As the Fall television season rolls out, a wide array of reality programming is being supported by Bexel, a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions. Bexel can be found behind the scenes on a veritable who's who of non-scripted programming, including Chopped and The Apprentice, providing them with the equipment, state-of-art systems, and engineering support needed to meet the highest broadcast standards.
The span of Bexel's services in reality television covers the entire gamut the genre has to offer. From competitions like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Hell's Kitchen, RuPaul's Drag Race, and Utopia; to the real world exploits of Beyond Scared Straight, Black Ink Crew, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Vanderpump Rules, Watch What Happens: Live, and White Girl Problems; to sports-based shows including The Big Break, Deadliest Catch: The Bait, and Hard Knocks, Bexel contributes expertise, support, and solutions to some of television's most entertaining shows.
Bexel provides a variety of premier technology solutions to these shows, including complete ENG camera packages with wireless monitoring, full ENG audio packages with multi-track recording, Cat-5 monitoring for offstage production offices, fiber booth kits, flypack systems, director/DP monitoring solutions, and much more. The company's services also incorporate on-site design and installation, overall project management of the technical production, customized communication systems, and frequency coordination and consultation.
Chopped, which will soon begin airing its 22nd season, has been working with Bexel from day one. The popular cooking competition works with a 12 ENG camera flypack from Bexel, utilizing 10 Panasonic AJ-HDX900s cameras and two Panasonic AK-HC1500G robotics systems. The show is provided with CopperHead and SMPTE fiber cable, as well as Bexel's custom camera harness, to make the ENG cameras work as needed in a studio application.
"From season one, we've worked with the great team at Chopped to build a camera package specific to their needs," says Ernesto de la Torre, business development manager for Bexel. "To be cost effective, they need a very versatile system. With their 12 cameras, they have the flexibility to do what they need in the fast-paced Chopped Kitchen, while still being able to go ENG, which they do for the contestant bio packages. We're also able to support their Steadicam Operator, who uses a Teradek Bolt Pro system. It allows him to record onboard with the Bolt, and transmit his signal to the control room integrating it into the full production process."
Bexel also provides hands-on engineering support, delivered in a way that is uniquely integrated with the production. Timothy Quinn, a system engineer for Bexel, serves as the Engineer in Charge on Chopped. In that role, Quinn oversees the technical engineering aspects of the entire production. "Tim is an integral part of the show, and he's truly considered to be a member of the Chopped crew after all these years," notes de la Torre. "We also provide a Video Operator who's charged with making sure all the cameras are matched when the show is being produced, which helps manage time and budgets during the editing process. Bexel's commitment to our clients is exemplified by Tim and the complete services and support we're proud to provide for Chopped."
"Bexel's support has been invaluable on Chopped," comments Notional's Loe Fahie, Line Producer for Chopped. "As an equipment and services provider, they've been with us every step of the way. Even when we moved studios a few seasons ago, everything went seamlessly. The team at Bexel knows our production requirements and anticipates our technical needs, which helps keep our production on schedule. I love this team. Ernesto and Tim act as if our show is their show as well. Bexel is part of the Chopped family!"
Bexel has also enjoyed a longstanding relationship with The Apprentice franchise. The popular series, featuring Donald Trump, will soon begin airing its 14th season (The Celebrity Apprentice 7), and Bexel has been in "the boardroom" from the very beginning. Each season the company sends a team of engineers to execute and oversee the entire installation in The Apprentice's Trump Tower studios. For the upcoming season, the production is utilizing 24 cameras from Bexel, including 18 Sony PDW-F800s cameras and 60 channels of wireless audio from Sennheiser and Lectrosonics.
"From the very start, versatility was key for this production," notes Gregory Bragg, vice president of Global Sales for Bexel. "Their field crews are able to use the 18 ENG cameras to shoot the contestants in 'reality situations' and set up mini-fly packs with six to ten cameras to cover a 'task delivery' in the field. Then all of those cameras are able to come in when they shoot the boardroom material. They get tied into Bexel's control room facilities and become part of the studio flypack as well. The Apprentice franchise is the reason we originally developed our custom harness system. The only cost effective solution for them was to allow the flexibility of an ENG camera into a flypack situation, and our harness has continued to serve us well on many other shows."
Bexel has served as a resource to production companies from the initial days of reality television. "Since the dawn of the early MTV shows in the mid-1990's, including Road Rules and many others, Bexel has been at the forefront of support for reality television," concludes Bragg. "As the genre has evolved, so have the services and solutions that we offer. The depth of our reach into the reality market is really unmatched. Whether it's a small two to three camera production, a 24 camera mega-show, the 90 robotics involved in Hell's Kitchen, or the massive infrastructure of Utopia, Bexel covers the entire range."
Bexel is the pre-eminent worldwide provider of broadcast services including video and audio equipment rentals, fiber services, new audio sales, used equipment sales, and repairs/maintenance. Bexel provides brilliantly designed and flawlessly executed systems and solutions to all customers - including producers of the biggest and most important televised events in the world. For more information, visit www.bexel.com, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
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For over 100 years, through every innovation in photography, film and digital image-making, Vitec businesses have developed a powerful portfolio of brand and products that have enabled some of the most amazing moments to be captured under some of the most challenging conditions. Vitec is an international Group principally serving customers in the broadcast photographic and military aerospace and government (MAG) markets. Vitec is based on strong, well-known premium brands on which its customers worldwide rely. Vitec is organized in three divisions: Videocom, Imaging and Services. Videocom designs and distributes systems and products used in broadcasting and live entertainment, film and video production and MAG. Imaging designs, manufactures and distributes equipment and accessories for photography, video and events. Services provides equipment rental, workflow design and technical support for camera, video, audio, fiber optic and wireless technology used by TV production and film crews. More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.