From Stage to Screen: Tyler Lord on Elevating Zac Brown Band's Visuals with Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and DaVinci Resolve

Published on in Exclusive Interviews

In a bold move towards elevating Zac Brown Band's visual storytelling, Creative Director Tyler Lord has embarked on a digital transformation, adopting Blackmagic's cutting-edge tools for film production. With a recent switch to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro and Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2, coupled with the seamless integration of DaVinci Resolve Studio software and editing hardware, Lord is poised to revolutionize the band's social media and YouTube content with a cinematic flair while meeting the dynamic demands of today's tour videography landscape.

PH: Tyler, the Zac Brown Band's shift to Blackmagic cameras for social media and YouTube content is intriguing. Can you share with us the key factors that led to the decision to transition to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro and Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 for your filmmaking needs?

Tyler Lord: Previously, I was having a tough time because the gear I was using wasn’t very versatile. Taking it out on the road with me was a challenge because of how much it weighed. I began thinking about using Blackmagic Design cameras but it wasn’t until I saw someone using a Pocket Cinema Camera that I realized how versatile it would be because it was so small and could go on a gimbal rather than the Steadicam I was used to. I wanted something that had the capability to shoot ProRes Raw format, that I could take on the road in my backpack and would just give exceptional quality, which it does.

PH: Upgrading to a more cinematic look is a significant move. How has the use of these advanced digital film cameras enhanced the visual storytelling in the band's content, and what specific features have proven to be game-changers in achieving the desired cinematic aesthetic?

Tyler Lord: The biggest advantage is the Raw capabilities that allow me to tell a story through color. Allowing audiences to see what we see during the show in full 5K form has been a game changer.

PH: With the increasing demands of today's tour videographer, what advantages have you found in terms of workflow by incorporating the Blackmagic cameras into your production process? How have they contributed to efficiency and flexibility on the road?

Tyler Lord: As a tour videographer, there is a constant barrage of content coming out. With social media the way it is and how every day there’s a reel, every run there’s an after movie, we’re working on documentaries, music videos, you name it. So it’s invaluable to be able to use equipment that I can grab as soon as an opportunity arises. With the Blackmagic cameras I can always have them with me in my bag, even when traveling all around the world. These cameras have a level of versatility that is unmatched.

PH: DaVinci Resolve Studio is a powerful all-in-one solution for editing, grading, VFX, and audio post-production. How has this software impacted the post-production workflow for Zac Brown Band's content creation, and what specific features do you find most beneficial in your editing and grading processes?

Tyler Lord: Resolve works flawlessly, rendering is so fast and my workflow has gotten so quick. Three features really stand out for me: the layout of the program, which allows me to know exactly where everything is, as well as the rendering speed, which can finish a music video in minutes, and the zone toolset on the Color page, because it allows me to specifically adjust the placement of each tone range which really helps me to get the look and feel that I’m after. 

PH: The use of DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard and DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel suggests a hands-on approach to post-production. Can you elaborate on how these tools have improved the editing and grading experience, and how they contribute to achieving the band's desired visual style?

Tyler Lord: My favorite feature from the Resolve Editor Keyboard is the jog wheel. Using other editing software previously, I had to use a keyboard and mouse to find and source clips. The jog wheel has allowed me to source clips fast and has saved a ton of time in the early process of finding the clips I want to use. The Micro Panel is also the perfect compact size for my workflow and gives me more hands on control over multiple factors at once, which allows me to work much faster than with a mouse.

PH: Zac Brown Band's content often involves a blend of music and visual storytelling. How do you approach the integration of audio post-production in DaVinci Resolve Studio, and how has it enhanced the overall quality of the band's videos?   

Tyler Lord: With the integration of music into most apps now and viral trends, I will say it is harder to put your own spin on the audio. My focus is always the band and overall show. Giving the people the opportunity to see what they are missing at our shows!

PH: As a Creative Director, how do you collaborate with the band members and the rest of the creative team to ensure that the visual elements align with the overall artistic vision of Zac Brown Band? 

Tyler Lord: This is a great question. Each tour I go over new color ideas, the feel of the tour and the direction of the new music. The band and I talk every day about new ideas that we want to add to the vision and songs we want to focus on during the show. During shows I play a lot off the crowd and the band with the energy they are giving. 

PH: Can you share any specific challenges you've overcome or creative opportunities you've embraced while implementing the Blackmagic cameras and DaVinci Resolve Studio into your workflow?

Tyler Lord: A year ago I switched over to DaVinci Resolve and coming from other programs it was a total brain rewire. Learning about nodes and having the proper tools took some time, but now as you can see in the final product it has all worked out. I’ve noticed the biggest creative opportunities for me have been being able to shoot a full music video with a gimbal and a camera (Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro). Coming from having a camera where I needed a full crew to help with batteries / focus pulling / card changes, to now it just being me allows for more time for the creative process during big shoots.

PH: The band's social media and YouTube presence are crucial for engaging with fans. How has the new cinematic look and upgraded equipment influenced the audience's reception of Zac Brown Band's online content?

Tyler Lord: Quality is everything. When you scroll through Instagram or Facebook you can tell right away that is our content. As explained before color is everything and we go with a specific look that sets us apart with the help of DaVinci Resolve and Blackmagic Design.

PH: Looking ahead, are there any upcoming projects or aspects of the creative process that you're particularly excited about, or any further innovations in technology that you're considering for Zac Brown Band's content creation?

Tyler Lord: We have some amazing projects on the way that I can’t really discuss, but to pull it off we now are using the URSA Mini Pro 12K from Blackmagic which is a huge asset to have. The biggest innovation to me is still the vertical filming. That has saved me hours of time changing ratios and making sure the band was in frame.

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