Clear-Com’s Agent IC solution has proved invaluable to Dubai-based 3Monkeys Creative Consulting in allowing production to continue throughout the pandemic. Working with e2k Events x Entertainment, 3Monkeys has recently supported a number of high-profile virtual summits, with the Agent IC app allowing for socially distanced communications between disparate studio locations spread across the globe.
“Initially, the topic of using Agent IC was introduced to us by e2k,” recalled 3Monkeys chief information officer, Rudi Buchner. “They have been running a huge Agent IC infrastructure via their servers, with a couple hundred people all using Agent IC. We decided it was expedient to utilise our control room in Dubai as part of an event series for the Wall Street Journal, which was on air 24 hours for three days.”
In addition to the main Wall Street Journal Tech Live production, which took place at e2k’s studio in Mountain View, California, an overnight Asia broadcast was moderated by WSJ’s bureau chiefs in Seoul and Beijing. This element was produced by e2k International in London and 3Monkeys Creative Consulting in Dubai. “We covered one half of the globe and our US partners covered the other half,” added Buchner. “The question obviously came up of how we can get all of the different studios working together in a meaningful way?”
Agent IC was e2k’s preferred solution. “So we looked into this strategy and found it provided all the necessary components to work on these kinds of globally-organised and distributed events,” Buchner furthered. “Before COVID, we would fly to the US and do the show with everyone sitting in the ballroom. This is where Agent IC is a really great product, because it no longer matters. You don't need a hardware box to be in the loop.”
The use of Agent IC allowed all of the spread-out production teams to remain in constant contact throughout the event via their mobile devices, with little physical infrastructure aside from a Clear-Com LQ Unit located at the 3Monkeys studio in Dubai and an Eclipse EHX Frame with E-IPA Card situated in Mountain View, California.
This setup also meant that the production group could remain socially distanced. “We had the producer sitting at home, but fully linked into the communication,” recalled Buchner. “Even the client and on-air host were using the Agent IC app, which is a highly unusual structure when you look at how events typically take place.”
Having proved highly successful throughout the course of the WSJ Tech Live Summit, a similar Agent IC setup was created to support the National Geographic Storytellers Summit in January 2021, which was again produced by e2k. “The first WSJ production was a proof-of-concept that we can organise the structure between our two sister studios. We adopted the same approach for the National Geographic summit. Here, everything was fully controlled from Dubai, but the host studio and green screen were again in California. And once again, everything worked flawlessly. It allowed us to produce this event in the same way we would produce a physical event. We plan to do it again.”