S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Grand Finale Streamed with Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that the grand finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2019-2021 relied on a Blackmagic URSA Broadcast multicam workflow for onsite AV and streaming.

Live production specialist STS Communication provided all aspects of staging and technical production for the competition. Ten finalists, selected from 135 young chefs from 12 regions worldwide, competed to convince the jury with their signature dishes.

Four URSA Broadcast cameras, coupled with Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinders, captured the action on stage, complemented by an additional remotely controlled PTZ camera on a truss, showing each plate as it was presented to the grand jury.

Each camera ISO was monitored remotely and corrected to ensure consistency throughout production using an ATEM Camera Control Panel. The operator relied on a mix of SmartView 4K and SmartScope Duo 4K monitors to preview those feeds.

“We placed two cameras, with Canon 22x and H17x optics, on platforms in front of the chefs’ tables to provide a detailed shot of the kitchen,” explains Alberto Azzola, founder of STS Communication. “Another dolly mounted unit positioned to the right of the stage and a shoulder position on the opposite side provided wide angles of all the action on stage, including live commentary from the presenter.”

“It was crucial for us that our coverage translated the entire sensory experience at the heart of the food competition to online viewers,” says Azzola. “The picture quality of the URSA Broadcast was essential in capturing the small but vital details and ensured that we could portray the care and precision that went into making each dish.”

A series of overhead fiber optic cables helped keep the stage clear of clutter and delivered each camera ISO through a Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter to the central production bench. The program was then mixed on an ATEM Constellation 8K live production switcher using an ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel.

Two lower thirds fill and key signals and a full HD graphic playout signal were supplied to the production bench via SDI using QLab.

Produced in 1080p50, the program mix was then sent to the embedding system for S.Pellegrino’s YouTube channel and to LED monitors positioned throughout the auditorium via optical fiber. The switcher’s progressive output was converted to interlaced for the venue AV using a Teranex AV standards converter.

“Given the complexity and high pressure atmosphere of the event, we needed a compact and flexible solution that would seamlessly convey the competition to audiences at home, but without becoming a distraction for the finalists,” concludes Azzola. “The solution we implemented based on Blackmagic Design helped us to match our client’s ambitious expectations with high quality content and pay homage to the art of cooking.”


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