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Samson Productions Ties the Knot with ATEM Production Switchers

A traditional Indian wedding is no simple get together. It is an EVENT. Hundreds, if not thousands, of friends and family members come from all corners of the globe to take part in pre and post wedding festivities, often for several days. All to lend their support to the couple as they begin their new life together.

During and after the wedding, the happy couple wants their guests, and even those who could not make the trip, to feel that they were part of something special. More than that, they want everyone in attendance to be able to actually see and hear the event. But like any event that includes huge numbers of people, not everyone can have a front row seat.

This is the reason why companies like Samson Productions have become so popular. The California based firm has built a hugely successful business providing photography and videography for Indian and Pakistani weddings for more than 20 years. They understand the elegance, scope and traditions that come with these weddings.

Samson Productions is differentiating itself from other wedding service providers by providing A/V services that are turning weddings into live broadcasting events sophisticated enough to make established broadcasters jealous. A major part of what makes delivering such well reputed services possible is Samson's purchase of Blackmagic Design's ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher and 1 M/E Broadcast Control Panel.

Weddings as Live Broadcast Events

"At Samson, we handle everything from traditional Indian, American and Pakistani weddings to casual beach and outdoor commitment ceremonies. Our goal is to keep everything natural, affordable and fun, but also provide a complete experience for everyone," said Shahan Mohammed, in charge of multimedia productions at Samson. "And part of that complete experience is a live production that includes all of the things you would expect at a concert or sporting event."


Shahan continued: "Our customers can expect a multi camera, HD level production, HD projectors around the venue showing every part of the ceremony, graphics and effects, live streaming in HD and DVDs available within hours of the event ending. The ATEM switcher is at the center of this whole process."

The ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher comes in a two rack units size and includes eight total inputs of SDI, HDMI and component video, and has three auxilliary outputs and a single Multi View for monitoring. Video and audio from the ceremony and audience is fed directly into the ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher and is then controlled through the ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Control Panel.

At each wedding, ATEM is used with at least three roving cameramen in charge of capturing the ceremony, crowd reactions and other venue shots. Inputs from microphones and each camera, one of which is always a wireless HDMI camera, are brought into ATEM, captured for line editing and are outputted to various HD projectors throughout the venue. Shahan is also able to use the ATEM's full range of graphic overlays and effects, and following events, he can take the combined HD line cut from the system and use it as the base edit for quick DVD development.

ATEM has also allowed Samson to bring ceremonies to family and friends across the globe. At recent weddings, Shahan has used the ATEM, along with a Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle capture and playback device and a Flash media live encoder, to stream ceremonies directly to the Internet.

Training on the Fly

There no longer is a wedding season. Every weekend of every month is wedding season. Which meant that Shahan and his team did not have the luxury of taking their time to learn a new system and put it into day to day use at a leisurely pace. Shahan bought the ATEM products in June and had to quickly train himself and his production crew on both the ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher and the ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel for weddings that would be taking place the following week. By early August, Shahan had already completed more than a dozen weddings using ATEM.

One of the first big tests for ATEM came almost immediately at a relatively smaller event in Denver of 500 people. Though small for a traditional Indian wedding, the event included 12 LED monitors being fed by three roving cameras.

"At the Denver wedding, ATEM worked perfectly. The ATEM was built to be both powerful but also easy to use and understand. It was extremely easy to train on, but at the same time gives me most of the broadcast quality features that had previously been too expensive and out of reach," Shahan said.

"In the past, switching simply wasn't an easy option for us. If we wanted to do a big multi cam live event, we had to go rent a switcher. We only did this for our high end weddings. Even then, the features and what we could do with a rented switcher were very limited, and usually included only basic fade in and fade outs and far fewer inputs and outputs. But that has all changed," said Shahan.

"Now with the ATEM, we could buy a switcher and panel outright and offer live production as a regular service. We have built it in as part of our core set of services and our customers love to see broadcast quality production. Quite simply, our business is growing with ATEM," finished Shahan.

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Related Keywords:Blackmagic Design, ATEM, Production Switcher, Broadcast Control Panel, Samson Productions, Event Videography

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