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BC Live Productions Relies on AJA Gear to Get it Right the First Time

25/06/2022

BC Live Productions Relies on AJA Gear to Get it Right the First Time

Brie Clayton June 29, 2022

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From star-studded Hollywood film premieres and concerts to esports tournaments and reality shows, BC Live Productions helps bring the wow factor to live productions around the world. Musician-turned-live event producer, BC Live CEO Brett Collins founded the company out of his living room and has since grown it to include four locations in and around Los Angeles that offer a combination of on-site and remote live production services as well as gear rental. With a job that leaves no room for second takes, Collins has made AJA gear a go-to in the company's ever-expanding kit.

We rely on a lot of AJA products that we source from Key Code Media, both in production and our rental pool. We use Fiber on a lot of projects so that we can transmit audio and video across longer distances, so FiDO Mini-Converters have been great for video transport; the four-channel throw down is super convenient, noted Collins. We also do a lot with KUMO routers, and the Ki Pro GO multi-channel H.264 HD recorders are fantastic for when clients want files right away - they can just grab the USB drive and go as soon as the program wraps.

While the BC Live team initially developed remote workflows for its international corporate clients pre-pandemic, they quickly pivoted to offering remote kits as work on local in-person, on-site shows ceased. Demand for the remote kits skyrocketed, and the company's solutions helped productions get back on air safely, from talk shows, game shows, and reality competitions, like RuPaul's Drag Race, to content for the NBA and NFL. Using its AJA gear, the BC Live team can continue delivering high production value content remotely.

The pandemic challenged many production outfits, BC Live included, to embrace distributed ways of working, and now that people have realized that everyone doesn't have to be in the same place to create content, it's becoming easier to keep pace with consumer demand for content, Collins explained. As clients become more aware of new possibilities, however, the requests become a little more adventurous. We try to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate their asks, so that we're always providing the best solutions possible. Part of that is evaluating new technologies and implementing them where it makes sense, like video over IP, which is now totally ubiquitous.

There are also endless instances where we need to spit out different flavors of video, which is easy to navigate with our AJA gear, even as we step into the 4K world. Our Ki Pro units are also super popular as rentals, he added. In general, using AJA gives me comfort because I know they take their engineering seriously, and their tools hit the trifecta of metrics: price point, reliability, and elegance.

One of BC Live's largest undertakings to date was for an event celebrating the launch of Arcane, an animated Netflix series set in the universe of Riot Games' League of Legends, which attracted 10 million viewers upon its debut. Collins and his team streamed the red carpet event to Twitch - which was held at Riot's Santa Monica campus and featured a large dome with a projection map on the interior. Its team handled everything from the initial event broadcast to the live show premiere, and a re-broadcast for the European audience, streamed in 22 languages simultaneously. To pull it off, the team recorded the show in ProRes to a tower housing many AJA Ki Pro Ultra Plus recorders. One master video file was embedded with 22 different languages to stream out across an encoder farm, and each one of those was discretely recorded onto a Ki Pro. For the re-broadcast, the team wrote code to gang play the Ki Pros, and outputs were sent to different encoding channels to go to different regions.

As Collins looks to the future of live production, he's keeping an eye on video over IP technology. He concluded, Plugging in BNC is great for reliability, but with IP video, you can also include a lot of ancillary data, and it's incredibly scalable. Fortunately, we have exceptional network engineers so adding IP capabilities has been relatively smooth and we've been able to thrive in the remote world. Each new venue or OB truck we interface with has their own set of connectivity protocols, so we need to be nimble and make sure we're able to work with all kinds of formats. With gear from manufacturers like AJA, we're well situated to navigate between protocols, platforms and codecs.

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