As a director for live concert recordings and broadcast, what is one of your most favorite or memorable production experiences?
Thomas Janze: I started using BlackcamSystems first when directing live concerts for Volkswagen Sound Foundation. I must explain – I have a film production company called Totho, producing live concert recordings, music videos, commercials and theatrical documentaries. So, then I directed a live concert of the American band Incubus in Berlin which was live streamed, using two B20 systems. The band and their management were so excited about the new erspectives; they immediately bought 2 systems for their world tour. Those two systems have been on a second world tour with Incubus, we never heard of any complaints, which also proves how solid and Rock’n’Roll the systems are. Actually, the production company also used these two B20s for another world tour, with the band Rush. Both bands came to Berlin, so we could kind of reunite with our first two Babies, that was quite emotional, I must confess.
As it relates to working with BlackcamSystems, what makes shooting for live concert recordings and broadcast unique to shooting other kinds of productions in your experience?
Thomas Janze: Well, with regards to using the Blackcam, shooting a live concert is especially satisfying, as with our systems we get up-close images that weren’t possible before. Blackcam’s systems are super small, flexible and easy to integrate into any stage set ups. Such as the B10 or B20 operated on a circle around the drum set, like we did for Coldplay – a 180° circle, or a concert of a German Punk band called Die Toten Hosen, for them we set up a 360° circle, both productions were directed by famous British director Paul Dugdale. Live TV productions like the finals of “The Voice” now look different, since for example one of the three B40 systems that were used for the show was integrated into the stage, tracks and dolly invisible beneath the stage, so there is only the remote head and the camera, which seems to fly and offers super dynamic images and the possibility to react immediately to any spontaneous action on stage or interaction with performers and the jury. Also, I directed the music video of last year’s winner of “The Voice of Germany” using the B20 with a Canon C300.
If you could share some quick tips related to capturing POV angles and specialty shots with BlackcamSystems, what would they be?
Thomas Janze: Well, obviously the shots around the drum set, shooting from a position behind or next to the drummer is very dynamic, plus the systems are super versatile so one can easily follow the drummer’s moves. Or using a set up of a straight track running along the back of a stage, aiming towards the audience, like we did for a 3D production about the World’s biggest Heavy Metal Festival “Wacken”, where bands like Motörhead, Rammstein, Deep Purple or Alice Cooper performed. And also, very importantly, the set up in front of a stage, since the systems are so small and adaptable to any stage design we always achieve minimal disturbance for audience and artists, while creating intimate and unique images. Finally, a system running upside down, mounted to the ceiling of a venue or studio, which we have done for “XFactor UK” for example. In a nutshell, we basically produce images, create new perspectives, and I had this vision as a director that it must be possible to reach those angles and thus I ended up founding Blackcam in order to create the toys I wanna use for my work as a director. Other directors too truly appreciate the advantages Blackcam has to offer. For example, well-known Austrian director Hannes Rossacher just recently used seven BlackcamSystems for a live concert that was streamed into theatres all over Germany.
Do you do training and educational workshops for BlackcamSystem camera systems?
Thomas Janze: We do offer workshops in Germany and wherever clients want us to offer a workshop. We like travelling and our systems are easy to transport. The B10 is hand luggage!
Could you tell us more about your distributors in the US?
Thomas Janze: We have partners in the U.S., All Mobile Video, the American premier provider of end-to-end video and audio solutions. They are located in New York City, but operate nationwide.