Engineering Service, Inc.
The Broadcast Management Group has needed to keep working through the pandemic shutdown because of the demand for new content reached unprecedented heights. But social distancing meant that normal staffing was impossible. That is why the group trusted in RTS to apply its virtual production system.
“Originally, remote integration was viewed primarily as an innovative cost-cutting technique for major networks”, notes BMG Chief Executive Officer Todd Mason, who also works as a director. “The idea was to leverage the power of high-speed data transmission and networking to reduce the enormous costs of large-scale live events. But COVID forced the entire broadcast world to adopt REMI-style techniques just to stay on the air”.
For BMG, having an RTS ODIN infrastructure for intercoms is a key element to virtual production success. The system capabilities keep everyone connected in real time. The BMG has two dedicated virtual production facilities. One is a client-owned, BMG-managed facility in Chicago and the other is BMG’s new virtual production Broadcast Hub in Las Vegas.
The Chicago site, designed for an on-site staff of 35-40, is now fully functional with as few as six staffers in the building, the rest working remotely.
The BMG Las Vegas facility is the first broadcast center designed from the ground up for virtual production. It opened on March 8th, 2021, and is constantly producing entertainment. Recently, BMG produced the 48th Daytime Emmy Awards there. It was the first major awards show produced in a 100% virtual environment with REMI workflow.
BMG Senior Audio Engineer John Steigerwald, who designs audio communications systems, sees it as normal progression. “Really, virtual production was already a working concept. COVID just forced everyone to embrace it a little earlier”, he notes. “Using RTS ODIN as the core of our communications systems played a key role in helping us make that pivot”.
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