Two simple words; suddenly at the forefront of popular culture. Around the world, producers, PR execs and performers are left scrambling; each trying to learn the ins and outs of live streaming. For most, it comes down to one burning question: “How do I pivot my in-person event to the digital stage?”
Welcome back to our fourth installment of Pivot Point. Pivot Point is designed to explore what production professionals from all over are doing right now to keep working. This means going from on location and studio multi-camera to more remote like “at home” productions. This time around we catch up with Nick Walsh, Creative and Technical Director from LiveX. LiveX is a very interesting company that does some of just about everything. They(LiveX) are no strangers to challenging production situations and have been able to turn the corner and keep pretty busy. Here’s what Nick had to say about the current production environment for LiveX.
With COVID-19 corporate shut downs and a massive shift to remote or furloughed workforce, the post-production industry and their teams have been one of the hardest hit. Teams are scrambling for solutions with a limited remote workforce that allows post-production projects to continue while maintaining social distance.
As I mentioned in our first Pivot Point, smart production companies are moving incredibly fast to shift from the “traditional” production model. This shift has forced companies to evaluate and change plans on the fly. One such company is Events United located in Manchester, New Hampshire. We caught up with the crew while they were catching their breath and getting ready for their next production.
Thursday, March 19th - It was a rainy evening in downtown Los Angeles and we were setting up for Day 2 of Production on my new TV show Limited Edition. I had spent the past 15 months getting to this point; writing, securing funding, casting, location scouting, rehearsing, shot listing. I had successfully grown my commercial company Vitascope Arts into a six-figure business over the course of only a few years but this was going to be my first big step into creating fully produced original content, completely in-house. I had a lot riding on the show and I was more prepared for this project than anything I had ever done in my life. On this Thursday, most of the state had already been ordered to begin social distancing, to stay home, and all large gatherings had been banned. We were on set working, payroll had been financed, equipment had been paid for, insurance covered, locations booked, yet we all knew our production could be shut down at any moment. And then, just like that, one of my crew members scrolled their phone and announced “The Mayor just shut down all of Los Angeles. We have until midnight.” Full lockdown. It was a surreal feeling. Not only would the production have to shut down indefinitely but we weren’t even supposed to be outside of our homes. Everything was immediately put into perspective and the world would be changed forever. Let’s go back a few months.
On March 13, 2020 — Friday the 13th — President Trump's declaration of a national emergency capped an extraordinary week of COVID-19’s escalation in the United States. Less than two weeks before, the media and entertainment industry debated if the annual NAB Show would cancel; today, much of the nation is in voluntary isolation — businesses have closed, sporting events shut down, and thousands trying to work remotely. Even for those following the virus from its outbreak in December 2019, the speed and impact are staggering.
I wanted to take some time and get some of the great positive production stories posted that are going on out there right now. Most of the people I know in the production business are very positive people, pragmatic, but still positive. That's me as well! Let’s cut to the chase, literally. We caught up with John Hyland and Darren Thomas from 1DS Collective a Los Angeles based production company. They (1DS Collective) got the call at the last minute to make a live stream racing event happen. No problem really, except when your resources are scattered all over the country! Here we go.
While currently, most productions are shutdown, it’s not too early to think about how we can conduct interviews and live streams in the future. This may apply to limited video productions going on right now, which may be justified on an essential business need. It will most certainly apply to most productions once things ease up and social distancing still must be practiced for the foreseeable future.
It goes without saying that we are now in uncharted territory. Or are we? Yes, the actual physical 2020 NAB has been postponed, but you knew that already. So, what are companies big and small doing to respond to the crisis and how will they get their message out to the masses? Let’s take a look.