Sydney broadcast rental company, Gameday Hire, recently provided Zoom integration, LiveU transmission services and Engineering support for the global broadcast for the 2021 Academy Awards, and another livestream for Apple Music, featuring popular Australian artist Delta Goodram.
The 93rd Academy Awards telecast broadcasts to over 76 countries, and this year was broadcast in Australia on Channel 7, and simultaneously streamed on 7Plus. Due to the Covid situation globally, many nominees and winners joined the broadcast remotely from all over the world including Paris, Prague, Berlin, London, Rome and Sydney, Australia. Sydney hosted Aussie Best VFX nominees Genevieve Comilleri, Matt & Cathy Everitt, and Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay nominee Sacha Baron Cohen, who was joined by his wife Isla Fischer. The live link was hosted from the Sydney Theatre Company deck at Walsh Bay.
Netherlands-based Technical Producer Bolke Burnaby Lautier was responsible for pulling together the technical teams across the globe to produce the eight live crosses. Having worked previously with Sydney DOP Kleber Estorillio, Gameday Hire’s Andy Liell, and Line Producer Tori Smith, Bolke knew the Sydney end was in good hands.
Bolke said: “There were actually two different setups required at each location. The main camera covered the nominees and was sent out via satellite as the main and LiveU bonded cellular as a backup path. Nominees watched the return program feed via Zoom and return IFB for the talent was also sent via the Zoom call. This kept satellite costs to a minimum not needing a redundant or return path. The second setup was a Zoom call for press interviews should a nominee win their award. The press setup utilised a DSLR camera, external microphones and IFB to ensure high quality pictures and audio for the pool feed. Comms was handled globally by Unity Intercom with around 90 users allocated for all the remote sites. So, the whole setup was heavily dependent on solid network connectivity, and I knew Andy at Gameday hire could deliver the integration and reliability we needed.”
Gameday Hire was called upon to supply and integrate a LiveU LU800 Transmitter, Zoom computers, IFB and additional audio infrastructure, and Unity intercom clients. Gameday also provided a tech manager for the event to oversee all the technical services on site.
“Due to the global time differences, Sydney was one of the only locations to shoot during the day, backdrop was the Sydney Harbour Bridge, however backlit from the eastern side. Kleber our DOP did an amazing job with our Gaffer Scott Leeson to light up our talent while preserving the postcard background, and still allowing our talent to see the return program monitor,” said Andy Liell from Gameday Hire.
Following this successful event, Bolke was approached by global production company Done and Dusted to coordinate similar services for the Apple Music Livestream entitled ‘Apple First Listen’. ‘First Listen’ is a live 30 minute webstream to an Apple Music micro site, showcasing different artists new albums in conjunction with the album launch. In this case the artist was singer/ songwriter and star of The Voice Australia, Delta Goodram.
Bolke immediately reached out to the same team to provide production, equipment and services.
“For Apple First Listen, we required both a main and redundant LiveU TX path back to LA. I know there is only one place to go for managed LiveU solutions in Australia: Gameday Hire. Andy and his team provided 2 x LU200 transmitters, plus coordinated on site data connectivity, audio, Unity comms and the return Zoom integration. As usual everything was rock solid,” said Bolke.
“The Apple First Listen job required two setups for the host and Delta, which were once again expertly lit and shot by Kelber Estorillio. Once again there was a fair bit of integration with Zoom on this job: It’s becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective tool for return video and comms. For this job we even ran Autocue for the host over another Zoom call, fed and controlled from the gallery in LA!” said Andy Liell. “Steve Foy from Alien Audio expertly looked after all our sound requirements. Tori Smith our line producer deserves special mention for her expert management of the client, production company, technical and talent stakeholders, while satisfying Covid requirements for a global production.”