Remote collaboration in the Canadian Rockies

July 26, 2022

Fortress Mountain in Alberta, Canada, is one of the world's most spectacular–yet harshest– backdrops. It's also what made it an ideal location to bring to life production company OPC's vision for a Subaru commercial involving dynamic winter action with the help of connectivity expert First Mile Technologies and Dejero CellSat service. 

The financial and logistical hurdles typically presented by limited or non-existent cellular connectivity in remote shooting locations like this make it necessary to rely on satellite technology to overcome connectivity challenges. 

But until recently, it required a considerable effort to scout locations, and establish a line of sight between the antenna and satellite. These preparations alone require dedicated specialists and greater resources than a typical shoot in a less remote area.

Instead of taking this approach, OPC enlisted First Mile Technologies to set up a flexible, portable workflow on location, delivering connectivity to and from the set by dynamically blending cellular and satellite connections

NR-Dejero Connects Subaru Creatives Virtually in Real Time for Commercial Shoot in Remote Canadian Rockies

In real-time, the OPC team and their production counterparts could send, receive, and watch live footage from Fortress Mountain, allowing everyone to collaborate and provide instant feedback and approvals to those shooting in a place that would normally be impossible to communicate.

The First Mile set-up streamed the live video feed from a Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter using the CellSat service for internet access to a Dejero WayPoint receiver at the headquarters in Toronto. The stream was sent to various platforms, including Zoom and First Mile's own Web RTC platform for real-time, virtual collaboration.

"The OPC crew was provided with internet connectivity in a place where there typically isn't any at all," said Cooper. "Cell phones just don't work and it's difficult to communicate to anyone in the shadow of Fortress Mountain. We were able to give the crew internet access, for email and light browsing by creating a wireless hotspot, as well as access to our VoIP phone line that is built into our rig. Once connected they were able to use the Wi-Fi calling functions on their iPhones to talk directly to client/agency staff who were watching remotely." 

John Scarth, line producer at OPC and supervisor for the Subaru commercial, was very excited by the concept behind CellSat and took a leap of faith, deciding to run with it instead of a more traditional point-to-point setup. He was ecstatic at the result and saw great potential for this type of solution elsewhere.

"The use of the Dejero package, including CellSat and EnGo, was integral to the success of this shoot in the Canadian Rockies," concluded Scarth. "From a snow-covered mountain top, we were able to stream live to our offsite client with low latency and rock solid connection. This technology allowed us to have a real time conversation with our client and work as though they were on set with us. With high-quality, reliable streaming becoming an essential part of production, the Dejero platform is a turnkey solution for any environment."

With Dejero's connectivity solutions, being present on set can now become a choice rather than a necessity.

Learn more about how Dejero can unlock a new realm of remote possibilities for production companies.

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