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ATG Danmon Completes Video Production Facility

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ATG Danmon has completed a video production facility for the 181 Piccadilly headquarters of Fortnum & Mason, one of Britain’s longest established retail stores.

The new system includes a Food and Drink Studio plus a dedicated control room. Created as a multipurpose resource on the store’s third floor, the studio incorporates a kitchen with remotely controlled cameras and adjustable lighting. The new facility is designed to be a creative hub for anyone with an interest in food and drink innovation. It will play host to over 100 Fortnum chefs as a production kitchen to create, taste and master recipes, supplying the Piccadilly store with Fortnum classics such as Scotch Eggs and Beef Wellingtons.

"Covid gave us the time to really think about the direction we want to take with the space," commented Tom Athron, Fortnum & Mason's chief executive. "Our whole strategy for a while now has been to become more relevant to more people more often. The purpose-built Food and Drink Studio is dedicated to experimenting and learning, crafting and producing; where beginners can meet masters and the craft of food and drink is celebrated. It will play host to live cooking demonstrations and workshops led by established chefs and emerging talent."

"We were invited to advise on the project after being recommended by one of our customers," said Jonathan Hughes, ATG Danmon managing director. "The challenge was to integrate a versatile but unobtrusive production system into an area that could also be used for audience-participation events. The entire system would output to the store’s existing audio network which in turn would be expanded to accommodate video feeds to wall-mounted display screens in various parts of the store.

"The solution we designed and integrated includes overhead 4K-UHD HDR cameras with low-noise motorised remote pan/tilt/zoom/focus control. These have proved very effective and operationally efficient in many recent ATG Danmon systems integration projects, notably in newsrooms and theatre venues.

"One of the cameras in the Food and Drink Studio is located immediately above the main demonstration area to capture close-ups of food preparation. The kitchen area includes an oven with a built-in camera which contributes live video closeups of food being cooked."

The results have proved very eye-friendly both from a video production viewpoint and as experienced by Fortnum & Mason’s customers visiting the suite.

The Food and Drink Studio will see a program of bookable events starting this summer, hosted by domestic and international gastronomic talent. It looks set to become a key element of the store’s customer experience and promotional activity, both in-store and potentially globally.

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