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Bexel Supplies Infrastructure For Katy Perry Live Stream

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Bexel, as part of its partnership with Fly on the Wall Entertainment, has delivered a complete broadcast infrastructure for Katy Perry's recent 'Witness World Wide' event.

For four days, singer Perry stayed in an apartment in the Kim Sing Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, where PTZ robotic cameras captured her every move, as well as the comings and goings of friends and guest celebrities. Streamed live on YouTube, the event attracted 49 million views.

Bexel provided an HD control room, a fiber infrastructure, and on-site engineering support for the live-streaming event, which was staged by Perry to launch her latest album, Witness.

Unlike unscripted productions that are done in a fixed studio with an established and familiar infrastructure, Witness World Wide took place in a temporary, remote location, requiring the Bexel and FOTW teams to install cabling, equipment, and every other technical aspect of live production. The limited six-week timeframe, under the cloak of secrecy, added another challenge to the project.

At the Kim Sing Theatre, Bexel constructed a full 1920 x 1080p multisource control room and a fiber infrastructure to support more than 40 Panasonic AW-HE 130 HD robotic cameras installed throughout Perry's living quarters. With space being limited, two additional trailers were placed on the street outside the venue to house the technical backbone and technical operations positions for editing and playback.

Throughout the live stream, Bexel engineers operated the Sony MVS 7000X switcher and Calrec Summa console with Hydra II audio distribution. A 256 x 256 Evertz router managed feeds to support four simultaneous camera streams. The live video was ingested directly into the Avid online editing system to enable operators to create video-on-demand clips for posting to YouTube and other promotional activities. In addition, Bexel provided 4K acquisition gear, including Sony FS7 camera packages, that allowed camera and audio crews to shadow Perry throughout the event. The resulting footage was used to produce a 90-minute 4K behind-the-scenes special, 'Will You Be My Witness?' It was presented on YouTube Red on 4 October.

On June 12, Perry marked the close of the live stream and the official release of 'Witness' when she travelled to a nearby high school to present a free concert. With Dejero bonded cellular transmitters supplied and operated by Bexel, FOTW was able to maintain the live feed and continue streaming Perry's journey in the limo until the handoff to the production technical compound at the school.

Jeff Anderson, Executive in Charge at Fly on the Wall Entertainment (FOTW), said: "Nothing like 'Witness World Wide' had ever been done before, with its various live entertainment elements and 96-hour continuous duration for live streaming. We had to overcome some daunting challenges to make it happen. With its expertise in live production and deep experience with multicamera robotic setups for many other high-profile unscripted shows, Bexel was the perfect partner."

"FOTW is one of the longest-running and most well-respected producers of unscripted television programs," added Jeffrey Bown, Strategic Account Manager, Bexel. "With this kind of pedigree, FOTW was the perfect choice to produce 'Witness World Wide,'. At Bexel, we live for the types of challenges presented by this one-of-a-kind production, and we were primed and ready to build an outstanding solution. And throughout 'Witness World Wide,' the tight-knit relationship we had with the FOTW team not only made this an extremely fun project, but also helped us deliver outstanding service."

Image: Katy Perry 'Witness World Wide' event.

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