Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s The Standup Sessions: produced with Stupid Old Studios, BirdDog, and NDI® – BirdDog

Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s The Standup Sessions: produced with Stupid Old Studios, BirdDog, and NDI®


Stupid Old Studios is an all-in-one production house located in “sunny” Melbourne. A thriving creative hub home to dozens of comedians, the team at Stupid Old Studios specialises in developing, writing, and producing high-quality comedy.


Like many events globally, Melbourne International Comedy Festival was forced to take a year off but COVID-19 was never going to stop the Festival bringing some laughs to the people.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with the support of Victoria Together, conceived The Standup Sessions. The Festival then teamed up with Evan Munro-Smith and the crew from Stupid Old Studios to deliver this project.


“The comedy scene here has been devastated by the impacts of COVID-19, so we jumped at the chance to put on a real comedy gig, albeit with a tiny audience consisting of just the production team,” said Evan Munro-Smith, from Stupid Old Studios.


Hosted by the brilliant Melbourne local, Nazeem Hussain, The Standup Sessions brought together Melbourne’s top comedy talent and was an instant success.

To create a high end production Evan turned to fellow Melbourne locals, BirdDog, and went with an all NDI workflow. 4 cameras were equipped with BirdDog Mini NDI encoders which then sent NDI across the network to the recording and live production computers.

Evan and his crew also used the Tally and Audio Intercom features of the BirdDog Mini’s giving them 5 functions down a single cable – video, audio, PoE (Power over Ethernet), Tally, and Audio Intercom.

For simple talk back to the camera operators Evan used the BirdDog Comms Lite application which is free for all users from BirdDog’s website.

“BirdDog’s products gave us a huge amount of flexibility without the need for masses of cabling and routing hardware,” said Evan. “The built-in tally and comms sealed the deal, we were very close to spending thousands on a dedicated comms solution before we discovered BirdDog, and having it all in the one unit makes it great value as a package.”

The power of NDI allowed Evan to ISO record each camera to one computer using the Livemind software, whilst also feeding those same cameras into a vMix machine. Rather than streaming live, Evan did a ‘live switch’ and recorded that to save time in the editing room later. Each episode premiered on both YouTube and Facebook, and all five episodes are now available to watch for free at


“The success of this project has totally sold us on the NDI workflow. We’re now introducing BirdDog’s new 4K encoders to our setup and will be pairing them with Dante for audio over IP as soon as that feature is enabled. It’s great to be supporting innovative Aussie companies while also investing in cutting edge production technology and future-proofing our studio”



Melbourne International Comedy Festival links:

Stupid Old Studios links:

Photography: Nick Robertson

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