June 23, 2016 – Burbank, CA – Based on the Big Brother reality television series – originally produced in the Netherlands – Telemundo’s Gran Hermano showcases a group of individuals, aka housemates, who live together in a house that is cut off from the outside world. Isolated for months, the housemates are monitored by an array of live, in-house cameras and microphones. The singular goal of every person in the house is to survive weekly evictions to eventually be crowned the last housemate standing. Gran Hermano is produced through a collaborative partnership between Endemol Shine Latino, Mexico-based production company Boomdog Films, and Bexel Global Broadcast Solutions. Bexel Global got involved after receiving a call from Boomdog Films’ engineering team, AVS, who was greatly impressed with the work they did on Televisa’s Big Brother Mexico. “This was a very different project,” explains Ernesto de la Torre, Bexel Global’s strategic account sales manager for U.S. and Latin America. “We had to build an entire infrastructure from the ground up as opposed to Big Brother Mexico where we supplied our systems inside an already existing facility. The relationship with AVS and the professionalism we encountered with everyone at Boomdog and Endemol Shine Latino made this project a great success, and created a team environment that’s essential on such a big production.”
“Gran Hermano was a huge challenge and one of the largest productions in Mexico,” said Alejandro Rincon, CEO of Boomdog Films. “The television and the streaming audience exceeded our expectations by far. Streaming was constant and two live programs were broadcast each week in the U.S. The high interest level demonstrated a clear trend in the viewing habits of the market where digital content is concerned. Having Bexel Global as one of our allies was a big part of our success, and they handled of all technical support to develop an amazing experience.”
Although the show follows the basic Big Brother structure that Endemol has long established, Gran Hermano does contain a few subtle differences due to its target audience, as well as technical tweaks. “In the case of Gran Hermano, it was the first time the show was produced specifically for Telemundo’s U.S. Hispanic audience, which obviously determined casting, as well as the stories being followed and created during production,” reveals de la Torre. “This was considered a 24-hour ‘Telenovela’, which called for drama and heavy interaction with the audience, a result that was definitely achieved by the exceedingly high numbers in social media.”
Gran Hermano was shot in Mexico City over a period of three months – the first large scale production independently produced outside of Mexico City’s local TV networks. According to de la Torre, the collaboration between the executive and engineering teams of Boomdog and Endemol Shine Latino with Bexel’s project managers and engineers “was fantastic and the show went on the air without a hitch.” Since it’s a 24-hour “live” stream show, Gran Hermano’s prep time took months to secure the appropriate equipment and finalize the workflow. The team uses four 24-hour live streams using two Calrec Summa 128X48 consoles. They also had a total of 70 cameras, including 40 robotic cameras around the house, 15 POV cameras that required wide establishing shots in tight spaces, and 15 handheld cameras (Sony HDC-2400 cameras) that were utilized in the tunnel covering the action inside the house, as well as a live gala that is shot twice per week. De la Torre said there wasn’t a blind spot in the entire house.
The production team built two control rooms – one for the house and one for the gala. The control room for the house covered all of the robotic, POV, and handheld cameras, and the gala control room covered both live shows. “We created redundancy between the two in order to seamlessly go back and forth between them, in case something happened where we had to cover any part of the show,” says de la Torre. “We achieved this by installing an Evertz EQX 576X576 Router, which gave us more than enough room to cover all signals twofold and more. Once the router was setup, everything ran through it, making it the most important piece of equipment in our setup.
“We also created a fiber infrastructure in order to connect with Telemundo’s control room in Miami for all the live shows,” continues de la Torre. “We basically became an extension of the control room in their production facility. On top of the fiber connectivity, Telemundo had a transmission truck on site for the live shows for redundancy.”
For audio, the production has three consoles – two for the house and one for the gala. They covered the entire house with over 70 mics, and 24-hour coverage on the contestants with another 20 wireless feeds. “We created an RF infrastructure that enabled the contestants to move between the house and gala without changing mics, with the entire PL system covered throughout the perimeter of the production facility,” explains de la Torre. “We did this through Bexel Global’s MAS (managed antenna system) system and it was a great hit with everyone on site who was not used to having so much flexibility around a large facility like the one at Boomdog Films.” According to de la Torre, productions in Mexico and Latin America have grown to be as large and efficient as any U.S.-based productions and working with Boomdog Films and Endemol Shine Latino was a pleasure.
“This was a very ambitious project, and thanks to our partnership and the experience of Bexel Global, we succeeded in showing that Mexico can make great productions with international impact,” noted Miguel Angel Cortes Garcia of AVS. “We are all very pleased with the results.”
“This was an incredibly successful large-scale production and it fostered a relationship for years to come,” added De La Torre. “We look forward to working with Boomdog Films and more production companies while we continue to expand our footprint throughout Latin America.”
About Bexel About NEP For over 30 years, NEP has been a worldwide outsourced technical production partner supporting premier content producers of live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events. Our services include remote production, specialty capture, RF and wireless video/audio, studio production, audio visual solutions, host broadcast support, post production, connectivity and transmission, premium playout and innovative software-based media management solutions. NEP’s 4,000+ employees are driven by a passion for superior service and a focus on technical innovation. Together, we have supported productions in 88 countries on all seven continents. NEP is headquartered in the United States and has operations in 24 countries. Learn more at nepgroup.com. All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
For over 35 years, Bexel, an NEP Broadcast Services Company, has been a leading global provider of outsourced innovative broadcast solutions for producers of sports, entertainment, and live events. Our services include production equipment rentals and engineered solutions for 4K and specialty cameras and lenses, RF audio and intercom, production workflow, custom flypacks, frequency coordination, and fiber optic solutions. We pride ourselves on exhibiting operational excellence from concept to completion. From our custom shipping cases designed for each rental package to save our client valuable time and money, to our commitment to quality when designing, building and installing full-service broadcast infrastructures, Bexel’s reliability is unmatched for providing value-engineered solutions and services.
For over 30 years, NEP has been a worldwide outsourced technical production partner supporting premier content producers of live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events. Our services include remote production, specialty capture, RF and wireless video/audio, studio production, audio visual solutions, host broadcast support, post production, connectivity and transmission, premium playout and innovative software-based media management solutions. NEP’s 4,000+ employees are driven by a passion for superior service and a focus on technical innovation. Together, we have supported productions in 88 countries on all seven continents. NEP is headquartered in the United States and has operations in 24 countries. Learn more at nepgroup.com.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.