From “Chopped” to “The Apprentice,” Company Provides Services for a Host of Non-Scripted Shows
October 23, 2014 – BURBANK, CA – As the Fall television season rolls out, a wide array of reality programming is being supported by Bexel, a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions. Bexel can be found behind the scenes on a veritable who’s who of non-scripted programming, including Chopped and The Apprentice, providing them with the equipment, state-of-art systems, and engineering support needed to meet the highest broadcast standards.
The span of Bexel’s services in reality television covers the entire gamut the genre has to offer. From competitions like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Hell’s Kitchen, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Utopia; to the real world exploits of Beyond Scared Straight, Black Ink Crew, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Vanderpump Rules, Watch What Happens: Live, and White Girl Problems; to sports-based shows including The Big Break, Deadliest Catch: The Bait, and Hard Knocks, Bexel contributes expertise, support, and solutions to some of television’s most entertaining shows.
Bexel provides a variety of premier technology solutions to these shows, including complete ENG camera packages with wireless monitoring, full ENG audio packages with multi-track recording, Cat-5 monitoring for offstage production offices, fiber booth kits, flypack systems, director/DP monitoring solutions, and much more. The company’s services also incorporate on-site design and installation, overall project management of the technical production, customized communication systems, and frequency coordination and consultation.
Chopped, which will soon begin airing its 22nd season, has been working with Bexel from day one. The popular cooking competition works with a 12 ENG camera flypack from Bexel, utilizing 10 Panasonic AJ-HDX900s cameras and two Panasonic AK-HC1500G robotics systems. The show is provided with CopperHead and SMPTE fiber cable, as well as Bexel’s custom camera harness, to make the ENG cameras work as needed in a studio application.
“From season one, we’ve worked with the great team at Chopped to build a camera package specific to their needs,” says Ernesto de la Torre, business development manager for Bexel. “To be cost effective, they need a very versatile system. With their 12 cameras, they have the flexibility to do what they need in the fast-paced Chopped Kitchen, while still being able to go ENG, which they do for the contestant bio packages. We’re also able to support their Steadicam Operator, who uses a Teradek Bolt Pro system. It allows him to record onboard with the Bolt, and transmit his signal to the control room integrating it into the full production process.”
Bexel also provides hands-on engineering support, delivered in a way that is uniquely integrated with the production. Timothy Quinn, a system engineer for Bexel, serves as the Engineer in Charge on Chopped. In that role, Quinn oversees the technical engineering aspects of the entire production. “Tim is an integral part of the show, and he’s truly considered to be a member of the Chopped crew after all these years,” notes de la Torre. “We also provide a Video Operator who’s charged with making sure all the cameras are matched when the show is being produced, which helps manage time and budgets during the editing process. Bexel’s commitment to our clients is exemplified by Tim and the complete services and support we’re proud to provide for Chopped.”
“Bexel’s support has been invaluable on Chopped,” comments Notional’s Loe Fahie, Line Producer for Chopped. “As an equipment and services provider, they’ve been with us every step of the way. Even when we moved studios a few seasons ago, everything went seamlessly. The team at Bexel knows our production requirements and anticipates our technical needs, which helps keep our production on schedule. I love this team. Ernesto and Tim act as if our show is their show as well. Bexel is part of the Chopped family!”
Bexel has also enjoyed a longstanding relationship with The Apprentice franchise. The popular series, featuring Donald Trump, will soon begin airing its 14th season (The Celebrity Apprentice 7), and Bexel has been in “the boardroom” from the very beginning. Each season the company sends a team of engineers to execute and oversee the entire installation in The Apprentice’s Trump Tower studios. For the upcoming season, the production is utilizing 24 cameras from Bexel, including 18 Sony PDW-F800s cameras and 60 channels of wireless audio from Sennheiser and Lectrosonics.
“From the very start, versatility was key for this production,” notes Gregory Bragg, vice president of Global Sales for Bexel. “Their field crews are able to use the 18 ENG cameras to shoot the contestants in ‘reality situations’ and set up mini-fly packs with six to ten cameras to cover a ‘task delivery’ in the field. Then all of those cameras are able to come in when they shoot the boardroom material. They get tied into Bexel’s control room facilities and become part of the studio flypack as well. The Apprentice franchise is the reason we originally developed our custom harness system. The only cost effective solution for them was to allow the flexibility of an ENG camera into a flypack situation, and our harness has continued to serve us well on many other shows.”
Bexel has served as a resource to production companies from the initial days of reality television. “Since the dawn of the early MTV shows in the mid-1990’s, including Road Rules and many others, Bexel has been at the forefront of support for reality television,” concludes Bragg. “As the genre has evolved, so have the services and solutions that we offer. The depth of our reach into the reality market is really unmatched. Whether it’s a small two to three camera production, a 24 camera mega-show, the 90 robotics involved in Hell’s Kitchen, or the massive infrastructure of Utopia, Bexel covers the entire range.”
Bexel, an NEP Broadcast Services Company, is celebrating more than 40 years of being a leader in outsourced innovative broadcast solutions for producers of sports, entertainment, and live events. We take pride in servicing our customers’ unique needs and meeting the demands of a changing production landscape. Our newest innovations include remote operation and contribution kits, and cloud and off-prem production services. Our traditional broadcast 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 deliver 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 25 countries. Learn more at nepgroup.com.
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