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This week I wanted to talk about a way to get video recorded when a crew is a no-go in the case where the person you want to film will not allow a camera crew in their house or office, or indeed where you need to film people in multiple cities in one sitting.

It’s what we call a Down The Line (DTL) recording, and here’s a little more about it. 

What is it? 
It’s using a professional variant of a video calling system or other platform to conduct an interview online and record remotely using the interviewees laptop and webcam to capture content. (We can get 720p video at a normal frame rate using Skype TX)  You can then finish and edit the final product afterwards. It’s been used by broadcasters like the BBC for ages and you’ll see it used in news bulletins all the time. 

What is it useful for? 
It’s a capture medium for simple talking heads and also for getting simple virtual event (more about that soon) contributions filmed. You’d not use it for B roll or the like as it’s not well suited to more than a simple static shot.

One area DTL is very useful for is a two person conversation, like you get on the TV news with a couple of pundits debating on CNN for instance. When the two people are framed in some graphics it can be very effective. 

How does it work? 
We have a dedicated control room that make sure that everyone can connect, and make sure they are coached in how to set up, as well as doing a test record.  
On the record day our engineer would dial you and the interviewees in (and remember we can get people from all over the world in an eight hour session!) and make sure the capture was high quality and ask to re take a question if there was an issue with buffering or other quality problem detected during the record. 

wim editing

What does it cost? 
It’s commensurate with a talking head crew on the ground, and you’d need to factor in prep and post to make the images edit ready, but even with these added it is a great value and time effective way to capture content and actually broadens the uses you can put video to. 

How do I learn more, or get started? 
Our engineer will be delighted to hop on a call with you and learn about your use case and how we can best use DTL to help you. Just let us know and we’ll get a call scheduled! 

We’re helping a growing number of clients make the most of this simple yet effective video capture medium, for which we see lots of uses even after the pandemic is behind us.

No travel is no trouble, when you’ve got us on your team. Get in touch if you’d like us to help you make a video, photo or podcast project happen! 

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