In light of the pandemic, Vista, CA-based Show Imaging transformed itself from a live events company to a virtual events company, bringing technicians, clients, producers and talent from disparate geographical locations onto one virtual stage, with Clear-Com technology helping to make it possible.
Show Imaging anticipated the shift in late March, when the initial pandemic restrictions were announced, constructing a production studio in just seven days. After two months of using the space to pitch clients, thecompany booked their first virtual production and has been busy ever since.
“In live show production, intercom was almost an afterthought. Not to say that it wasn’t absolutely crucial to the show, but we would bring our selection of analog and digital intercom and set it up at a singular location,” explains Show Imaging Director of Technology Beau Monaghan. “With virtual events, intercom is at the epicenter, because it’s the only way we can bring everyone together to simulate a singular location.”
The company was able to leverage its existing Clear-Com inventory to aid in the transition. An Eclipse HX digital matrix could tie remote locations together with LQ IP interfaces and enable a remote producer in a remote studio on FreeSpeak II digital wireless intercom to speak to a Zoom producer in a different remote studio, in a different state, on a HellixNet digital network partyline.
“We had a warehouse full of gear for live production, and the ability to use what we had to transform our business was absolutely critical,” Monaghan says. “We added a few more LQs and after testing Eclipse HX and realizing how well it complemented what we already had, we decided to purchase that too.”
A recent project with an Atlanta-based pharmaceutical company provides an example. Show Imaging tied its main studio in Vista to the client’s headquarters in Georgia with additional remote locations in Texas, New Jersey and Kansas, all in real time. By using a combination of Agent-IC and LQ devices connected to local HelixNet and FreeSpeak ll systems, trunked back to an Eclipse frame in the main studio, all the interested parties were able to effectively communicate with each other.
In some cases, clients with no intercom experience are required to provide direction during live virtual events. In these scenarios, Clear-Com’s Agent-IC Mobile intercom has proven to be useful because it’s teachable and quick to deploy in complementing existing intercom systems. “By providing an easy and clear way to communicate all around the globe, we have been very successful in delivering multi-city events with thousands of attendees,” Monaghan says.
In addition to theprimary studio space, thecompany has also constructed 10 smaller studios, four with Clear-Com Encore analog partylines and six with HelixNet. These studios don’t have cameras but rather serve as virtual control rooms that can pull together a variety of shows from live and prerecorded material. Once live events are able to resume, Show Imaging plans to keep studios operating as part of their overall service offering.
Show Imaging also has a creative studio dedicated to curating and elevating the look and feel of events as well as a software development division that specializes in creating custom software and web experiences for live and virtual events.