Mar. 19, 2024

ARRI Multicam System captures live concert in China with 150,000 fans

Twelve AMIRA and ALEXA cameras created exceptional images for Chinese pop idol Jason Zhang’s “Yao Beidou” tour concert at Beijing National Stadium.

Mar. 19, 2024

Pop singer Jason Zhang is one of China’s most recognized music artists and performers. In 2023, his “Wei LIVE—Yao Beidou” concert tour culminated with a show at Beijing National Stadium, where the Chinese superstar played in front of 150,000 enthusiastic fans. The spectacle garnered rave reviews, praising stage design, sound, lighting, props, and choreography. The on-site broadcast—supported by ARRI live entertainment technology—not only became a huge success among live spectators but created a massive buzz in the online community as well. 


150,000 spectactors at Beijing National Stadium turned the Jason Zhang concert into an ocean of lights

Renowned director and cinematographer Liu Rui (“A Bite of China”) was responsible for the on-site broadcast of this large-scale concert. To translate the show’s electrifying atmosphere into live entertainment images, he opted for the ARRI Multicam System with AMIRA and ALEXA cameras: “We wanted to use new production tools to express some fresh elements in terms of visual quality,” Liu says in an interview with ARRI. The on-site production work was carried out by a team from Shiji HanTang Film and Television Group, led by Technical Director Lu Bei who, in the same interview, shares learnings and breakthroughs at this massive live production event.

Watch our video interview on the ARRI Multicam System at a live concert

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According to director Liu, the large-scale concert was “a live interaction between the singer and the audience,” so the production team needed to understand the specific production requirements for this scenario. ARRI’s 12-channel Multicam System with ten AMIRAs and two ALEXA Minis helped to convert the action on stage into stunning, emotional images. “The system has significant advantages such as its tolerance, noise control, and detail rendering, as well as its postproduction capabilities. What also surprised us during the live performance was that we were able to restore many details that were previously unattainable with regular broadcasting cameras,” says Liu. 

The ARRI Multicam System has significant advantages such as its tolerance, noise control, and detail rendering, as well as its postproduction capabilities. We were able to restore many details that were previously unattainable with regular broadcasting cameras.

Liu Rui

Director & Cinematographer

The team was able to directly record in-camera footage for post-production, refinement, or special effects like slow-motion. Using standard production environments such as OB vans or studios, the ARRI Multicam System can transmit HD or UHD/4K signals synchronously in real-time, e.g., to broadcast channels, stage screens, or social media platforms. The live production system also integrates various equipment, allowing production companies to customize shoots according to their specific needs. 

The production team from Shiji HanTang Film and Television Group successfully carried out the on-site production work for three consecutive days. “Many producers have seen the changes brought about by the ARRI Multicam System,” says Technical Director Lu Bei. “We also did a lot of activities with ARRI to spread these production concepts to many producers. That's why we got the results we did this year.” 


An ARRI AMIRA camera surrounded by lights during the live concert

At the live concert, the production team adopted a cinematic production process based on the ARRI Log C signal. “Using this workflow, we actually preserved more details, tolerance, and better noise control compared to the traditional broadcast production process. It provided a lot of possibilities. It also meant we had more room for choices and style changes in postproduction,” states director Liu. Given the complex lighting environment at the concert venue, the Log C mode combined with real-time color grading, and complemented by lighting and stage design, fully unleashed the exceptional tolerance and color reproduction capabilities of ARRI’s Multicam System.


The production team from Shiji HanTang Film and Television Group was responsible for on-site production work for three consecutive days

“The technical aspects were quite simple,” adds Technical Director Lu Bei on using the Log C workflow. “You just connected all your signals to ensure safety and stability for live broadcasting.” This ensured superior stage visuals in low-light conditions and delivered high-quality images with a cinematic feel. Moreover, it preserved the high dynamic range while achieving real-time color grading based on ARRI’s wide color gamut. This approach is likely the most ideal workflow for producing cinematic TV programs, confirms Lu Bei. “I think this is an excellent solution to handle the technical challenge of balancing 4K HDR with HD SDR live broadcasts.” Not only does it cater to traditional TV production processes by fully leveraging cinematography techniques but it also enhances texture in HD/UHD production.


With the ARRI Multicam System, the production managed to capture details that were previously unattainable with regular broadcasting cameras


International collaboration (from left to right): Per Zachariassen, Karsten Bloch Jacobsen, Lu Bei, and Martin Samsø

Supporting the on-site production work at “The Bird’s Nest,” as Beijing National Stadium is widely called, was former Eurovision Song Contest production director Per Zachariassen. He joined the team along with Steadicam cinematographers Karsten Bloch Jacobsen and Martin Samsø. Zachariassen is the founder of the CuePilot production system which the team used to improve production efficiency and provide MTV-quality visuals on big screens. “The system is mainly used for meticulous planning of the camera shots. For the performance at ‘The Bird’s Nest,’ we combined it with the ARRI AMIRA to leverage the AMIRA’s superior visual performance,” explains director Liu.

Throughout the event, the live production experts used the equipment on fixed camera positions with various fields of view but also integrated it into mobile systems such as Steadicam, Flycat, tracks, and cranes. Live production expert Zachariassen brought his ideas into the mix, making recommendations for how he wanted the Steadicam to interact with the singer on stage or providing unique angles. “Per would suggest requirements for camera positioning, for example to be closer to the stage and the singer to find more unique shooting content,” says Liu.


For the Jason Zhang concert, the CuePilot production system was combined with the ARRI Multicam System

Speaking about the upcoming trends of live production technology, director Liu has a clear idea for the future: “There will be more demand in two areas: One is highly-integrated equipment to control the entire image production process, making it more standardized, efficient, and of higher quality,” he says. “On the user demand side, it will tend more towards personalized image requirements.”