Who is Chuck and Charlie?
Chuck & Charlie is a high-end production company in California. There are two partners, and the catchy company name is the first name of their fathers. We’ve done video production work for them before in Las Vegas and when they had a need again, they reached out to us with a project for trade show/conference video production videos.
What Was the Project?
This project was to set up interviews in a conference room at the Venetian Expo Center and conduct interviews for 3 days as well as have another two-person crew to collect footage for a highlight video of the show. It was a five-person crew with four technicians and me as a supervisor. Most of the technicians were multi-decades long experienced to go with my 33 years.
The Chuck and Charlie client was a software company that offers a sophisticated cloud accounting platform. We learned a lot about what a great product this is listening to the people being interviewed.
Interview Equipment for Conference Video
For the interviews, it was a two-person crew recording uncompressed 4k 24p footage to two Sony F7s cameras (one on a slider) recording redundantly to Atomos Inferno monitor/recorders. And yes, the files were huge! We brought a Blackmagic Atem switcher to see both cameras side by side on a monitor, and a laptop for media management. One of the room walls was used as a backdrop with a lit out-of-focus shadow mask and plants to add texture and interest.
Roaming Equipment for a Convention Highlight Video
For the roaming crew, we used a Sony DSLR on a gimbal, a Sony Fs5 on a dolly/tripod, and several other cameras.
What Did I Do?
As with all our projects, I pulled out all the equipment ahead of time in our studio, set it up, and tested it. Then it is taken apart and packed in a system designed to find the pieces easily. For this project, we brought in 5 carts loaded with equipment to cover every contingency.
I anticipated being able to roam between the two crews supervising but had to spend most of my time doing media management with what ended up being around 6 Terabytes of footage. This was footage from camera cards, ProRes files from the Atomos recorders, and files from the multiple cameras used by the roaming crew. As I said above, huge files! Each 128GB card in the Sony cameras could only hold one interview. It was two cards at once with two cameras, and we had to copy and rotate our six ($400/each) cards over and over. We also went through a few 1TB SSDs with Atomos files. I was copying files while coaching the interviews and checking the other crew at the same time. Then in the evening, I caught up on any files not yet copied.
Interviews as Part of Conference Video Production
The interviews were long, most approaching an hour in length with an ultimate goal of editing each one down to 2 or 3 minutes. We started recording early in the morning and went into the late afternoon/evening. We recorded 17 interviews and then days after the show, the client got rough two-camera synched edits from which to select the soundbites they wanted to use for finished interviews. We’ve done conference video production interviews of anywhere from 5 minutes to these, which were on the long end.
We also brought a DSLR and a strobe to capture still image headshots of each person interviewed.
Roaming Crew as Part of Conference Video Production
The roaming crew did “man-on-the-street” interviews and captured the show events including presentations in breakout rooms. This crew had to contend with extremely difficult lighting at the Venetian. The breakout rooms rely on yellowish ceiling fixtures for lighting, the hallways were an even more yellowish, impossible to color match tint. Color grading and editing in DaVinci Resolve is the answer for something lit like this. Even with all the lighting difficulties, Chuck and Charlie, with our footage put together an exciting, motivating high-energy “Highlight Video”. A video like this is targeted to market future shows.
A Shipping Problem
After consolidating all the files on an 8 TB hard drive, we needed to ship that to Chuck & Charlie’s for them to do the editing. To be safe we copied the files to a duplicate archive hard drive for backup which we keep. This took another 8 hours. Once copied, we shipped the original drive next day shipping. Usually, UPS to California never takes more than a day. But after 2 days the drive hadn’t arrived, and UPS couldn’t find it, so we took the 8 hours to duplicate our archive drive planning to send that. That was three 8 TB drives we used, and we had no more in stock. Just as we were ready to ship it, the client let us know the first drive had arrived.
Looking Forward to the Future
We enjoyed working with Chuck and Charlie. Their client like hundreds of other companies was very pleased with our work Our contact, Dave Kaffer one of the owners, is a real gentleman and we look forward to working with them again.