remote crew members
How do you take an award winning podcast and radio show and turn it into high end, high impact TV, while its two hosts reside in lockdown over 100 miles apart?
This is the question the BBC needed Flux to answer when they approached us to broadcast Kermode and Mayo’s Home Entertainment Service, a weekly Friday night guide on BBC Four, dedicated to the best (and worst) of streaming culture, across movies and premium television.
The show sees two of the nation’s favourite film critics, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo turn their expert eye from cinema to TV, as well as bring their signature ‘wittertainment’ mix of recommendations and lively audience engagement.
The aim was to provide a weekly 30 minutes of pure escapism that would leave the audience feeling informed and inspired to find their next top movie or TV stream.
However, there were some serious technical and locational challenges we would need to overcome in our OB planning to capture the spirit of the brilliant radio show put together by our good friends at Somethin’ Else Productions
With filming taking place in two separate locations, one in North London and the other in the New Forest, as well as weekly star-studded guest appearances from across the globe, a slick logistics and technical plan was needed.
The first challenge was a lack of internet connectivity in either place able to support high res stream delivery, or talent communication required to be conversational and sub 1 second. Undeterred, we stabilised and bolstered the existing networks with bonded 4g and KA band satellite connectivity solutions.
Secondly, we had no physical presence on site, with Covid-19 preventing access to either location. This meant our onsite network, camera, audio, lighting and grip kits needed to offer the highest quality return, whilst still being simple and flexible enough for the talent to rig themselves. Needless to say, they stepped up to the challenge and executed perfectly, (with a bit of expert guidance from our remote Engineers!).
Finally, our remote production crew and creative team used the Flux remote broadcast system to provide a ‘virtual gallery’, which enabled the monitoring and adjustment of the entire setup at each location, including remotely operated large sensor cinematic cameras, VT playback, ProRes recording, audio QC, return feeds and comms for talent, guests, the production team and the technical crew.
We believe the general public have been craving a return to normality, with high quality entertainment sources providing engaging programming with the top notch values that had come to be expected in our ‘pre lockdown’ world. It was important to our client, the talent and ourselves that the audience received exactly this.
We deliberately moved away from the UGC mobile phone content model that has become so commonplace and worked to create a broadcast that upheld the quality associated with the Kermode and Mayo podcast and radio show.
Ultimately, our shared vision, combined with a well thought out creative concept and expert direction and editing by the incredible Somethin’ Else team, ensured a cohesive, slick, visually appealing show packed with knowledgeable recommendations and witty conversation.
Cinemas are closed and much of the nation is still in lockdown, so for the next six weeks, sit down in the comfort and safety of your own home, grab some popcorn, ignore outside distractions and let Kermode and Mayo’s Entertainment Service steer you towards your next box set binge or feel-good streaming movie.
You can catch up on previous episodes now on the BBC iplayer