ViacomCBS Digital Studios uses OpenReel™ to secure high-profile talent, film linear and digital shows

Global media giant uses OpenReel™ to remotely film linear and digital programs, award shows, and celebrity interviews at the same quality as in-studio shows.
Viacom CBS OpenReel
OpenReel has changed how we work as video producers. It's just given us a whole new way of producing content remotely that we were not tapped into beforehand. The ability for us to connect with someone anywhere in the world and shoot with them over their iPhone and to be able to control their iPhone and actually see what we're getting and then upload the content was just something that we had never really contemplated before. It's opened a whole new way of working for us.
Matt Klauschie
Executive Producer at ViacomCBS Digital Studios

ViacomCBS Digital Studios creates content for brands like BET, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. OpenReel™ has allowed the team to produce content remotely at the same output and quality level as it did with in-studio and on-location shoots. The Remote Video Creation™ technology has been harnessed for everything from green screen shows on Comedy Central, VMA performances, and BET food review shows and news interviews, with subjects like Anthony Fauci. Additionally, due to how simple the platform is to use and the trustworthy quality, talent has been happy to use OpenReel™, enabling the production team to actually have easier access.

More efficient shoots

By eliminating full-day set-up and break-downs for shoots, ViacomCBS’s production team saves time on each shoot

Better talent level

Talent was eager to commit to shoots when OpenReel™ eliminates their travel commitment, slashes their time commitment

Improve team confidence

The crew could focus on simply doing their jobs and producing quality content when OpenReel™ removed other distractions

Maintain output levels

ViacomCBS maintained their content output levels thanks to OpenReel™ despite transitioning to an entirely new way of shooting

The Company

ViacomCBS Digital Studios makes digital content for all ViacomCBS brands. Driven by iconic consumer brands, ViacomCBS’s portfolio includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, CBS All Access, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents.

The Challenge

ViacomCBS needed a tool to film remotely that delivered both quality footage and ease for talent

ViacomCBS Digital Studios began using OpenReel because they needed a platform that allowed its team to shoot remotely, but, most importantly, do it both as easily as possible and still deliver studio quality video. Finding a platform that delivered both was incredibly challenging. 

The initial platforms the ViacomCBS team used either did not allow them to record locally or did not allow them to monitor the recording in real time. For example, not being able to record locally forced the producers to rely on recording over video conferencing platforms. These platforms are limited by internet bandwidth, while resolution and compression affects the quality of those recordings. The alternative was to ask talent to record locally on their personal devices. This option not only monopolizes the device’s local storage, but it also removes the production team’s ability to monitor the recordings in real time. Consequently, when the recordings were delivered, the lighting could be off or talent would not have pressed record or a myriad of other concerns. 

The production team’s second concern was around that same talent and the ease they had come to expect from traditional shoots. The most reliable way to achieve this set-up in the homes of talent was to send in electronic news-gathering crews. This method is invasive, an inconvenience, and production found that most talent did not welcome it even when it was possible to coordinate schedules. ViacomCBS’ crews also investigated packages that deliver professional camera rigs to talents’ homes, allowing individuals to run the production themselves. However, those packages are expensive and they do not give production the ability to monitor the filming, invite collaborators to a virtual set, or immediately receive access to the recorded footage.

The Solution

By filming locally with OpenReel™, talent and production teams could focus on their actual jobs instead of the technology

OpenReel™ removed the barriers the ViacomCBS team initially encountered when shooting remotely. Because the technology enables the team to collaborate in real time and utilize traditional video camera features, like color balance and focus, each member of the crew was able to do their job as they would in a traditional in-person shoot. This ensures the team could focus on the content they were actually capturing, rather than being distracted by issues they encountered with other remote capture solutions, such as finicky technology or a faulty internet connection or quality concerns. 

Asking talent to film over the Remote Capture application is as simple as asking them to download the app, pop in a code, and read from a teleprompter that can be easily modified to their preferences. After that, the production team does all of the rest of the work. This simple process has eliminated the frustration talent had felt with other remote filming solutions, that either required a complicated set-up with multiple phones and lights or involved them controlling the camera themselves and then having to transfer footage to the production crew. With OpenReel, the technical and creative aspects of the shot, from framing to exposure to audio controls are at the hands of the director, then footage can be uploaded in the highest resolution possible to the cloud in real time. 

Results

Production teams are empowered to shoot more, save time, and secure high profile talent with OpenReel™

OpenReel™ has enabled Viacom’s production team to keep on pace with its production output and continue to serve its creative partners remotely, sometimes even shooting more than they would be able to if not remote. When shooting on-location or in-studio, the team dedicated whole days to picking up gear and doing the set-up. With OpenReel, they are empowered to quickly get in and out of the shoot, but still get the same high-quality footage that drives their content and captures viewers.    

Additionally, OpenReel has allowed the production team to get access to very high profile talent, like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, because the talent no longer has to commit to the same amount of time or travel. Shows on Comedy Central, MTV, and BET have all secured interviews with high profile talent over OpenReel’s Remote Video Creation™ software because the talent knows the filming process will be easy and convenient, as well as result in high-quality video footage with crips audio that both the talent and the ViacomCBS brand will be proud to be associated with.  

Learn more about how OpenReel™ is working with customers like ViacomCBS to reach their video production goals.

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