Newsletter from 27/05/2020
Same Storm – Different Boats
As we all go through the COVID 19 situation, a great many sayings have emerged. Most were, at first, clever, uplifting, and catchy. Now, as we enter weeks nine and beyond, some of them do not ring so true to many people. Perhaps the most problematic catch phrase is now “We Are All In This Together.” As many people have now been without any form of income for eight weeks, a clear distinction has come to the forefront. Yes, we are all in this together, but it is deeper than that.
The reopening will be a slow train, by all accounts. Live Entertainment is the caboose of the reopening train, with Live Entertainment Production people and firms sitting in the rear of the caboose. Entertainers can, will, and have come up with new ways to sell their products. Online streaming, live events with no crowds, small socially distanced public events and other events of this nature have and will occur more frequently. This provides some level of income for all of those at the top of the Live Entertainment food chain, but it does nothing for the millions of sound, light, video, staging, pyro, rigging, bussing, trucking, backline and production people and firms in the industry. The entire Live Entertainment Production community will sit at zero income until large crowds are allowed to assemble. That is a fact.
The Live Entertainment Production community has looked at every possible way to “pivot” and “reinvent” themselves. Both of these are also clever terms used in the last eight weeks. Again, the truth is that the billions of dollars of equipment owned by the Live Entertainment Production firms has one function: To deliver large live events. There is no “pivot” that works. None. We all know that. Thus, we are all in the same storm, but in very different boats.
The Live Entertainment industry in the US is estimated to be a 35 billion dollar a year business. There are over 10 million people that work in this industry. Most all of the Live Entertainment Production people and companies are all out of work until large crowds are allowed to gather.
To quote someone I heard speak a few weeks ago, “They do not know we exist”.
SMT UHD S1
SMT (Shanghai Media Tech) 4K ultra-high-definition S1 Outside Broadcasting truck with 45 standard operators workspaces and 12 EVS dedicated operators work spaces, which can be adjusted according to the actual needs. The S1 has participated in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeong Chang South Korea. The truck is equipped with SONY brand-new full SMPTE 2110 IP 4K core. It has dual production areas, the secondary produce area can be adjusted by actual needs. The enhanced technical power truck will meet diverse client with 32 IP 4K video cameras, supporting more than 50 external signal access, and video format like UHD, HD, SD and etc. It’s production and broadcasting process will support many HDR format as HLG\Slog3, also HDR and SDR production at the same time.
NEP CEO Kevin Rabbitt to leave post; ‘proud of what we accomplished together’
Kevin Rabbitt was Chief Executive Officer of NEP Group, the leading production partner supporting the world’s premier content producers in the broadcast and live events industries. With operations across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, NEP serves as the technical partner for live sports, unscripted entertainment and award shows, concert tours, music festivals and corporate events. Kevin joined the Company in 2012. Prior to NEP, Kevin served as CEO of 3 Day Blinds, a leading manufacturer and retailer of custom window coverings. Prior to that, he was CEO of Global Experience Specialists (GES), a face-to-face marketing and event services company based in Las Vegas. Earlier in his career, Kevin worked as a consultant with Bain & Company.
Euro Media Group announces the appointment of Bevan Gibson as New Chief Technology Officer
He brings a wealth of experience and strong technical expertise in adapting to changing landscapes and new platforms, as well as team management. Gibson will further EMG’s vision of enabling the Group’s transition to IP-based technology, take the lead in implementing connectivity solutions and support EMG’s M&A strategy. For the past six years, Gibson has been working as CTO for the London-based company ITN where he managed a team of over 100 people. Among his highlights is the World Athletics Championships in Doha where he was responsible for host broadcast technical operations, working closely with World Athletics and Rights Holding Broadcasters. Previously, he was responsible for the operational aspects and Technology strategy of Sky Creative, part of Sky, following a broad strategic role within Sky’s broadcast Technology Team.
Deltatre Makes Senior Exec Changes
Commenting on his move, Downey said: “This is the next logical step in the evolution of Deltatre post-merger with Massive. We are now one strong integrated company - leading our category globally, and I’m delighted to be able to continue my support for the group through continued involvement on the board and as an advisor.” Replacing Downey will be Gilles Mas, current President of Deltatre’s Live division. He will soon celebrate seven years with the firm and is presently responsible for delivering products and services that power the most significant live sports events around the world. He is a proven sport and media leader with two decades of history empowering high-performing specialist teams. He brings extensive experience in the field and has substantial existing relationships with the senior leaders and experts in the OTT division. Previous to joining Deltatre Mas held a series of senior roles at UEFA from 2002 to 2012.
STUDIO / REMOTE PRODUCTION
SMT Enters the Era of Professional Vertical Screen Production
This year, under the impact of the epidemic, the operation of offline stores was suffocated, and webcast has become a new attempt for major brands. How to make a significant "breakthrough" in mass content, grasp flows, and attract users’ attention became the focus of the brands. However, it is not hard to find that under the new mode of "content oriented": rate of flow goes after premium content. Faced with the complex live broadcast form, SMT quickly cracked the "password" between horizontal and vertical live broadcast with its traditional genes in large-scale live broadcast. With the broadcast-level standard live broadcasting solution on omnimedia platform, leverage the industries to generate a new understanding of live broadcast, break through the boundaries of high-quality content, and provide a brand-new marketing tool on omnimedia platform for major brands.
Hardwell takes Genelec on holiday
The ongoing relationship between Hardwell, Genelec and studio designer
Jan Morel has created a third recording facility, with the completion of the DJ and producer’s
holiday home studio in Curacao. The new facility offers a completely different look and feel from
Hardwell’s main studio in the Netherlands, but with the same reference sound quality and low end control thanks to Genelec studio monitors and subwoofers. Building on the previous successful projects, Morel was brought in early in the architectural design process for the Caribbean house. “I became involved with the design directly from the start,” he recalls. “When the first drawings were made for the new house it was clear a studio had to be in it as well. The architect gave me the location and the space in the house for the studio, and with this information I had to figure out how to make it possible.”
Riedel MediorNet, Artist, and Bolero Provide Comprehensive Signal Transport
RTCG is the public service broadcaster of Montenegro, with its headquarters in the capital city of Podgorica. Work on the project started in 2019 and entails a complete state-of-the-art infrastructure upgrade. The expansive studio upgrade has positioned RTCG to offer premier coverage of popular and high-profile sports events, including European handball, qualifying events for the 2021 Summer Games, European championship water polo, the division 1 league of Montenegro footbaThe new Riedel-based infrastructure at RTCG serves two master control rooms, one each for radio and television, along with five production control rooms, an audio postproduction suite, 12 editing rooms, and four commentator desks. In addition to the handball, water polo, and football broadcasts, the Riedel network will provide seamless, reliable, and high-quality signal transport and communications for RTCG’s UHD coverage of the upcoming summer games from Tokyo, Japan.
SegevSport drives mobile production on-air graphics with Bluefish444, Sonnet and Vizrt
SegevSport covers over 1,000 matches every year for a variety of sports, including football, tennis, water polo and volleyball, with basketball being one of their main events. SegevSport provided game day graphics and data for the FIBA qualification matches played in Guam, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom and France. Locally, SegevSport contracts to Israel’s Sports Channel to cover around 400 matches per year across a number of sports. SegevSport were looking to update their mobile production kits with a solution that would be both practical for their travelling staff and meet their requirements for quality and reliability. As SegevSport had been integrating their SportsArt software with Vizrt’s Viz Engine renderer for many years, it was vital that any new hardware upgrade retain compatibility with the Viz engine and improve the efficiency of their sports graphics workflow.
Eurovision Sport and FIG sign new exclusive media rights partnership
The agreement also includes non-exclusive rights for non-Olympic disciplines and events. The partnership, which follows the announcement in February of an extension of Eurovision Sport’s exclusive worldwide media rights deal with European Gymnastics, covering the same four-year period as the FIG agreement, further establishes the EBU and its Members as the natural partners of the sport of Gymnastics. The agreement represents a return to Public-Service Media for the FIG, and Eurovision Sport thanks the FIG for placing its trust in the EBU and in free-to-air TV, which once again becomes the home of Gymnastics’ most iconic events, bringing increased visibility and viewer engagement to the sport.
Epic Games Unveils First Look at Unreal Engine 5
Epic Games announced a first look at Unreal Engine 5. One of Epic’s goals in this next generation is to achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real life, and put it within practical reach of development teams of all sizes through highly productive tools and content libraries. Numerous teams and technologies have come together to enable this leap in quality. To build large scenes with Nanite geometry technology, Epic’s team made heavy use of the Quixel Megascans library, which provides film-quality objects up to hundreds of millions of polygons. To support vastly larger and more detailed scenes than previous generations, PlayStation 5 provides a dramatic increase in storage bandwidth.
Robe ESPRITES for Family Feud
The first South Africa and Ghana editions of the hit TV game show Family Feud brought to SA and produced by Rapid Blue were recorded in December & January at the Urban Brew Studios in Johannesburg, with lighting designed by Joshua Cutts and supplied by Blond Productions … including 12 x Robe ESPRITE LED profiles newly purchased by Blond … making their African TV production debut! The hugely popular American Family Feud show has been syndicated worldwide to over 50 different countries and is one of the longest-running and most popular TV games shows, having started in 1976. Since 2010, it’s been hosted very successfully by Steve Harvey Blond Productions, based in Midrand, is a busy South African rental company specialising in supplying lighting, video and audio production to the television, film and commercial sectors. They asked Josh to come onboard working with Mauritz Neethling as his associate LD and collaborated on a joint pitch with scenic specialist Dream Sets and set designer Michael Gill to present a full technical / creative package to Rapid Blue.
Cirque Du Soleil’s Paramour Made European Debut with Clear-Com’s HelixNet and FreeSpeak II
Hamburg's Stage Theater, Neue Flora, relied on Clear-Com’s® digital wireless solutions for the production of Cirque Du Soleil’s new musical, Paramour. The production is an energetic combination of traditional musical elements, circus-like splendor and impressive acrobatics, forged from the partnership between Cirque Du Soleil and live production company, Stage Entertainment. The musical had already experienced great success on Broadway and had geared up for its European premiere at one of Germany’s largest stage theaters. The Neue Flora was already equipped with Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak II® digital wireless intercom, however, it needed to be expanded to accommodate the requirements of performances like Paramour, that have increasingly complex communications needs. Head of Stage Management, Achim Beyer, was responsible for coordinating the entire technical process throughout rehearsals and during the show. "The role of a stage manager is to ensure that nothing happens by accident," explains Beyer. "We have about 800 cues for each performance, so we need an absolutely reliable intercom system. Without it, we wouldn't have a show."
Bradley King lights Little Shop of Horrors with Elation Artiste™
Little Shop of Horrors first premiered Off-Broadway in 1982 and audiences around the world have laughed and screamed their way through the play ever since. The intimate new production at Westside opened at the venue’s cozy 270-seat upstairs stage on October 17 and ran until mid-March when Broadway went dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His first time working at the venue, two of King’s principal luminaires used on the production come from Elation Professional’s Artiste™ series of theatrical-grade moving heads. “John Dunn [Elation National Sales Manager] gave me a demo of the Artiste Monet last spring, and I was impressed by a number of the features, principally the output and the secondary RGB color flags,” King states. “At that point, the Monet was so new that we couldn't quite get enough to fill out the needs of the show, so he offered the Picasso as a supplement. I'm glad he did because the Picasso is almost a better fit in the space since the theatre's so small.”
IBC2020 cancellation: Q&A with IBC CEO Michael Crimp
Why did you decide to cancel IBC2020?
The reason was that we could not guarantee that we would be able to deliver a safe and valuable event. Over the past few months, we have been keeping a close eye on the spread of coronavirus and the response of governments around the world. We have been assessing and planning for different scenarios, but it became clear that we would not be in a position to put on the kind of show that people expect of IBC; there were just too many unknowns. It was also increasingly apparent that the restrictions that we would have needed to put in place to ensure social distancing would have devalued the experience for everyone. Cancelling is frustrating for all of us, whether you are an exhibitor, attendee or member of the IBC team who work so hard to deliver such a great show, but we are confident that it is the correct decision and the response we have seen from the industry suggests most are in agreement.
MultiCAM: world-class video switching solutions powered by Blackmagic Design
MultiCAM Systems, founded in 2003, is a French company that offers video production services and builds easy-to-use video production systems shipped throughout the world. I had a conversation with co-founders Stan Walbert and Prasad Ramassamy, both of whom are now self-isolating: Prasad in his apartment in Paris and Stan in a country house out of town. Stan, who is also a world-class VJ, had his performance at the Dubai Expo cancelled, which now leaves him with more time to do marketing and product development for MultiCAM, as well as to discuss how a Medialooks Video SDK and hardware by Blackmagic Design have helped develop their business. hen Stan and Arnaud, also a co-founder, were 17 years old, they started a pirate radio and had a lot of fun broadcasting whatever they wanted. Later, with Prasad, they started a web TV channel, which eventually led them to offer video production and live streaming services to customers in France.
Dejero to Deliver Historic Footage of Return to Human Space flight from American Soil
Dejero, an innovator in cloud-managed solutions that provide Emmy® award winning video transport and Internet connectivity while mobile or in remote locations, has joined a consortium of technology providers delivering a range of broadcast technology to media partners and Dejero customers, to facilitate the coverage of NASA and SpaceX’s historic May 27th launch of the first US astronauts from the United States since 2011. Dejero’s technology will enable the worldwide distribution of feeds from multiple pool cameras positioned to cover the launch to the International Space Station. The request to support the broadcast came from a group of news organizations looking for a solution to provide dynamic launch coverage while following social distance guidelines at the NASA press site. The set-up will allow Dejero’s TV station customers to supplement their use of camera pools at the Kennedy Space Center with additional isolated camera feeds in the days leading up to the launch without human operators on site.
EVS MARKS NEW ERA FOR LIVE REPLAY EXPERIENCES WITH LAUNCH OF LSM-VIA
With the remote’s familiar layout, LSM-VIA has been designed with usability in mind. Operators can jump right into this enhanced experience with confidence, while benefitting from newly designed ergonomics and advanced capabilities, including simple workflow integration, unique operational macros, and semi-automated functionalities. The remote’s programmable buttons, shortcuts and simple tactile control provide faster access to more functionalities, while the integrated touchscreen offers fully contextual menus to give operators what they need, when they need it. Users can also easily organize network records, running order clips and playlists, with direct access at the touch of a button. Working with the XT-VIA server and relying on EVS’ VIA microservices ecosystem, LSM-VIA interacts seamlessly with all VIA-based products to open up exciting new workflows and provide faster and direct access to all the content on the live production network. And with native IP connectivity and software-defined technology onboard, LSM-VIA commits to the latest technologies to ensure users are ready to address all future live production demands with a new-found level of efficiency.