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Remote Production w/ Microsoft

Objective

In 2020 with the pandemic in full effect, we found ourselves scratching our heads. We knew production would restart soon, but how would we go about shooting while maintaining crew safety and follow COVID guidelines?

We’d have to adapt to a rapid shift in the way we approach the process: the answer was remote production.

Strategy

We worked with Microsoft to shoot & produce their TEAMS x Monopoly commercial with a skeleton crew right here in Vancouver, but with the Director, DP, client, and agency communicating remotely from 4 cities globally… all in real time.

We rigged up 2 streams of communication: one internally with our production crew on the ground, and one externally to the teams in New York, LA, London and Montreal. We then set up 2 live streams: one feeding from the camera, and another providing an overview of the set, so the DP could determine the lighting, and camera locations.

We were sailing into uncharted waters.

Outcome

With a remote production, you’re adding more variables, each bringing their own level of risk. What if the wifi cuts out and our streams are comprimised? With contingencies in place, the production was smooth sailing, in fact at times, almost too smooth? Is this the future of film production when the client is in a faraway land?

It’s definitely beneficial to work with people IRL (and more fun), but if the costs of travel & accommodation associated with having the whole team in once place at one time were reallocated to production, wouldn't we be able to increase production value?

Food for thought.

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Case Study Image