The rise of complimentary programming in the genre of watchalongs has seen a lot of new content creators delivering significant audiences looking for an alternative channel to follow. Often giving insight and an alternative viewpoint and presentation style from what is shown on traditional channels. Making the shows compelling without any live rights to show puts the pressure on the hosts and the graphics.
The rise in popularity of F1, hot off the heels of the Drive to Survive series saw an opportunity for a first of it’s kind live F1 watchalong. This was the brainchild of Singular client and all-encompassing production house; The Fella’s Studios who work with some of the UK’s biggest online talents and podcasts. The Last Lap set out with lofty ambitions to ensure their presentation was going to attract and retain a good audience. With no live rights to show the races, the quality of live graphics and data took on even greater importance and were crucial in ensuring that viewers could follow The Last Lap whilst also watching the live race.
The Fella’s Studio was already working with Singular partner Alex Pettitt and using his expertise on live streaming in particular. His company Alex.Live was tasked with using real time data and telemetry to help visualize the on-track action via graphics on the live stream. These include a wide variety of graphics showing live weather, timing towers and additional information like lap delta & pit stops data.
Track status graphics are used to instantly show if a yellow flag, red flag, or safety car has been deployed, and the show also has access to real-time car data, displaying granular details of a driver, such as current speed, gear, RPM, DRS activation and more.
As well as live race graphics, Alex.Live designed a number of other static and informational graphics that are fed by other data feeds and sources. These include live driver and constructors championship tables, starting grids, and, more recently, a “live prediction graphic”. This allows the 4 hosts to predict the top 5 finishing order at the start, and then check in on their predictions throughout the show. The show also prides itself on being interactive with its viewers. The Last Lap utilizes Alex.Live’s bespoke “Social Comment Dock” integration to pull live YouTube chat messages into its moderation platform so a producer can approve the chat message in real-time and send it to Singular.live to be displayed on the live feed as a fully branded graphic – a process which takes less than a second, keeping the show interactive.
The Singular Output URL is taken into an M1 Mac Mini which then outputs to a Blackmagic UltraStudio HD Mini. They take both Key and Fill GFX feeds out the UltraStudio HD Mini into an ATEM Mini Extreme ISO, the vision mixer for the stream. The graphics are then displayed on screen using a downstream keyer.
The ATEM Mini Extreme ISO allows all its inputs to be recorded as individual ISO files (including the key and fill gfx inputs), and automatically creates a DaVinci Resolve timeline of the live show as soon as they stop recording. This means they can instantly make any tweaks to the edit that are needed, but importantly have full access to both a clean and dirty version of the show.
This workflow not only enables a fast-paced production with live data integrated graphics but also automatically generates content ready for post production edits.
It is a very good example of a digital first production that has an extremely sophisticated workflow and setup delivering a fantastic show with dynamic, data-driven graphics.