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Francis Kenny, ASC Keeps Action High with Help of Bolt 4K Max

12/06/2021

Francis Kenny, ASC Keeps Action High with Help of Bolt 4K Max

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Brie Clayton June 11, 2021

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CBS mega hit S.W.A.T. has always been fast moving-on air and on set. Shot on multiple stages at Santa Clarita Studios and diverse locations throughout the Los Angeles area, the series averages 100 set-ups per day. Giving life to the adrenalin pumping story lines has always been a creative feat for accomplished cinematographer Francis Kenny, ASC (Justified, Heathers, Bruce Beresford's Bonny & Clyde, New Jack City), and his crew.

But when it was time to work on the 2020-2021 season they faced an extra challenge- the pandemic was in full swing. This meant shortened 10-hour days, smaller crews and safety protocols. We were the first test show to start up again. Production would have been set back another six months if S.W.A.T. had failed, explains Kenny.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200-1024x677.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2411648 data-srcset=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200-1024x677.jpg 1024w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200-300x198.jpg 300w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200-768x508.jpg 768w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200-624x412.jpg 624w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200-50x33.jpg 50w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200-100x66.jpg 100w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172757/Kenny-holding-rig-inside-Black-Hawk-scaled1200.jpg 1200w data-sizes=(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px />Greater Monitor Dependency

Our camera crews were required to social distance from both actors and each other; cameras moved further apart, crews were limited in size and segregated between the cast, A crew, and B crew. Video village, which once gathered many crew and guests, was eliminated, replaced by multiple video stations, some of which were sent to remote areas allowing the writers upstairs and producers to see images live from an increased number of monitors.

When planning gear for the new season, dependability was at the top of Kenny's list. Production moved up to 8K RED Monstro cameras, supported by tools like Teradek Bolt 4K Max, SmallHD 17 1703 monitors, DJI Ronin and Steadicam Air. There was no skimping on tools when it came to helping the crew make their day.

Increased Range - More Receivers

With so many stakeholders relying on monitor viewing as a safer way to collaborate, a reliable, real-time camera signal was vital. So the show's three cameras were each outfitted with Teradek's newest generation wireless video. The Bolt 4K series is the first generation to include the game-changing BB3 chipset, made to deliver reliable signal transmission and reception over more frequencies (13x 40MHz), faster reconnection times, automatic signal switching, and a more robust frequency-hopping algorithm. It fit the bill to serve S.W.A.T.'s high-traffic locations with excessive interference from other wireless devices. And while its predecessor accommodated four receivers, the new BB3 equipped Bolt 4K systems sync up to six transmitters to enable more multiple points of viewing so necessary under remote conditions.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200-1024x768.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2411649 data-srcset=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200-1024x768.jpg 1024w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200-300x225.jpg 300w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200-768x576.jpg 768w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200-624x468.jpg 624w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200-50x38.jpg 50w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200-100x75.jpg 100w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/11172810/S.W.A.T.-camera-with-rig-with-Teradek-Bolt-Max-scaled1200.jpg 1200w data-sizes=(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px />Demanding Dependability

We could not have done it without the Bolt 4K Max, adds Kenny. The newer system is even more dependable under challenging locations. It is fast to set up and has a quicker reconnection rate than previous designs and it transmits longer distances where proximity between transmitters and receivers is no longer possible. This is especially true when on location-shooting in small rooms, where multiple video signals are required to transmit through walls and other barriers.

Case in Point-1000' to a Downtown Rooftop

One location was the Presidential suite of the Biltmore Hotel in busy downtown Los Angeles. The script called for police surveillance 1000-feet away, across a park, on top of the 26-story City National Bank building. With
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