Crew in a Box is a product / service launched in LA in June 2020. It offers an all-in-one remote production solution with a BMPCC 6K camera, light, two screens and two microphones – all in one sturdy box. The entire box is controlled remotely by a trained cameraman, so the talent only needs to position the box, open the light and set up the microphones. Other participants can also be virtually on set via a conference call.
2020, the year of social distancing, brought many new challenges not only for our film industry. When faced with challenges, there are always certain options that go hand in hand. We have seen a lot of productions that are increasingly focused on live streaming and remote productions. CineD also didn't sleep as we did dozens of virtual interviews instead of being physically at trade shows.
Ira Rosensweig, Dallas Sterling and Jeremy Fernsler from Los Angeles also saw an opportunity and developed a new product / service called Crew in a Box. Let's take a quick look at their offer.
Crew in a box
Crew in a Box describes itself as a plug-and-play remote production solution of professional quality. It's basically a 2-foot box that comes with a camera, light, microphone, and teleprompter / interrotron. The camera used is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. The three-part, two-tone LED light is 3 feet wide when unfolded. Each panel is also dimmable. Finally, there are two microphones – a hyper cardioid condenser and a lavalier microphone.
The talent can simply open the box, plug it in, and connect with a remote team of filmmakers who can control every aspect of the shoot. Agency and clients can join a video conference where they can view the image feed straight from the camera and join as if they were on the set.
Two screens for different scenarios
Teleprompter. Source: crew in a box
The screen under the camera is projected onto a glass in front of the camera. It can act as a standard teleprompter, displaying any text the talent can read. It can also act as an interrotron – it can display the video feed directly from the video conference – from the director's or client's laptop. The talent can then talk to him or her while looking directly at the camera.
The screen can also show the live video of all participants in a discussion, so that everyone looks at each other while looking at the cameras. Last but not least, it can also display the camera view of talents for vanity or hair and makeup artists.
For the eye line outside the camera (talking to a virtual interviewer who is sitting next to the camera), the crew in a box also includes a secondary monitor that can be placed on either side of the box. The monitor can also display either a continuous text or the interviewee.
Second monitor. Source: crew in a box
How does it work?
Before the box arrives at the Talents house, it is disinfected. The talent will also receive a pre-production video briefing that will help them identify the best place to place the box.
Everything comes in a sturdy box. Source: crew in a box
After the lid of the box has been lifted and inserted, the crew in a box automatically establishes a connection via the Internet using the bonded cellular technology provided.
Once connected, a trained cameraman instructs the crew on a boxing team the talent to adjust the position of the box for the best framing. The cameraman also takes full control of the camera, audio and light remotely.
The recorded material is saved directly in the box. The footage can be sent to the customer either by shipping the drive or by remote transmission immediately after recording. The box can also stream the image live directly.
Price and availability
3 foot wide two-tone LED panel. Source: crew in a box
Crew in a Box is currently available for purchase or rental from an operator with the required production support. Price was not disclosed. If you would like to know more, it is best to contact Ira Rosensweig directly. The company is based in Hollywood, CA.
What do you think of the idea of Crew in a Box? Do you think this type of solution will be necessary in the next few years? Did you do remote production this year? Let us know in the comments section below the article.