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URSA Broadcast at Cirque du Soleil

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The latest broadcast technology from Blackmagic Design, including the new URSA Broadcast and ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, is used to deliver a 4K live production for Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère.

Blackmagic Design announced that Moai Films (led by Lukas Colombo) joined forces with Los Nativs (led by Jacob Mann) and Rebel Studios (led by Carlos Lopez) on a live production of Mystère by Cirque du Soleil using Blackmagic’s newest line of broadcast products, including URSA Broadcast, Camera Fiber Converter, Studio Fiber Converter, ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel, and ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K. The large scale, multi camera, live switch shoot was powered by the latest Blackmagic Design broadcast technology using the company’s new Fiber Converters to create a full 4K workflow across Cirque du Soleil’s expansive theatre.

Mystère is one of Cirque du Soleil’s longest running shows, performed in a custom theatre at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. As with many Cirque du Soleil productions, Mystère combines powerful athleticism, high energy acrobatics, and inspiring imagery, thrilling audiences with its whimsical drama.

Lukas Colombo is the multi-award winning filmmaker and founder of Moai Films, a production company that has produced countless commercials, music videos, narrative films, TV series, and documentaries. He has received over a dozen international and national awards for his narrative work, and his music videos have been viewed millions of times online via MTV, VEVO and VH1.

Colombo, along with Director Jacob Mann — the co-founder of the newly founded Mixed Media Design Studio, Los Nativs, which specialises in live event coverage, multi-cam audience experience, and storytelling – captured the performances using a 10-camera set up featuring Blackmagic Design’s URSA Broadcast, URSA Mini Pro and Micro Studio Camera 4K. The set up included an URSA Broadcast camera on a 20-foot jib, one URSA Mini Pro camera on a Dana Dolly and two others at the front of house, one Micro Studio Camera 4K on a Ronin handheld stabilizer and four additional Micro Studio Camera 4K’s mounted across the stage.

Colombo had previously used Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini Pro to shoot multiple scripted television series and films. “I knew that these cameras would perform flawlessly on this live 10 camera Cirque du Soleil production. The new advanced video mode in the URSA Broadcast camera gave us beautiful colour straight out of the box. We were able to use a traditional 2/3” sensor with B4 lens mounts for our operators to reach and hold those tight shots following the acrobats, while tracking the incredible energy of the performers and the show. We shot 800 ISO all around and primarily used Fujinon’s new 4k glass, which was a great pairing on these wide dynamic range cameras.”

Project Manager Carlos Lopez added, “The show’s visuals are amazing, the music is beautiful, and the athleticism is out of this world. Our challenge was to put our viewers right in the heart of the action and having a full 4K production made the footage much more exciting.”

Echoing that sentiment, Mann added, “Cirque du Soleil is romantic. With the URSA Broadcast, we were able to achieve a broadcast environment without sacrificing the cinematic look and feel that the artists were looking for. We had 10 cameras plus a video village, and we were completely up and running in an hour and a half. That’s how streamlined the Blackmagic Design products are.”

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