By Dave Van Hoy, President, Advanced Systems Group
While the past year saw endless obstacles to traditional video production and presented just as many business challenges, at Advanced Systems Group we created a mutually beneficial approach by developing remote production solutions. Our new Virtual Production Control Room (VPCR), a cloud-based production service, and our customized remote production kits enabled our clients to create content despite social distancing requirements and limited resources.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite daunting social distancing restrictions, content creators still needed to produce programming. At ASG, we observed that for many operations, making content was more important than producing content at a given production value.
With traditional productions limited during the pandemic, we realized most clients would not have the budgets to procure new systems. Instead, ASG focused on maintaining existing systems and helping content producers adjust to at-home production, which became the norm for several months, by developing remote production kits.
Different clients had different priorities, which is why we ended up with so many variations. Some only cared about webcam-level production, while some wanted to produce content that was as high quality as possible. So, our production kits had to be tailored to those client requests. We shipped more than 500 remote production kits between March 2020 and March 2021. Now, demand has shifted to our cloud-based remote production solution, which we refined during the lockdowns.
ASG’s VPCR supports real-time, broadcast-quality coverage of live events and other programming, complete with switching, audio, graphics, and more. Powered by Google Cloud, the cost-effective remote production service features cloud-based production tools from established industry vendors that communicate on a standard, unified signal.
Remote production did not start with COVID-19. Producers were already exploring how to use the cloud to reduce costs. The pandemic just accelerated the process. Cloud-based virtual production is here to stay, and our investment in the VPCR will literally pay off for our clients for years.
ASG has managed to survive and even thrive through three recessions and the pandemic, because we’ve been able to adapt to new market conditions. Whenever you’re dealing with adverse economics, it’s really about being able to pivot – quickly. Another secret to our success during the pandemic was that we’ve earned the role of a trusted advisor to our clients. Some companies just sell products – but at ASG, we help our clients develop solutions.