Capitola Media Captures Military Search & Rescue With Teradek

Tue, Apr 18, 2017
Capitola Media's Red Epic W with Teradek Bolt
Red Epic W with Teradek Bolt 300

For Evoke Inc., creating the most accurate representation of dangerous real-world scenarios is key to mission success in marketing. The Bay Area-based R&D company manufactures protective and utility equipment for the U.S. military, search & rescue, fire department, law enforcement and extreme sports. So when they needed a new promo video for their website and trade shows featuring their products, every tiny detail was crucial. They sought out Capitola Media to spearhead the production.

“Evoke stressed to us that when it comes to industrial-grade armor and gear, buyers are very particular. They can easily sense when something’s not true,” explained Chris Bunney, President of Capitola Media. “We needed to simulate an actual military injury and make it look as real as possible.”

Capitola Media is a video production and corporate advertising company in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since 2008, they’ve produced for some really big names like HP, Intel and Microsoft in the Bay Area, as well as Disney, Fox and ABC in LA. When clients seek out Capitola Media for advertising videos, they handle everything from creative to post, even finding and assembling the crew for the job.

Red Weapon with Paralinx Tomahawk 2
Capitola Media’s Red Weapon with Paralinx Tomahawk 2 wireless transmitter

“Our agency creatives are staff, but with our deep bench of local crew, we consistently put together the right talent - writers, directors, cinematographers, production designers - for any given production,” said Bunney. “For Evoke, our goal was to create something believable and also focus on the gear they make.”

To satisfy their client’s need for complete accuracy and representation, Bunney decided to utilize the Teradek Bolt. “Evoke needed to see exactly what was being shot during filming to make sure everything was perfect.” Since Bolt offers a zero-delay wireless transmission of practically lossless video, it was an obvious choice to have on set.

Operation Bolt

A production of 25 crewmembers, 25 cast and 6 camera crew took to the hills of Canyon Country, California to simulate a high desert environment.

To film, Bunney employed a RED Weapon and a RED Epic-W camera with various Cooke Prime lenses. Both cameras fed video feeds via SDI to a Bolt 300 transmitter, sending the video feeds with zero delay to receivers in video village.

Filming search and rescue mission with Evoke Inc.
1st scene of rescue mission

The 1st scene was to film an escorted ambulance retrieving wounded personnel from the field. Both cameras were set up outside to capture the realistic-looking rescue scene (they hired mostly talent with military or EMT training) as well as highlight Evoke’s arsenal of outdoor tactical equipment including uniforms, solar-powered backpacks, ballistic sunglasses and more. In the photo above, one camera shot close-ups of the gear while the other captured the entire scene with wide-angle.

Filming treatment of wounded soldiers with Evoke Inc
2nd scene filmed inside a medical tent

After outdoor filming was finished, the final scene was shot inside of a tent with medics treating the wounded. The RED Weapon took wide-angle shots while the RED Epic Weapon filmed close-up shots of Evoke’s medical equipment like anti-microbial sprays, clothing, medical kits and most things in the picture above.

For every shot, both cameras sent their video feeds to 2 Teradek receivers in the video village, which transferred the videos to a director and client monitor. From here, Bunney, the director and his clients saw every shot as it was captured while the 1st and 2nd ACs remotely pulled focus for their respective cameras.

Mission Success

Bunney’s real-time wireless monitoring enabled him, his director and Evoke to see every shot as it was being filmed, which was particularly important to portray everything precisely for this video. The Bolt’s visually lossless feed was able to keep every little detail intact from camera to monitor so Bunney or his clients could make changes on the spot. This allowed them to refine each shot so everything was exactly how Evoke wanted it.

In addition, because the rescue scenes required camera operators to move around, being wireless gave them the freedom to move unrestricted and unhampered on set, making for a more efficient production overall. The ACs could pull focus from a distance instead of following the camera operators around too.

“The Bolt really came in handy all day. To be able to untether cameras from the monitors was hugely helpful to our mobility,” Bunney told us. “Once it’s operational, moving from setup to setup is so easy - and in this particular location, it was especially useful.”