As part of the operation of the Superior Professional Technician (CTESP) course in SOUND and IMAGE at the Escola Superior de Educação of the Polytechnic Institute of Beja, and based on funding from the Alentejo 2020 program, we had the opportunity to launch a public tender for the acquisition and assembly of equipment that would allow students to develop the skills, aptitudes and attitudes appropriate to the training profile and, at the same time, technologically renew our audiovisual studios. In this way, we launched a public tender with four components, namely: an “Electronic News Gathering” component; a component of digital cinematography; a component of pedagogical kits for students' autonomous work; a component that we have called “editing islands”. Following the procedures for the public tender, and the analysis of the set of proposals submitted with regard to the factors “price” and “technical value”, the competition jury concluded that the proposal that included Blackmagic / RTS / Camgear / Fujion was the one that best responded to the requirements of the procedure program.
The tender specifications were very demanding and had some underlying concerns. First of all, we wanted an “Electronic News Gathering” solution that would allow us an intuitive workflow in the operation, with pedagogical potential and that fit the available budget. We also wanted a solution that included equipment that students could use autonomously (educational kits) with technical characteristics that are intuitive and resistant to use. As responsible for purchasing equipment for a CTESP operating in a polytechnic higher education institution, our concern was to maximize the investment in terms of the acquisition of equipment to provide students with an experience as close to the reality of the labor market. Thus, the solution presented to us by Pantalha proved to be quite competitive. Among other things, for example, we evaluated Blackmagic's SR (signal to noise) ratio, which we consider quite good; the quality of the workflow and ease of handling. The ATEM Televison Studio Pro 4K product is easy to handle and for us it has the advantage of allowing up to eight sources to be connected. Pedagogical kits with Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K have immense potential due to their ease of use, variety of essential features for learning situations in autonomous work.
For the time being, the acquired solutions have allowed us to fully retrofit the studio with image capture with broadcast cameras with 2/3 ’’ sensor and Ultra HD / 4K format, mixing, recording, easy operation monitoring and very interesting teaching potential. As well as providing the same studio with adequate lighting, for example with Rotolight that allow us to control the color temperature and explore the potential in terms of training. We also have 5 educational kits with Blackmagic Pocket Cinema cameras, with various lenses and equipment for capturing sound and portable lighting. These kits allow our students to develop the essential skills and aptitudes to face the job market, naturally complemented with internships where they will find similar equipment or where it is possible to apply the acquired knowledge. For more demanding and ambitious projects, properly structured, we also have a digital cinematography unit with a Super 35 camera, with 4.6K resolution from Blackmagic, with interchangeable lenses and RAW recording. In addition to these devices, we acquired the so-called 5 editing islands properly integrated with the other devices, with ultra-fast docking stations, for 4 SSD 1RU disks, with Thunderbolt connection.
The solutions provided enable the Escola Superior de Educação do IPBeja to have a pedagogically appropriate solution for training in the area of audiovisual and media production, aimed at developing technical and scientific skills in students, providing them with training close to the labor market, using equipment with a very interesting cost-benefit ratio. In technical-scientific and pedagogical terms, we were interested in a solution that would provide students with contact with a variety of equipment and technical functions. The solution adopted allows us at this time to offer quality training and with many possibilities that we are exploring.
The solutions provided within the scope of this competition are primarily used in the training of our students, in particular in the Higher Professional Sound and Image Technician course, in which it was possible to use specific financing for this purpose, but generally in the education area formation of Audiovisuals and Media Production. In addition to training, both in the context of contact and in supporting the autonomous work of groups of students, this type of solution allows us, for example, to stream content from the studio with multi-camera operation, properly programmed in time, because as higher education institution we always end up with limitations in terms of human resources for the operation of the equipment. There is always a process of training students that obeys a school calendar and the transmission of content must always be, first of all, subordinated to this reality of training. But the solution now implemented also allows us to develop applied research in areas that we intend to develop in the domain of the moving image, in its various dimensions.
An equipment acquisition procedure in the audiovisual field, with the complexity of the one we launched, is extremely demanding! We tried at the outset to foresee with the utmost rigor all the equipment needs and technical specificities, however there is always a margin of technical unpredictability and solution implementation, which creates some uncertainty in terms of implementation. In this case, we were particularly concerned with the assembly of the equipment, which, despite being provided for in the specifications, was very demanding. We had a studio that was a few years old, which had to be reformulated and adapted to receive this equipment. And, in fact, this proved to be a demanding challenge that Pantalha's technical team helped to solve. Pantalha was not limited to delivering and assembling the equipment as foreseen in the contest, but collaborated beyond what was foreseen in the redesign of the studio layout, from the reconfiguration of the lighting support web, to the repositioning of the audience bench that we have at studio interior. These are details, but in the case of a public institution they make all the difference.
Pantalha demonstrated professionalism and sensitivity throughout the process downstream of the public tender that led to the acquisition of the various technical solutions. From the equipment supply, assembly, testing and training phase, we were able to count on the availability and collaboration of the Pantalha team, always with a pedagogical attitude towards demonstrating the potential of the brands supplied, with particular emphasis on the various equipment of the company. Blackmagic / RTS / Camgear / Fujinon. An undoubtedly very positive experience!
These solutions open up immense opportunities for us! As an example, the fact that we have increased qualitatively the equipment in this specific area of training, was a very important help and that encouraged us to proceed with the submission of the request for the creation and accreditation of a degree course in Audiovisual and Multimedia. Naturally, that was not the only factor, but it was certainly important. Thus, at this moment we have a formative line of a CTESP in Sound and Image, which continues in a degree and Audiovisual and Multimedia, whose first edition in 2019/20 is taking its first steps. In the medium term, with the consolidation of training in this area, it will be possible to take steps at the level of applied research in the field of moving image technologies, animated graphics, streaming, voiceover ... and also in the production of content “with the community” . In this last dimension, it is necessary to make a path towards bringing our training closer to the needs of the community, with all its potential. And this is a path that we are taking and that we believe will bear fruit in the coming years.
Link to the CTESP Sound and Image course:
Link to the Audiovisual and Multimedia course:
Link to IPBeja: