Whether in large studio productions or small outdoor setups, monitoring is an essential piece of every cinematographer’s toolkit. For MAKE films, a production company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the crew knows this more than anybody.
As filmmakers of commercial and personal projects, CEO Derek Dienner and his team of jubilant yet professional people create videos that tell a story for their clients. From short films to commercials to online videos, they handle every aspect from creative to acquisition to post-production editing.
For their more recent productions, Derek Dienner and his team have relied upon monitoring on iOS devices to get the job done efficiently and effectively, lending to MAKE Film’s credit as a prominent production house in the region. They do this by combining their passion for and expertise in content creation with high-end production equipment and the latest in film technology. This includes their work using the Teradek Serv Pro.
“We consider ourselves a group of talented filmmakers who get the job done and have fun doing it,” said Dienner. “We used to use a hardwired system for live monitoring, but when I heard Teradek was releasing the Serv Pro, I knew it was perfect for our work.”
iOS Monitoring in Action
M.H. EBY Trailers and Truck Bodies partnered with MAKE films to produce an online video that showcases the breadth of their passionate customer base by following their customer’s stories from the time each person awoke, to their interaction with their EBY equipment, to their great successes. Each shoot was captured with MAKE’s Red Epic Dragon and monitored by producer, director, lighting director, and client using Teradek’s Serv Pro.
The Serv Pro is an iOS monitoring device that sends video feeds from the camera to up to 10 iPads and iPhones (with VUER installed) that are connected to its WiFi network. VUER, Serv Pro’s companion app, allows for viewing of up to 4 video feeds on its monitoring interface, along with a suite of professional monitoring tools found in traditional monitors like waveform, vectorscope, frame grabbing and much more.
Dienner used an iPad Mini and his iPhone as monitors, which he carried around with him on set. At the same time, the producer also monitored the shots from an iPad, as well as the clients who were given an iPad to monitor from afar. Overall, the crew had 4-5 devices viewing the shot at any given time.
iOS monitoring offered Dienner’s crew some serious advantages. Unlike traditional monitoring systems, iOS handsets offer portability so users can view the shot from anywhere on set. On projects which require a ton of movement, not having heavy and tethered monitors means less factors to worry about during transitions.
“It’s allowed us to see the image we’re framing up with ease,” said Dienner. “The director, producer, makeup artist, gaffer and even clients can see the image in a fast way without having to set up a video village or cables.”
In addition, the Serv Pro has helped alleviate the overcrowding in the video village for Dienner and his crew. Producer Allen Clements explained that “prior to using Teradek, we monitored using a Flanders Scientific 20-inch monitor hardwired to the camera. We’d fuss over a spot in front of the monitor that was often being shared between cinematographers, producers and clients. We’d also see Derek chasing our cinematographer around during a handheld shot trying to see the monitor atop the RED. Now that we have the Serv Pro, we could all breathe a little easier on shoots!”
But most importantly, the Serv Pro unlocked new levels of collaboration on set. When everyone can customize his/her monitor to better suit his needs - and not crowd in video village for playback - teamwork and info flow more smoothly. This allows Dienner and MAKE films to focus on what makes their production company so outstanding: superb cinematography and successful storytelling.