7 April 2024

Broadcasting the BRITs: Who dares, wins

Red carpets are places of glitz, glamour and – in the event of this year’s Brits – cutting-edge Camera to Cloud technology. Find out how Atomos’ Camera to Cloud offering revolutionised broadcasting the Brit awards for Bauer Media.

By Atomos

The highest profile music awards ceremony in the UK, the BRIT Awards have featured some of the most notable events in British popular culture, including the Jarvis Cocker protest against Michael Jackson and a member of Chumbawamba throwing a bucket of iced water over then-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Since the 1990s, the ceremony has evolved into a more polished, sanitized affair and now boasts diverse genres and categories pulling in millions of viewers each year.

As a result, the production and live broadcast behind the annual show is now a multimedia banquet; with legions of production companies swarming over the red carpet to get exclusive celebrity interviews and clickable social content.

Bauer Media is a multi-platform media group, with locations across the UK. “Bauer are official broadcast partners for the BRIT Awards,” says Jo Parkerson, director video at Bauer Media. “We partner with the best pop act and the best hip hop/grime/rap act, and we get prime position on the red carpet, and backstage access to the winners as they come off.”

Taking a risk

“We spend the week leading up to the BRITs planning our content and developing a coverage plan. Following that, we create a workflow for the night,” explains Parkerson, who heads up the production with a crew of about 20.

Parkerson’s team were specifically after a way to “get the content from the red carpet onto socials as quickly as possible, which is where the conversation around Camera to Cloud came about.”

“We were talking to Frame.io about collaborating – that’s when we started discussing Atomos’ Camera to Cloud offering. They showed us an example from Entertainment Tonight where they were using it in a red-carpet scenario. I asked, ‘so you can get content from the camera on the red carpet to your editors in minutes?’ – to which they answered ‘yes!’”

“That’s when I thought, if we are going to do a proof of concept to use Frame.io, then let’s add the Camera to Cloud workflow too. We took a bit of a risk to do it at the BRITs, as it’s such a huge night for us and sits as a massive content opportunity for Bauer Media.”

Parkerson emphasized that the team had a Plan B: the usual, more convoluted approach of having someone running cards between editors and camera operators.

“From past experience, we don’t get content to editors for at least an hour after the first piece on the red carpet. We took a real punt on this.”

“My digital lead was able to watch red carpet interviews as they were happening in real time.”

Algorithms on side

Atomos and UK distribution partner Holdan worked with Parkerson and her team to ensure the equipment was up and running for the big night. “Where we were positioned, we had access to wired Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi, so could plug directly into our Atomos Shoguns. We got there super early on the day, set it all up and it was working like a dream within minutes.

“Suddenly, I was presented with this production situation I had never experienced before. My digital lead was able to watch the interviews and features happening on the red carpet on her phone through the Frame.io app, as they were happening in real time – and start making decisions about what edits they wanted.

“You can comment on videos,” she continues, “do time coding, indicate which parts to use for TikTok, which parts to use for Instagram. Within a quarter of an hour of us doing our first chat on the red carpet, that content was starting to appear on key socials.

“The team to begin with were a bit worried that we hadn’t worked like this before and put a huge element of trust into both me and Atomos’ solutions. At the end, there were hugs all round – with good reason to celebrate! We collectively found it to be such an easy, seamless workflow designed for video and content producers.”

Parkerson emphasizes how the results spoke for themselves: “We could actually get ahead of our competition, as the algorithms picked up that our content was going up first – even before the BRITs official social media accounts!”


Reprinted with kind permission from FEED magazine.

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