A Truly Mobile Fly On The Wall


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A Truly Mobile Fly on the Wall

Fly on the Wall Entertainment is responsible for over 2000 hours of programing that have aired on multiple networks. As the Executive Producers of CBS’s summer sensation Big Brother, going into its 20th season this summer, they have been the key to the growth and evolution of one of the most groundbreaking entertainment franchises ever on broadcast television. As a team, they constantly push the boundaries of unscripted television, creating programing unimagined by anyone else.

Challenging Logistics for Live Reality TV

FOTW produces TLC’s This is Life Live (Life Live), now in its second season. It’s a unique show that airs human-interest ‘reveal’ stories live, over four consecutive nights from two different US cities. As you can imagine, the need to be in two different US cities simultaneously every night, for four nights make the live broadcast incredibly logistically challenging. Season one was captured using satellite trucks with a core group of producers and production crew that would travel. For example, one truck in Seattle and the other in Minneapolis. They would wrap filming, get on a plane, and go to the next two cities where the same production was done over again but in new cities, with a new reveal—four days in row. Using new engineers, new trucks, and new crews on each of the four days while travelling was extremely difficult. After season one of Life Live, and a clear understanding of the difficulty to produce the show, FOTW needed a new solution.

“With any live unscripted production, the only way you can make it efficient is to keep production constant and remove the element of surprise and as many variables as possible. Dejero enabled us to do just that, and it translated directly into higher efficiency and cost savings,” said Jeff Anderson, executive in charge of production, FOTW.

Reliable Mobile Transmission Technology

The biggest issue FOTW had in season one was the use of traditional satellite trucks; their immobility and the infrastructure needed to operate them. For season two, FOTW used the Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter to transmit high-quality video over multiple IP networks, simplifying the show’s production cycle dramatically.

Blending up to eight network connections, the Dejero EnGo transmitter enabled FOTW to reliably broadcast live from virtually anywhere. With the need to go live in very rural areas and even inside airports where cellular bandwidth can be limited, the EnGo did not disappoint. Eliminating satellite trucks and using the compact HEVC-capable. Dejero EnGo made the on-site presence incredibly low impact and production much more efficient. Camera-mounted, vehiclemounted, or wearable, EnGo is ideal for newsgathering, sports
coverage, and live broadcasting while on location, and while in motion.

Reducing costs on crew, location tech and engineering

FOTW was able to reach a new level of flexibility during its four day back-to-back live broadcast of Life Live’s second season using Dejero’s mobile transmission technology. By removing the need to hire satellite trucks and broadcast crews at each location, FOTW saved a significant amount of time, resources, and production costs.

In addition to removing the need for satellite trucks and new crews at each location, FOTW was able to maintain staffing consistancy of engineering and technical crews. This greatly reduced any element of surprise experienced during season one of Life Live. This consistancy also increased on-site efficiency by 20% over season one, translating into zero overtime costs on crew, location tech and engineering, location fees, and also provided essential prep and rehearsal time on-site.

“You can’t ship a satellite truck, but you can ship a Dejero EnGo anywhere. A solid, versatile, dependable, and quite an amazing piece of mobile technology, the decision to use an EnGo was made for us when we tried it the first time,” added Anderson.

Experts in Unscripted Television

Fly on the Wall Entertainment believes in real people and real stories. As storytellers, they strive to help people communicate their unique voice in the world and to make their special mark. Through their shows, they’ve rekindled forgotten dreams. They’ve reunited long lost relatives. They’ve exonerated the innocent. They’ve restored hope. And, yes, they’ve given away millions of dollars. FOTW believe there is no better story than a real one. They’ve committed to taking audiences into worlds they might never see to give them a chance to be a Fly on the Wall.

“To accompany FOTW on their journeys across the US, producing unique and unscripted live reality content, is an honor,’” said Yvonne Monterroso, director of product management, Dejero. “Solving these types of live broadcast challenges is what we’re passionate about at Dejero. We’re very pleased to have made FOTW’s operations more efficient and their jobs easier on the road.”


Tags: iss137 | dejero | fotw | engo | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus

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