Announcement Academy for performers such as actors, voice actors, and dancers.

Every November, the school holds a campus festival known as “DENPA-SAI,” where students take the lead in various activities. Among these, unique to the school’s film production learning environment, are productions designed like television programs. For the first time, the school decided to create a BTS video of the festival to be streamed.

Explaining the initiative, Yuki Matsumoto, chief of the Media College Department, said: “In the Media College Department, we conducted two days of in-house broadcasting and live streaming of the programs using YouTube Live. As part of the school’s presentation, we attempted to produce a music program in our studio, using LED panels as a backdrop. We utilized URSA Broadcast G2 cameras to provide visitors with the experience of creating a music program.”

For this production, three URSA Broadcast G2 cameras, each equipped with an URSA Studio Viewfinder G2, Blackmagic Focus Demand and Blackmagic Zoom Demand were used along with ATEM SDI Extreme ISO, ATEM Mini Pro live production switcher, ATEM Camera Control Panel, SmartView 4K monitor, and Video Assist 7” 12G HDR monitor/recorder. Matsumoto continued: “The inclusion of older studio cameras allowed for a comparison between the look of these state-of-the-art cameras and older, retro cameras. As the final part of the two-day program, we used Blackmagic Camera to shoot and edit the footage for a ‘shooting and editing on the fly’ experience.” For the BTS, approximately 25 students using iPhones shared the responsibility of shooting using Blackmagic Camera during their assigned time slots. The footage was then edited using DaVinci Resolve Studio and Blackmagic Cloud to connect the various editors working on the feature around campus.

“We first tested Blackmagic Camera among the staff when it was released, and thought this could be used for shooting behind the scenes videos. We experimented with it in a seminar for freshman students in the Media College Department. As it worked well, we decided to use it for the campus festival,” explained Matsumoto. Freshman students from the Media College Department took on the main roles in shooting and editing, with sophomore students joining as support. The final editing was done by sophomore student Ibuki Yamada. The shooting started during the preparation period, and the diverse footage shot at various locations was continuously uploaded via Blackmagic Cloud. Yamada said: “Since the footage was sent in real time, we could efficiently communicate if there were any missing elements and we needed additional shots. Blackmagic Camera’s ability to finely adjust settings beyond regular smartphone cameras ensures high quality while being easy to use.”

“Blackmagic Camera was especially convenient for shooting behind the scenes footage where we didn’t want to be too intrusive. Since the menu is almost identical to what we use with the URSA Broadcast G2 in our classes, we could master the operation quickly,” commented Nadea Otsuka, a sophomore student.

Yamada added: “The behind the scenes video was completed just about 10 minutes before air time. Without Blackmagic Cloud, we wouldn’t have made it in time for the closing ceremony.”

“Blackmagic Cloud’s service allows us to choose the capacity, giving us the flexibility to decide how many cameras to use for each event and adjust the cloud’s capacity accordingly, on a monthly basis. We would like to incorporate the workflow of combining Blackmagic Camera and Blackmagic Cloud more actively into our regular classes,” concluded Matsumoto.


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