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American College of Cardiology is All Heart with Blackmagic Design
If you have never seen CardioSource (http://www.cardiosource.org/), it is possible that you might confuse the site with something developed by one of the major broadcast news networks. Strings of news stories, special features and doctor and researcher interviews are used to keep viewers on top of the world of cardiology. The site has featured nearly 600 unique web segments just this past year!
The volume and production value alone would lead most people to assume that teams of dedicated video production professionals, spending huge amounts of time and money, are continuously slaving over the site. But in reality, it is just a small team of video and content management professionals that includes Associate Director of Video Production Justin Schauble, Video Specialist David Wardrick and Morgan Bramlet, Senior Director of Branding, Creative and Video handling the video content for the American College of Cardiology's (ACC) online news site.
The ACC is a nonprofit organization for medical professionals based in downtown Washington, DC, dedicated to the continuous education of its 39,000 members around the latest news and theories in cardiac medicine. And the production of CardioSource is instrumental in accomplishing this mission. But as a nonprofit, funds for equipment and personnel have to be kept to a minimum. So the organization turned to ACC Studios' video team and Blackmagic Design's Multibridge Eclipse and DeckLink HD Extreme.
ACC originally had a small setup for producing educational VHS tapes. But the organization could see the need for more media-rich and regularly produced web-based resources. With a Master's in Film and Video Production and a dozen years of freelancing experience for numerous educational associations, this was an ideal undertaking for Schauble, when he started there four years ago. Two years later, Wardrick, a former Tech Coordinator at Convention and Conference Video, lent a helping hand.
ACC Studios has since built in-house capabilities that have set ACC apart from other non-profit organizations in the medical field. Schauble and his team can do things that would be five to ten times as expensive out of house, yet boast in-house capabilities unparalleled by any other organization of its size, or even larger.
At the inception of CardioSource, Schauble had to rely on a two-Mac, one-camera operation. Since then, he has evolved his workflow to include a studio of affordable, but sophisticated equipment to produce video segments including CardioSourceVideoNews (CVN), The ACC Update, coverage of industry events and other special features.
CVN was the first to launch with The ACC Update premiering just this fall. In just a few short years, ACC's media gurus-who now total eight-have helped make incredible progress in updating members on changes and developments in medical policy, legislation, standards, guidelines and cardiovascular research.
On average, four weekly programs appear on CardioSource. CVN appears in regularly scheduled, two to four-minute series in the form of science and quality care related videos. ACC Update is a longer news format show, with an anchor. Episodes consist of four to five advocacy or education-based lead stories, and also include one-on-one interviews with industry experts.
And just like the cardiac professionals that rely on ACC to stay up to speed and maintain their certifications, Schauble and his team trust a robust arsenal of advanced gear to get hundreds of web segments up on CardioSource.
Each segment is shot on three JVC GY-HM700 ProHD camcorders with Canon KT14x4.4KRSJ HD lenses. And a full greenscreen cyc is used for the majority of productions that don't take place on set.
Capture begins with one of two switchers: a NewTek TriCaster TCXD300 for projects that demand real-time chromakey and a Grass Valley Indigo for more traditional work. Then all footage is fed directly into the Multibridge Eclipse via Final Cut Pro.
The Multibridge Eclipse is what helps Schauble and his team maintain the standard of quality they strive for. He explains, "We rely on it to capture ProRes 422 in realtime. We're shooting live to digital, and with the mission critical captures we deal with on a daily basis, we need to know our equipment won't fail."
ACC's studio is also outfitted with five workstations, each equipped with a DeckLink HD Extreme and supported by a TerraBlock hard drive. From the moment Schauble calls "Clear!" members of his team are ready to edit and publish. Using the HD Extreme, they can jump to any editing bay, and see the same images on every Panasonic monitor. "This provides a baseline for everything we do, eliminating variables and making it possible to publish footage online in 30 minutes or less," he says.
One bay, the content conversion station, is even set up to bring in DVCAM, MiniDV, VHS and BETACAM SP content, plugged into the HD Extreme through a component cable and the Multibridge Eclipse. Schauble's Blackmagic infrastructural backbone has made CardioSource a true "anything in, anything out" operation.
"I met Grant Petty two years ago at the FCPUG Supermeet at NAB, and have since been continually impressed with how Blackmagic has jumped ahead of the competition," says Schauble. "As we continue to receive increasingly complex requests, we appreciate everything Blackmagic has come up with to overcome countless obstacles in the field, all at unbeatable price points. As long as they keep pushing the envelope, we'll be right behind them doing the same."
"At the end of the day, our job is simple. We're responsible for promoting best practices in cardiac care, and we have to get that information out as quickly and professionally as possible. Through education, we are indirectly driving the advancement of cardiac medicine."
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