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Header image for article AbelCine's Remote Production Kits Deliver for 2020 Emmy Broadcast

AbelCine's Remote Production Kits Deliver for 2020 Emmy Broadcast

With award shows moving to virtual formats this year, the 2020 Creative Arts Emmy Awards is one of the highest profile events to make the transition. Over the summer, AbelCine created a range of remote production kits that enable high quality image capture in a safe, easy to set up, remote controllable package. As a result, the team at Done+Dusted, the producers of the Emmys telecast, tapped AbelCine to help build 25 remote kits for select nominees at the 2020 Emmy Awards. 

With a huge number of nominees in various locations, and winners being given the opportunity to speak live, this was no small order. Through Done+Dusted, the AbelCine team was tasked with building and delivering 25 remote kits to nominees across the country. For this project, AbelCine's full team came together for the build, logistics, and tech support. 

 

The Build

AbelCine's Rental team, led by Rental Business Development Manager Mike Nichols, got right to work putting together the perfect combination of gear for the Emmy remote kits. The team needed to make sure they had the most reliable software for this job, as the nominees and winning speeches would be broadcast live from various locations. So, the kits were built around the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV HDSLR. The Canon EOS 5D MK IV was chosen for its superb image quality and reliable remote app and software. Through the Canon Camera Connect App, with a new intuitive user interface, the 5D MK IV can be controlled wirelessly from a smart device, and features like Touch Focus can be controlled remotely.

AbelCine Emmys Kits
The final design for AbelCine's Emmy Kits

The Emmy kits also included the Litepanels Astra 1x1, Rode shotgun mics, USB Capture Device by AV.io, 27" iMacs, and the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF Mount Zoom lens. The Canon 24-70mm was chosen for its flourine coating on the front and rear lens surface that helps reduce soiling, smears, and fingerprints, and an internal construction that consists of 18 elements in 13 groups, with (1) Super UD lens element and (2) UD lens elements to minimize chromatic aberration in the periphery. 

Once the Rental team locked down the configuration for the kit, they got to work building 25 of them. Our Integration Project Manager, Alicia Atterberry, and Training Coordinator, Caleb Dawdy, were brought in to oversee the build team and ensure the assembly line building the kits ran smoothly. 

Todd Thaxton Works on Emmy Kits
Todd Thaxton works on building Emmy Kits
Emmys Kits in the works
Emmys Kits in the works
Emmys Kits being built
Emmys Kits being built
Testing and Building the Emmys kits
Testing and building the Emmys Kits

The Deployment

As the Rental and Integration teams were busy prepping and building the 25 kits, the Logistics team was working on the logistics for deploying the kits to their temporary owners across seven states.

Once the kits were all assembled, they were shipped or delivered to locations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, and Oregon to nominees that included Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Billy Porter, Jeremy Strong, Billy Crudup, Julia Garner, Nicholas Braun, Betty Gilpin, Rachael Brosnahan, Uzo Aduba, Tracey Morgan, Samantha Bee, Tony Shalhoub, Yvonne Orji, and the Duffer Brothers. 

Completed Emmys kits ready to ship out
Completed Emmys kits ready to ship out

In addition to scheduling the deliveries of the kits, the Logistics team led by Alicia and Caleb also worked on securing crews and AC's to remotely operate some of the kits. This included onboarding the AC's and reviewing how to set up and work the kits. The Logistics team was also tasked with coordinating with the nominees teams and Emmys production team for onsite and remote setup.

Here are some shots of our remote production kits in action at the 2020 Emmy Awards.

Tweet from @markruffalo Tweet from @latimes

 

Tech Support

The Tech Support team, led by Director of Education Jeff Lee and consisting of AbelCine training, technical, and integration specialists, worked from various locations in New York, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, and communicated remotely throughout the project. 

The first task the Tech Support team worked on was to create a tech support infrastructure for the production team to prepare them for any technical issues throughout the broadcast. After that, the team deployed checklists to all of the nominees and talent who did not have a tech on hand to help set up the remote kit. Once all kits were delivered to their recipients, the team, either in the field or remotely, started logging them all in and worked on testing the kits out, as well as set dressing and placement.

On Saturday, September 19, the team ran through a mock rehearsal show with Emmys producers and nominees or stand ins to ensure the kits were working and everything was running smoothly. The Emmys had a video truck set up outside the Staples Center with 130 computers and routing to the live show. 

Jeff Lee Running Tech Support during the 2020 Emmys
Jeff Lee Running Tech Support during the 2020 Emmys
Monitoring Live Streams during the 2020 Emmys
Monitoring Live Streams during the 2020 Emmys
Emmys Tech Support during live show
Emmys Tech Support during live show

The Live Show

During the live show, our Tech Support teams on the east and west coasts were standing by for live support during two shifts. Through the hard work and contributions of our Rental, Integration, Training, and Support teams starting from the beginning of September, the show was generally deemed a success. The reviews for this year's virtual Emmys have been largely positive and highlighting the challenges of having the range of nominees and winners located off-site.

To see footage from our remote camera kits, watch the videos below, and check out the Television Academy's YouTube channel for more! 

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Intro image for article Ready-to-Go Remote Camera Packages Available for Productions of All Sizes
Product News
With production needs evolving as we head into unprecedented territory, AbelCine has put together ready-to-go remote controllable camera packages for any size production and budget that require little to no on-site setup. 
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