People to People is Rockland County, NY’s primary hunger relief organization working to help struggling Rocklanders through difficult times with a variety of programs, including food, school supplies, essential items and more. People to People believes that by helping others meet basic needs, we can make the world a better place.
People to People’s message resonates deeply with the greater Rockland community, which is why when faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the community came together in an instant. More than $100,000 was raised for the food pantry via ROCKland Helping Rockland, a virtual concert and internet telethon that was live streamed via Facebook Live and YouTube Live. The event showcased a lineup of Rockland-based performers and remote guests, with more than 15 performers taking the stage from home, including Grace VanderWaal (“America’s Got Talent,” “Stargirl”), Rita Harvey (Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Phantom of the Opera”), singer-songwriter Tom Chapin, fiddler Eileen Ivers, and more.
Spearheaded and co-hosted by People to People’s Chairman Emeritus, Joe Allen, and musician and Founder of the Rockland-Bergen Music Festival, Joe D’Urso, the concert was shot and streamed from creative agency and production company LCM247’s Pearl River, NY studio. Due to social distancing requirements, Allen joined from his home via an on-set monitor, while D’Urso was in-studio while maintaining a safe distance from LCM247’s Creative Director Patrick Heaphy, who not only co-hosted but was also tasked with producing the live streamed concert.
Technology Bridges Distance
When it came down to the logistics of creating a remote event, Heaphy and LCM247 were up for the challenge. “LCM247 specializes in technology that brings people closer together, so we came up with the plan to get all these great remote artists connected,” said Heaphy. “Given our production work, we had all the necessary gear ready to go at our studio. When Joe (D’Urso) called me and said they wanted to do a music event to raise funds for People to People, I said sure!”
ROCKland Helping Rockland was shot and streamed using a variety Blackmagic Design gear. Two URSA Broadcast cameras and two Micro Studio Camera 4Ks captured Allen and Heaphy in the studio, and the cameras fed into an ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K live production switcher, with an ATEM Camera Control Panel used for remote camera control and to mix all audio through the switcher.
HyperDeck Studio Mini and HyperDeck Studio 12G broadcast recorders handled ISO recordings from the cameras, as well as three channels of remote feeds, including Allen who was using a Pocket Cinema Camera 4K to film himself at home. In addition to Allen joining remotely, other guests joined remotely via the on-set monitor, which was fed and switched by an ATEM Production Studio 4K switcher.
Some of the segments were pre-recorded, including past live performances, with Heaphy and his team running them from a DaVinci Resolve Studio edit bay. “The non-live footage was compiled in DaVinci Resolve Studio, with necessary editing and grading done ahead of time, and we rolled it in to the live feed,” explained Heaphy.
The entire almost five-hour telethon was live streamed using an encoder and Blackmagic Web Presenter to People to People’s Facebook page and LCM247’s YouTube channel.
Socially Distant Live Streaming
With social distancing a priority, Heaphy designed the live streaming workflow to support the event with as little on-site crew as possible.
“I co-hosted the event and had only three team members in the studio with me – one working the switcher, a second on playback, and a third on the live stream connection and monitoring,” said Heaphy. “An additional team member was working remotely on connections.”
“I did have to run off of the set at times to assist technically, but overall everything went smoothly,” he concluded. “Given our skeleton crew, we really had to rely on the technology as the backbone to this great event, which brought the community together to support an amazing cause.”
Reprinted from PLSN Magazine