by Herbert J. Kellner
Once in a while a product comes along that solves several of your problems in a very smart way. The Padcaster, an invention of Josh Apter from the New York Manhattan Edit Workshop, is such a product. First it looks like an aluminum frame with a rubber insert, but when you assemble it and put it to work it becomes a valuable professional tool. This tool has numerous screw threads where you can attach a microphone, a light panel, a field monitor and even an accessory that allows you to mount a 35mm lens for high-quality shooting. If you look closer and check out all the possibilities and the quality of the Padcaster, you will agree that this tool was designed by a professional who knows the needs of videographers.
What is the Padcaster?
The strong yet lightweight aluminum frame comes equipped with both 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes lining all edges of the Padcaster. Attach external microphones, lights and other camera accessories to enhance filming with the iPad. A tripod thread and locking-pin hole let you easily connect the Padcaster to a tripod, monopod or shoulder mount for stable shooting and a solid feel. A secure and flexible urethane insert lets you pop your iPad into the Padcaster – a snug fit for protection, confidence and steady shooting on-the-go.
Take the urethane insert out and transform your Padcaster into a fully functional DSLR cage. Mount your DSLR camera of choice inside the frame, add on your favorite accessories, and go! The Lenscaster is your Padcaster’s and iPad’s best friend. An optional accessory, it lets you attach your favorite lenses to the Padcaster, giving you control over the focus and depth of field for that film-like quality never before possible on an iPad. When you’re done filming with the Padcaster, edit your footage with any combination of the many great editing and effects apps available on the iPad. Then, upload and share your work with the world. Now you can shoot, edit and distribute your HD video right from the iPad. And the Padcaster got you covered every step of the way!
Why you need a Padcaster
Many training departments are on tight budgets. They have to deliver Hollywood productions on a shoestring budget. With one or more Padcasters, the production team can shoot and edit professional quality video without the investment in high-end equipment. The participants of the final learning programs or newscasts will not see the difference and the CFO of your company will be pleased.
The benefits of a Padcaster
• It replaces heavy field production equipment
• It can be used as a full featured teleprompter
• It replaces an expensive camera for HD filming
• It is a mobile production studio with a small footprint
• It can shoot, edit, upload or stream on the go
• It protects your iPad with its rugged urethane insert
The ultimate test
We recently set off on an exciting adventure, agreeing to produce a new TV documentary series called “Travel Secrets Mexico.” The series is currently on air in HD every Saturday at 9:00 pm (PST) on the FamilyNet Television Network.
Travel Secrets Mexico offers top-quality advice and information for tourists and the sailing community and, most importantly, gives hope to businesses within the country that tourism to Mexico’s premiere destinations will soon return to the high levels of earlier years. Most media outlets in the US show a distorted picture of Mexico, opting to focus primarily on the ongoing drug war. Consequently, millions of Americans have developed a fear of traveling to Mexico. This new series hopes to restore trust in Mexico and the country’s beautiful and safe tourist destinations. Each episode features unscripted interviews with individuals living in and also visiting Mexico. www.TravelSecretsMexico.com
Producing a TV documentary series with 12 episodes is a major project. Producing it from various locations throughout Mexico on a 45-foot sailboat is a challenge we had never faced before! Working as a small team is not new to us, but on a boat our routine editing workflow needed significant changes because of the very limited space. We converted the boat’s navigation station, a desk measuring 30 x 25 inches, into our new edit suite.
Our team is equipped with two 15-inch MacBook® Pro and three Thunderbold hard drives with a total of ten terabytes. Our camera is a Sony XDCAM EX1 with three 16GB memory cards. To edit the footage captured, we use Final Cut Pro® 7.0.3 as it works with XDCAM EX 1080p30 footage. Our graphics are done in Photoshop CS5. For animations, we use Pro Animator 4.3.3. After editing the content, we convert the final segments to H.264 for online delivery to our studio in Carlsbad, California.
After receiving the Padcaster, we put it immediately to work. It serves now as the second camera and teleprompter. We use it primarily for B roll footage and interviews. We mount the lens of our Nikon still camera and get excellent results. We inserted footage filmed with the Padcaster into our latest TV show about Banderas Bay Adventures. We are confident the quality of this episode will be equal to the episodes we shot without the Padcaster. In short, the Padcaster passed this hard field test and we recommend it highly to all training departments and video producers.
About The Padcaster, LLC
Headquartered in New York’s Union Square, The Padcaster LLC is an innovative startup aimed at developing tools for filmmakers and videographers of all stages of development and skill levels. Established in 2012, its flagship title product, the Padcaster, is a multifunctional iPad case that takes users from passive consumer to creative filmmaker. The Padcaster was made by and for videographers to fit the needs of just about any filmmaker working with the ever-expanding set of production tools and technology.
Follow @thepadcaster on Twitter. For more information, visit http://www.thepadcaster.com.