After the massive blockbuster success and infamous worldwide shocker that was Avengers: Infinity Wars, Marvel’s next major superhero movie is launching with high expectations. After all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe only seems to get better and better with every film, and how do you really follow an act like that of the Mad Titan?
Well, don’t count out Scott Lang and his new superhero partner just yet! Ant-Man and the Wasp, set to release on July 7, is one of the most highly-anticipated Marvel movies of all time, thanks to a star-studded cast, compelling narratives, unique super powers and the unstoppable momentum of MCU hype.
And the company hasn’t skimped on the marketing. Like many of their past movies (including Disney’s), one of the promotional strategies Marvel and Disney wanted to do for Ant-Man and the Wasp was create a conversation with an audience driven interactive Q&A session starring the film’s Director and cast on Facebook Live.
"Hurwitz Creative was tasked with creating a high engagement Live stream for promoting Marvel Studio's newest superhero film following the record-breaking success of Avengers: Infinity War. My personal approach was to capture the true essence of the cast members on a human level. Making A-list stars relatable and creating a safe discussion environment where actors can engage with real fan comments while being themselves yet remain on brand is key,” says George Barnes, Director at Ridley Scott Associates new division, RSA Live.
A Super Setup
As one of the go-to guys for brands, agencies and major studios seeking to do high engagement Facebook Live, George Barnes has a reason for being so trusted in the live production world. Having done the live streams for Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers:Infinity War and many more, Barnes ensures that every production he does for these major studios reflect the craft, professionalism and reputation that they demand.
So how are his live streams so successful? First, foresight. “I saw something special back in 2012. I had developed technology to send live, multi-camera video content to a mobile app. There it was- live interactive Television, in my hand. So I guess you can say I am a true pioneer in this space”
Second, his streaming setup:
- Multiple cameras including Alexa, RED’s new 8k Weapon, & various Canons geared to the particular project.
- 1x Sound Devices 633 audio mixer
- 2x Teradek Bond units (1 backup)
- 1x Teradek Core account
- 10x 4G USB modems (5 backups)
For the Ant-Man & The Wasp live stream, 7 cameras shot from multiple angles and sent video feeds to a switcher, where Barnes cut between the cameras and sent the live video directly to the Teradek Bond.
The Bond is a 4G USB bonding device that can combine up to 5 modems, Ethernet and WiFi into a single, powerful Internet connection for video streaming. Used by professional broadcasters, the Bond is designed to offer maximum network redundancy, providing a failsafe in case any single connection dropped. In situations where connections can be shaky and unreliable, the extra connections ensure that the stream stays up the entire time.
From the Bond, Barnes first sent the stream to his Core account, Teradek’s cloud-based stream management platform. There, he monitored the health of his connection, managed the resolution and bitrate of the Bond, and distributed the stream directly to the Marvel Studios Facebook Page.
The show ran for 20 minutes, and garnered over 440,000 total views.
Bonded Streaming for Major Studios
“When working with Hollywood A-list celebrities and the major studios there’s really no room for error on the live stream. We have just one shot to do the whole thing right. There aren’t any retakes in live shows, so our production needs to be carefully planned, beautifully crafted, and perfectly executed.”
Live videos like these can create a ton of positive buzz for the promoting company, but it can also prove detrimental if the live stream fails. Every client puts their reputation on the line for this marketing opportunity, and count on directors like Barnes to get the job done. That’s why Barnes relies on bonded technology to ensure his streams have as much backup as technically possible.
“I use the Bond on all of my live shoots no matter who we’re streaming for. There’s nothing more important to publicity and engagement than having a solid stream with good video quality, and all of that depends on the strength of your Internet connection. And when these huge clients have so much on the line, one connection isn’t going to cut it. That’s why I trust the Bond.”
“We use multiple USBs to give us as much protection from dropouts as possible. It not only prevents the stream from lagging, but also if one of the connections drop for any reason, the backups kick in and you won’t even notice it on the feed. That’s the kind of reliability I want for my projects, and Teradek has never let me down.”