Melrose Center

Video Studio Stage and Control Room

The staging area measures 29’21’ and features a windowed control room. A green screen wall running 29’x14′ allows for background replacement via live chroma-key using the control room. Alternately, video can be recorded to 4:2:2 color pace and digitally composited in Adobe After Effects using the Center’s editing workstations.


  1. Made in person or by phone
  2. Three open reservations per 30 day period, with zero fines
  3. Two hour and four hour reservations are available.
  4. If available, reservations can be made for next day bookings
  5. Stop production a minimum of half hour prior to session end. Staff will begin check out 10 minutes prior to end time.
  6. Late departure fine of $25 will be charged

Camera and Lens
Canon XF105 (click for manual) Camera features:

  • 4:2:2 – color sampling. This is the second best offered by cameras. Best is 4:4:4
  • 50 Mbps codec – how much information per second. The higher, the better.
  • 2 compact flash (CF) cards – dual slots; averages 40 min per card when bit rate is 50
  • 3 Canon native 1920×1080 CMOS image sensors – this is  the resolution
  • Multiple recording bit rates, which is more important than resolution – don’t be fooled by cameras that boast high resolution
  • Industry standard HD-SDI output – better than HDMI. Genlock terminals.
  • Large 4.0-inch 1.23 million-dot LCD and high resoltuion 1.55 million-dot EVF
  • Fully customizable image, operation and display adjustments
  • Onboard waveform monitor and vectorscope, which measures light
  • 2XLR (for audio) terminals with independent audio control
  • Infrared for shoot in dark
  • Can’t change lens is one of the limitations, but overall this is a good “prosumer” camera that cost about $3500 when it came out about 7 years ago

Basic Operation

  1. Turn camera on/off – there are 2 modes; one for recording, one for media file playback
  2. Align battery to the top of the battery compartment. Inset to back, then slide down until battery lock engages.
  3. Compact Flash Card Recording – always bring an external hard drive to download video footage shot because the card must be re-formatted or (re-initialized) at the end of your recording session. To initialize, go to Menu – Other Functions – Initialize Media; select CF A or B, and press Set.
  4. To select resolution/bit rate, go to Menu – Other Functions – Bit/Rate/Resoltuion submenu. Select 50 Mbps 1920×1080 and press set.
  5. Select Frame Rate submenu, usually 24P and then press Set.
  6. Make sure to always keep panning knob on tripod UNLOCKED
  7. Iris/Aperture/F-stop adjusts the brightness and darkness of a scene and changes the depth of field.
  8. Shutter Speed – often set at 1/60
  9. Gain adjusts the noise level of the video signal
  10. White balance – hold a whiteboard in front of camera and click W/B

Video Studio Lighting Techniques

  • When carrying a c-stand, ensure all locks are tightened first.
  • Always have your hand wrapped around both the c-stand base and the c-stand arm.
  • Always stand between the two arms of the Y of the c-stand, with the tallest leg in front.
  • The T-handle on grip head must be on your right hand side.
  • Always move clockwise.
  • Always place a sandbag on the tallest leg.
  • Add one sandbag per section raised.

Audio and Files Transfer

  1. Switch channel from INT to EXT
  2. Line input is a computer or object that isn’t a mic
  3. Switch control to Mic (never use Mic+48V)
  4. Set the audio level switch to M (manual)
  5. Turn the corresponding audio level dial to adjust the audio level
  6. Have camera subject repeat mic check, mic check until LCD indicator reads between -20 and -10db, aiming for 12db
  7. Ps are “plosives.” Don’t point at person’s mouth, aim for sternum.