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Pitch 5 Productions in California produced iHeartRadio’s series of musicians’ performances, titled ‘At Home Sessions’, with a new workflow designed to meet the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, keeping its crews safe and clients satisfied, and increasing efficiency. 

The production team worked with integrated connectivity specialist First Mile Technologies who used Dejero EnGo mobile transmitters and Dejero GateWay network aggregation to establish a connection for remote editing. The client iHeart and brand agency Hellmans’ wanted a minimal footprint on-set and a crew limited to three people – the DP, an audio mixer and an AC.    

iHeart needed to be in touch with the director, talent and Hellmans’ creative team in real time, remotely reviewing camera shots and requesting changes. As professional equipment was preferred, not mobile phone rigs, two ARRI Alexa Mini cameras were used for the shoot.

Pitch 5 Productions president Brian Gallagher said, “In our remote video village, Dejero connectivity linked the real-time camera feed from the ARRI Alexa to a Zoom call hosted by Pitch 5, so that iHeart’s team and Hellman’s creative team were able to view the entire shoot remotely while collaborating on the cut in real time. As our director was setting up the shot, iHeart requested framing changes and other adjustments. The result was an efficient shoot that kept all parties connected without directors and client creative teams guessing or making assumptions about what was actually being captured.”

Real-time Decisions

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To adhere to social distancing guidelines, Pitch 5 Productions took extra on-set measures, such as COVID-testing crew and COVID Safety Officers responsible for checking temperatures of staff and sterilising the set. In this context, working via the virtual video village to collaborate remotely on the edit has allowed the team to avoid risks related to a regular video village where a crowd gathers around the monitors on set.

Further advantages include a smaller footprint and a rapid route to editing and post production, probably the most significant outcome in terms of Pitch 5’s future. The fact that the director, talent and the creative teams could connect and make decisions in real-time saved a lot of editing time. The footage was logged directly from the remote video village, overcoming delays caused by file transfers or delivery of a physical drive.
“Dejero has helped keep not only our teams but our clients connected to the productions we’ve held all over the country for this series,” said Brian. “The opportunities to work more effectively using this system are immense for us, both now and in the future. All of our clients have been very happy with the entire process and we are too, as our on-set role has been spectacularly simplified.”

Connected Opportunities

By incorporating Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology, a producer can set up workflows that overcome the connectivity, security and synchronisation issues that were previously associated with remote production, and open many opportunities for commercial, film and TV producers like Pitch 5 Productions. Smart Blending Technology intelligently combines multiple network connections and dynamically manages fluctuating bandwidth, packet loss and latency differences of individual connections in real-time.

Dejero Virtual Video Village

Interview component with singer Jesse McCartney and iHeartMedia host Emily Curl.
Brian said, “Since the EnGo has its own cell signal, not having to rely on a Wi-Fi signal has been really helpful. I have not found anything as close to the reliability the EnGo possesses for connectivity and stability when you’re working on-set, on a production. As for the concept of a ‘remote video village’ suggested by First Mile Technologies, and the ability to send a signal via the GateWay straight to our editor for on-the-fly editing, has totally changed how we approach post-production not only during this pandemic, but for the future.”

Dejero’s solid background in connectivity for live news and events broadcasts has contributed to a smooth crossover into production and post-production. Dejero EnGo mobile transmitters and GateWay network aggregation devices make it possible for creative teams to collaborate from anywhere in the world, and tighten workflows by supporting quick, secure transport of live video and real-time data from sets to multiple locations more efficiently.