Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro digital film camera on a tripod on set

Live Horror Stream They’re Here Shot Using 12 Blackmagic Design Cameras

Blackmagic today announced that Pixel Circus’ “They’re Here,” an immersive live action horror game, was shot using a mix of 12 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro digital film cameras and Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K G2s. The stream was switched using an ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO live production switcher.

Founded by Saige Ryan, an award winning actor, filmmaker, host, dancer, influencer and producer, Pixel Circus creates community driven content that invites everyone to share their passions and also operates as an independent production and streaming company. Pixel Circus brings together a cast of diverse, imaginative, and impactful creators making tabletop gaming and pop culture shows, podcasts, sketches and more.

Ryan and cofounder Kailey Bray opened their first studio in in 2020, and “They’re Here” is the company’s first on location project. Shot at a house in Beverly Hills, CA, “They’re Here” brought together a group of well known YouTube gaming personalities to play through an immersive role playing game.

Ryan explained the start of the idea and the challenges she faced with a project that many people told her was impossible: “I love scary movies, and I love live action role playing. Immersive horror is so much fun to do, but it has never really been fun for spectators. But the idea of capturing the incredible stories my friends tell in horror games was too good to miss. We just needed to find a medium that spectators could watch and feel like part of the game.”

To create the immersive horror experience, a number of Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pros were placed around the house to capture wider action, such as groups sitting around a table or getting a full view of a room or hallway, with Micro Studio Camera 4K G2s capturing tight spaces.

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Adding to the difficulties, the improv nature of live action role playing meant that Ryan and her crew had no idea where the players’ actions would take them throughout the house. Preparations and technical planning had to ensure that any and every action within the home could be viewed, but planning for specific scenes was impossible.

“We did not know how this would end. Each character played their own way and reacted differently. The whole thing is a game, and we did not have the luxury of being able to plan on following who would eventually win,” Ryan continued. “So, we had no idea what the cameras would capture but had to make sure they captured everything. But also, the cameras could not get in the way of the play and had to be constantly capturing cinematic looking content.”

Ryan, who decides, sets up and works on a large amount of the company’s production and post production workflows herself, had worked with Blackmagic Design cameras in the past, using six Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pros for her regular “It’s Too Early” show.

“I already knew that Blackmagic cameras would give me creative freedom. With them, I was more concerned about figuring out what we needed to capture and not ‘can I do it and have it look good.’ Instead of wondering if I could pull this off, I was able to focus on what shots we had, which ones we needed and how I presented all of this. The Blackmagic gear gave me the ability to prepare for every chaotic decision the characters could make,” Ryan explained.

The small design of both the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro and Micro Studio Camera 4K G2 allowed the production to create a feeling of watching the characters through security footage, found footage and surprise angles, such as reaction shots from inside a chest being opened by a character. The team could get all these shots in high quality cinematic images.

“The Micro Studio cameras were really cool because we were basically able to hide them inside fireplaces, looking down or looking up at characters, or even mounted on door frames behind where you come in. The characters never felt the presence of the cameras, which made for a much more natural feel,” she concluded.

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