Fashionable Live Streaming


Kate Phibbs TV-Bay Magazine
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by Katie Phibbs
Issue 93 - September 2014

For the launch of their Autumn Winter 2014 collection, Ted Baker called on London studio 3xScreen Media to provide an ambitious production and live streaming solution. The brief was to provide catwalk coverage via four simultaneous live streams viewed in a player designed and built for purpose.

The fashion industry is unquestionably setting trends by leading the way in integrating live video streaming into digital marketing strategies. The nature of the fashion world is shaped by rapid, constant change, making the fast-growing medium of online video ideal for sharing brand messages with audiences. With the 2014 Autumn Winter fashion season around the corner, iconic British label Ted Baker and creative agency Doll approached 3xScreen Media to deliver a production and online video solution as equally unique and iconic as the label itself.

The result was a highly engaging and immersive viewing experience with four simultaneous live streams covering the event. There are two facets to the end-to-end service that 3xScreen Media provided, representing their trademark bridging of the traditional TV production and live online video worlds.

Starting with the production side, the aim was to provide exhaustive catwalk coverage, consisting of fourteen cameras and four live production galleries. That’s four production galleries for the four program outputs being simultaneously live streamed and published to the Ted Baker website and blog.

3xScreen Media purpose built the production galleries onsite at the East London venue. From the galleries a combination of HD-SDI and fibre optic cables were run to the various camera positions around the catwalk. 3xScreeen’s catwalk director mixed the primary stream using a Newtek Tricaster 860 with control surface, while ATEM TV studios were used by three additional directors to vision mix the other three streams. This brings us to the second facet of the end-to-end service provided by 3xScreen Media: the live streaming.

The four streams that were produced were the primary catwalk cam, an aerial view, a dancer view and a fourth backstage camera, which became accessible to viewers only after a certain amount of viewer interaction & sharing had taken place. For the catwalk cam, the camera of choice was a suite of Canon C300s, chosen for their vivid colour profiling, which was matched flawlessly across the plot.

The other three viewing experiences were shot using a network of different cameras. Seven robotic cameras were operated from the production gallery. Sony H700s were used for the Dancer Cam while Panasonic HE50s were chosen for the aerial camera angles. The final stream, the “backstage cam” was in fact two Sony H700 robotic cameras and a handheld roving Canon C300 which managed to achieve some beautiful shots, all with that trademark shallow depth of focus. The feed from this roving camera was transmitted back to the production gallery via a Teradek Bolt wireless link, enabling this camera to be truly mobile in the backstage hustle and bustle.

The viewing experience of this large-scale multi-camera production was further enhanced via the bespoke player designed and created by 3xScreen Media. The aim of custom player was to give viewers unprecedented flexibility with their viewing options as well as a unique experience every bit as fabulous as the fashion on show. Each of the four streams of the catwalk show could be viewed individually in full screen, all four simultaneously in quad view or in a bespoke thumbnail player.

The next level of this innovation was the way in which the fourth, “backstage camera” was made available to viewers. Those watching the first three streams online were encouraged to share the link with their friends via social media, so that when the page reached ten thousand views, the fourth camera was then universally viewable. This “unlocking” of the fourth stream allowed viewers at home to virtually rub shoulders with the models backstage as they prepared for the catwalk. This innovation represents the not only the forward thinking of the Ted Baker digital marketing team but the capabilities of the 3xScreen team.

The benefit of broadcasting the coverage on the Ted Baker Blog and website is the scope it gave the in-house digital marketing team to leverage social media interaction surrounding the live show. As the live streaming industry matures and inches closer to the mainstream, brands and viewers alike are expecting TV standard productions with all the scope to connect, comment interact and share with the wider audience that online publishing facilitates.

Follow on Twitter @3xScreen


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Contributing Author Kate Phibbs

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