Film and TV Production

Keeping the Creative Vision in Focus, At a Safe Distance

With COVID-19, media production teams are having to rethink how they interact on set and amongst team members. While full-duplex comms systems were once used primarily by the camera operators and DP, with the new norms of socially distanced and zoned media production, more people are working remotely or at a greater distance than ever before. In this situation, a flexible, IP-based full duplex (talk and listen at the same time) intercom system can be a mission- critical tool in keeping the team members communicating to the right people, at the right time, while maintaining social distance.
Clear-Com’s hands free systems are designed to be easy to use, lightweight and portable, with the ability to be quickly deployed on location, complete with DC backup, in a matter of minutes. With a variety of different solution available, systems can be configured for both partyline and point-to-point communication, integrate seamlessly with two-way radios, and include the Agent-IC mobile app option for remote team members.
The Safe Way Forward

  • The Video Village has been moved away from the set
  • Executives can communicate with the set from remote locations
  • Director can be remote
  • All parties except actors maintain six feet of distance from others
  • Each department (sound, camera, lighting, etc.) forms their own “pod”
  • Conversations that took place in quiet huddles now need to happen over distance
Full-Duplex Communication

Full-duplex describes bi-directional communications all the time. Regular communications between individuals conversing in person is full-duplex, meaning you can talk and listen simultaneously, most closely mimicking face-to-face conversations. Full-duplex communication allows simultaneous two-way conversations where one person can interrupt the other. Two-way radios or walkie-talkies only offer half-duplex communications.
The Zone System: The Safe Way Forward
The Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Basic Crafts, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined together to release “The Safe Way Forward,” a Multi-Union Report on COVID-19 Safety Guidelines.

At the center of this safety guide is The Zone System, designed to safeguard the actors and crew. This concept allows for minimal crew in and around the actors, with the zones farther from the actors containing more crew positions. COVID-19 testing, physical distancing and safe, hygienic protocols are also in place throughout all zones.

As the production team is now spread out from each other, in some cases contributing to the production from other states or even countries, the ability to quickly and easily communicate with others now requires a comms system. Clear-Com has outlined some potential solutions in the diagrams below, however there are many different options depending on the particular needs of a production.

Zone Systems

Media Production Zones
Full-Duplex Communication
Comms Assignment Chart
Brent Marchenski
Technical Producer
MasterChef Canada 7, JuniorChef Showdown 2, The Great Canadian Bakeoff 4

“What we’re seeing this year on MasterChef Canada Season 7 (Post COVID) is a reliance on constant, consistent and broader communication more than ever before. Modern intercom unlocks a seemingly unlimited amount of configurations and possibilities, to the point where going backwards just isn’t an option.

In this new world, the full integration of an Intercom system really is the way of doing things on set, now and in the future.”

Featured Products

FreeSpeak II® Digital Wireless

FreeSpeak II Digital Wireless

FreeSpeak II is the industry-leading digital wireless solution used in Broadcast and Live Event productions all around the world. Available for use in either 1.9 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands, FreeSpeak II offers ease of use, superior audio quality, and the freedom to move around uninhibited by wires.
Agent-IC® Mobile App

Agent-IC Mobile App

Clear-Com’s Agent-IC mobile app operates on iOS or Android devices over 3G, 4G, LTE and WiFi networks. Boasting very low latency and high audio quality, Agent-IC allows team members to connect to the main intercom system using their existing devices, no matter where in the world they are. A free trial version of Agent-IC is available to download from the Apple iTunes Store or Google Playstore.
DX410TM Wireless

DX410 Wireless

The DX410 wireless all-in-one headset is a favorite of camera operators due to its lightweight and simple operation. While it doesn’t offer the robust feature set of the FreeSpeak II wireless system, it can be integrated into a FreeSpeak II system for those who prefer the DX format and streamlined user interface.
LQ® Series IP Interfaces

LQ Series IP Interfaces

The LQ Series of products are the ultimate in IP interface solutions; they can integrate any audio stream into the intercom system, including two-way radios, telephones, and the Agent-IC mobile app. Its flexibility makes LQ the ultimate multitasker in an intercom system.

Refresh Kits for Headset Sanitization

Clear-Com offers a wide range of professional headsets which are designed for comfort and durability. Since this is a high-touch item it is ideal for each crew member to have their own personal headset, Clear-Com also offers Refresh Kits for Headset Sanitization for many of our most popular models.

The Role of Comms in Zoned Media Production

American Cinematographer: Clear-Com Aids Distanced Productions

Comms for Zoned and Socially Distanced Film and TV Production (Mix Sound)

Comms for Socially Distanced Media Production

Clear-Com and Media Production

Since its founding in 1968, Clear-Com and its parent company HME have a long history of providing comms to camera operators and DPs involved in media production. Over the course of more than 50 years in business, Clear-Com has established itself as an industry leader, with world-class support designed to create solutions to address some of the most challenging communications needs. Clear-Com is in a unique position to support the evolving needs of media production professionals, with a strong network of channel partners around the world, and a dedication to ensuring people stay connected and collaborating, no matter the situation.

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