May 5, 2016 at 2:27AM


Does BMPCC fit a TV commercial job? So what does?

I was never aiming to shoot commercials, but one friend saw stuff I made and wanted me to shoot a commercial for his international education company. He already has a plan set up to show the commercial on Youtube adds and inside the universities all over the city, so as you can imagine, that is quite some responsibility.
Now, he also wanted to put it on the air (TV), but i said my equipment is certainly way behind their requirements.
Basically, I decided I should do that to see how my stress will affect my vision and directing. I am buying some new way better equipment for this, like new stabilizer, new lights and etc.
My questions are:
1) Since my camera is BMPCC, would it fit the job? Considering I have all the rigs, batteries and have independent audio recording system (basically, essential stuff for this camera to work properly). So would the plain quality of BMPCC's video be enough for a good commercial for at least Youtube and to show on screens in buildings?
2) What are the requirements for TV commercials? What cameras are fit to do the job? My other friend owns a big professional commercial company and they film everything in huge studios on RED, but he says its an overkill and they have REDs just because they can and it is kind of a standard if you want to look professional in the business (he has no idea how to shoot on anything but RED or what the requirements are, he just does business, so I'm asking all of you...and their commercials are so old-school 90s I do not want any advice from their directors)

Thank you for sharing your experiences.


A BMPCC can certainly be used to air footage!

How knowledgeable is your friend or did he simply make his conclusions on the size of the camera?

There are requirements for delivery though and broadcasters are extremely finicky about things. But all stations have some document describing their submission procedure standard. You should definitely read that.

Couple of main things I can think of:

For HD you need to deliver 1080i59.94 you get this by either doing a 3:2 pull down of your 24p video or to faux interlace your 29.97p to 59.94i. Alternatively they may allow 720p30.

Codec is probably something like XDCAM or DNxHD or ProRes but most likely not H.264. Do check before!

Then there are usually a bunch of requirements for titles (action safe, title safe etc).

For an advertisement you would not be required to have closed captioning but obviously it would help selling the product even better.

Luminosity levels need to be legal (no super whites or super blacks) and color cannot go out of gamut.

The sound must stay within legal loudness limits and must have a certain maximum level.

But all these things have nothing to do with the BMPCC, this camera should do just fine.

May 5, 2016 at 7:47AM, Edited May 5, 7:56AM

Cary Knoop

Thank you for the info!
That wasn't the friend who said BMPCC is not up to requirements, it was me who thought it might be not, but you gave me good news.

Mark Miller

May 5, 2016 at 8:19AM, Edited May 5, 8:19AM

Hi Mark, the first commercials I made were broadcasted on TV were shot with just a 5D Mark ii. Shane Hurlbut has used a dslr on theatrical releases, along with many, many others. BMPCC is great!

May 7, 2016 at 6:48PM


The image of the bmpcc is certainly good enough for most broadcaster. If you know how to use it and get the best out of it I wouldn't worry about that.
Something that could matter is how pro you look, and how it matter to the client. It they pay $20.000 for a commercial and you arrive with what looks like the same point and shoot that theirs children play with, they might not be happy. If you hide it in a big rig it's better though :-) Sadly with people who don't know anything about it, size still matter.

May 8, 2016 at 1:14AM


Also pay attention what you will put in front of the camera.
(Maybe rent) some professional lenses and certainly casting, wardrobe and make-up.

May 8, 2016 at 6:12AM

Stelios Kouk

The answer to question 2 must be answered by the network your client wants to air the commercial on. Some networks have very strict guidelines (including loudness and luminance levels), while others just name format, framerate and codec.

As long as you know how to expose and grade BMPCC footage you'll be fine.
(Years ago I even shot commercials on miniDV :-p )

May 10, 2016 at 5:21PM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

**For HD you need to deliver 1080i59.94 you get this by either doing a 3:2 pull down of your 24p video or to faux interlace your 29.97p to 59.94i. Alternatively they may allow 720p30. ** Wrong, it needs to be 29.97(30)p "COX WILL ONLY ACCEPT 720x480, 1280x720 OR 1920x1080 FILES" that is from cox' upload site. On a side note H.264 is acceptable for all tv stations.If you give me your email I will give you proper export presets for premiere pro which I use for all the commercials I produce.

May 10, 2016 at 10:01PM, Edited May 10, 10:01PM

Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer

Before you write "wrong" you should get yourself informed.

For HD Cox allows only 1080i59.94 or 720p59.94

Cary Knoop

May 12, 2016 at 1:08PM

What file formats are accepted?
• Maximum File Size: 2 GB
• File Formats: .mpg, .mov and .avi
• Video Resolution: 720x480, 720x486, 1920x1080 and 1280x720
(Other resolutions will be rejected.)
• Audio Bit Depth: 16 bits
• MOV (Quicktime) file container using the H.264 codec is preferred.
What other guidelines should I follow?
480i & 1080i spots should be interlaced top/upper field first, encoded at a
frame rate of 29.97 and should be exactly 900 frames (no more/no less) for
:30-second spots.

From the Cox link that you posted

Michael Militscher

May 12, 2016 at 8:27PM

Indeed it means that a 1080p29.97p video needs to be faux interlaced to 1080i59.94. Progressive HD 1080 is not generally supported in broadcasting.

Cary Knoop

May 12, 2016 at 9:37PM, Edited May 12, 9:37PM

The BMPCC has made its way to two Marvel Avengers movies and Mad Max now you should be fine for Youtube and any Broadcast TV! :)

May 12, 2016 at 4:00PM

Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker

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