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Top 6 Use Cases for Remote Production

Jan 21, 2021

COVID-19 left organizations scrambling to find a reliable method for producing and distributing content.

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COVID-19 left organizations scrambling to find a reliable method for producing and distributing content. Because in-person events were no longer feasible, creators and producers needed a way to connect with the outside world—a reliable delivery method for their messages and content.

This necessity led to an explosion in the utilization of REMI workflows. Organizations dealt with a steep learning curve as they tried to navigate an entirely new process. But as companies continued to use remote production workflows, the long-term benefits were realized:

While traditionally utilized for live sports, REMI workflows are no longer exclusive to one format. As we’ve seen in 2020, remote production workflows can be used across various mediums. This includes traditional broadcast settings to corporate and experiential events.

So let’s take a closer look at the top 6 use cases for remote production.

Entertainment Shows

One of the best remote production use cases that we saw in 2020 was the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards. The Emmys were the first major awards show to be impacted by the pandemic. Other keystone events, like the Oscars and Golden Globes, took place – unhindered – before the COVID outbreak. And while the Emmys had a much different format in 2020, the show went on. This was due to months of planning and heavy investment in REMI infrastructure.

Host Jimmy Kimmel appeared on-camera at a studio in Los Angeles. He was joined by presenters – some in person and some virtually – who announced each award nominee. The Academy shipped camera kits to all award nominees. This gave them the ability to cut to any Emmy winner for their acceptance speech.

It will be interesting to see how other award shows follow suit in 2021. But one thing is sure: REMI technology will likely play a crucial role in capturing entertainment programming in the upcoming year.

Live Series & Specials

2020 saw many live television specials that utilized remote production technology. The Disney Family Sing-Along and GraduateTogether are just two examples. These programs differed drastically in their format but each utilized a remote production workflow. As we saw, both programs featured a mix of pre-taped content, live in-studio guests, and live at-home segments with contributors.

Live news programming provides another use case for remote production. Late-night news programming typically features the main anchor in-studio and remote guests from across the country. In 2020, remote guests were seen broadcasting from their homes, typically via Zoom, Skype, or WebEx.

While battling COVID-19, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was able to produce his evening program while quarantining from his basement. A process made possible by levering a REMI infrastructure.

Live Sporting Events

Sports programming has been utilizing REMI for years – even before the pandemic. Using REMI in a live sports environment still requires some on-site infrastructure. At a minimum, this includes cameras, mics, and robust transmission infrastructure. Camera and audio feeds from the stadium are transmitted to a central control room where the program is switched, mixed, and distributed. With REMI capabilities already available in-house, organizations like ESPN have been able to rely on REMI to continue to produce live sports.

We see this as a workflow that will continue to be heavily utilized in the live sports realm going forward. REMI production is a tried-and-true method in the sporting industry. The technical infrastructure has been in place at many stadiums and networks for quite some time. The global pandemic made it easier for the sports world to transition. Still, we predict that REMI will be the preferred production method even after the pandemic.

Experiential Events

One of the most notable remote production use cases that we saw in the experiential space came from Tomorrowland. The annual EDM festival typically draws hundreds of thousands of live fans. Knowing that a live festival wouldn’t be possible in 2020, the festival producers pivoted, converting Tomorrowland into a virtual experience.

Tomorrowland utilized virtual set technology to create beautifully elaborate virtual environments. EDM DJs were able to perform their sets in front of a greenscreen, which then transported them into the virtual environment. By utilizing a REMI workflow, Tomorrowland was able to produce and distribute new content to their fans and followers when people were craving live music.

Town Halls

Town halls are an effective way to foster engagement and constructive discussion around a central topic or theme. A town hall’s interactivity makes it an ideal in-person event; however, the pandemic has proven that this isn’t a requirement. Town halls present another great example of a remote production use case.  

In 2020, Broadcast Management Group converted a long-standing educational series for TD Ameritrade into a virtual town hall experience. Utilizing virtual set technology and camera kits, we developed a dynamic and interactive program. At-home viewers were able to engage and ask questions in real-time via Twitter and Facebook. Typically, TD Ameritrade saw 500 to 1,000 attendees for their “Market Drive” events. By converting to a virtual format, they drew 1.8 million viewers.

Corporate Events & Conventions

In 2020, the pandemic led to the cancelation of many events that we know and love. Comic-Con, SXSW, and NAB are just a few off that list. While many events and conventions scheduled to occur during the early phase of the pandemic were forced to cancel, others were able to endure in a reimagined format, thanks to REMI technology.

Google SheetsCon, Microsoft Build, and Cisco Live are examples of in-person events that transitioned to an online experience. Many of these events and conventions utilized a mix of in-person and at-home infrastructure, allowing “hosts” and “guests” to interact regardless of geographic limitations. We foresee many well-known conventions transitioning to a virtual experience in the years ahead.

The remote production use cases outlined above illustrate why we’re all-in on REMI production. We’ve invested heavily in a dedicated REMI facility and support infrastructure. We made this investment primarily to meet client needs. But we also see remote production as a long-term shift within the production industry. 

If you need remote production support or would like to learn more about our REMI services, contact us today.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!