Production in the Pyrenees
From InAVate Magazine
Festivisuel is an AV production company situated in the Toulouse region of southwest France, which handles all aspects of a technical portfolio that may be required for production. Areas covered include lighting, sound and video. An important point is that Festivisuel is more than just a service company: a conversation with Simon Gerland, the technical director, showed that as well as providing technical support, Festivisuel also offers consultation and expertise for clients who need assistance in defining what is required for a project in order to bring it to fruition.
“There are quite a few rental companies that just provide the technical facilities to the client and leave it at that. Our philosophy is to collaborate in order to find out what the client wants as a final result and plan out systems and working methods that will help them to reach this goal,” Simon explains.
A significant part of realizing this philosophy has been achieved through the purchase and use of Blackmagic Design’s new the ATEM 1 M/E Production Switchers.
Festivisuel boasts a talented team of 15, all of who have an independent professional status, which allows the company (one might almost say, cooperative) a lot of flexibility in putting crews together for events.
The company was previously associated with Pyrenees based ARDT, but with ARDT closing Festivisuel is now the main service provider for the Toulouse area.
However, as Simon Gerland explained: “Though our region is very important to us, we are not confined to the Toulouse/Pyrenees region and can go anywhere in France, which is often the case.”
Festivisuel is pretty much a ‘one stop’ operation and this includes technical support for cultural events and sports, covering lighting, sound reinforcement, video recording/transmission, multi media and streaming over Internet. The company can also project manage for the development of productions and give expert advice on marrying artistic aims with technical expertise.
Breaking these services down further, Festivisuel can handle film/video productions such as documentaries, fictions and audiovisual shows; lighting and sound for concerts, theatrical productions and special events, including recording and sound design; AV production for both live broadcast and recording; computer programming for cultural organizations and sporting events; and supervision and general running of events.
With this wide range of activities, there are several areas of specialization that emerge, as explained by Simon Gerland. “We do a lot with the FFME (Federation française de la montagne et de l’escalade), also known as the French Federation for Mountains and Climbing, for both indoor national and international competitions, plus outdoor events. However, we are not confined to climbing and also cover a variety of sports activities.
“I think that we can say that filming theatrical productions is also one of our specialties, together with local film productions.”
A look at the list of equipment offered by Festivisuel shows that the company has quite an extensive inventory.
The video inventory handles both projection and capture, with the former including a Sanyo at 6000 lumens plus zoom lens and an Optoma at 4300 lumens. For capture, there are Sony HDV FX1 and Panasonic DV cameras, plus all accessories. For special events requiring a supplement of cameras, Panasonic HPX2100 DVCPRO HD camcorders are brought in, these having a resolution of 1080i or 720P.
A recent addition to the Festivisuel video system is equipment from Blackmagic Design. This includes the ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher and ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel, together with the following array of Mini Converters: Analog to SDI, SDI to Analog and SDI to HDMI. The last two models are used for sending video signals to both a video projector and LCD screens during live events.
InAVate asked Simon Gerland why the choice of Blackmagic Design?
“We needed an all round production switcher with HD capability that offered multi view possibilities, not to mention embedded signals. In fact, it was a case of the sum of all the parts being greater than the whole! The fact that the ATEM 1 M/E is also a brand new system at a very interesting price appealed to us as it meant that we would be going ahead with the latest technology, as opposed to using equipment that could run the risk of being outdated.”
ATEM Production Switchers incorporate both SDI and HDMI inputs, thus covering both professional and ‘low cost’ cameras. The ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher features eight video inputs and more sophisticated systems can naturally be created if required by adding additional rack units.
The ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel provides a wide range of operational facilities by offering high quality buttons, knobs and controls, T Bar fader, large joystick and other switch functions, as well as fitting in a one rack unit and is connected via Ethernet. It also includes a loop thru connection for more than one panel or computer.
In terms of lighting equipment, a range of ‘traditional’ projectors is available, including models from ADB and Robert Juliat, and color changer (or motorized) projectors from Diafora. Control is via DMX consoles including a grandMA on PC with MA 2Port Node onPC matrix with 512 outputs. A wide range of associated hardware is also included.
Over in the sound department, Yamaha 01V96 and MG24/14FX consoles are featured, together with two complete speaker and amplifier systems from Nexo (PS15) and DAP/HK Audio respectively, the latter being powered by Lab Gruppen and Crest Audio amplifiers. The systems are completed by Numark CD/mp3 players, Shure radio and dynamic microphones, accessories and radio communications from Alan HP and Motorola.
Festivisuel seems to have captured what might be termed a ‘niche market’ in terms of coverage of national and international mountain climbing competitions, as well as offering a wide range of services for cultural events in the Toulouse/Pyrenees region of France, while keeping their options open for the rest of the country.