Our production crew recently completed a project with Nickelodeon and Abercrombie Kids where, due to COVID restrictions, every person was in a remote setting.

In the video below, we chat with our Director of Photography, Omar Lopez Jr., about some of the unique challenges we faced during the early days of remote video production, and how we were able to produce an amazing finished product for our clients.

Check it out or read the full transcript below:

Mike: Hi everyone. Thanks for joining. I want to introduce you to Omar Lopez Jr. He’s a director of photography that we work with on so many projects and you can actually learn more about Omar at omarlopezjr.com, but Omar, thanks for for hopping on.

Omar: Thanks for having me!

Mike: I wanted to talk quickly about the Nickelodeon project that we did with Viacom and Abercrombie kids. This was a hard project. It was all remote at multiple locations, and they also had to compose a song. Tell me about some of the challenges and how we overcame those.

Omar: For me, the biggest challenge was like, honestly, COVID was so early on in that kind of workflow. We were still learning on our training wheels, as well as Viacom was also learning about remote production at the same time. So for me, it was honestly the everyone getting used to the new workflow. Everyone on set is so used to just walking over to the camera, talking to the talent. Everyone can have their own conversations, but on zoom, it’s a one-to-one thing. If one person’s talking, they have the whole room, regardless if it’s just wardrobe or anything like that.

Mike: So tell me about the music!

Omar: So the biggest issue with the music is that, a lot of people don’t know that with zoom or any video chat software, it’s automatically going to cut off a lot of like consistent noise or random noise. So it’s really hard to sync up, especially a bunch of kids together playing a song. You have to record each kid separately. And thankfully their team in the edit was able to put it all together. So it looked really nice.

Mike: It’s really hard when you’re working with folks who are used to a set, and a lot of people on set, and then everybody’s in just zoom breakout rooms. What’s that like?

Omar: It’s a little bit crazy. I find that a lot of clients have a hard time because you are working with delays when you’re working with actual latency between the video and the actual stream, which the client sees. And then, of course, the actual production team gets a slightly earlier version. So someone will say, “Hey, can you move that plant?” And by the time someone has said that, sometimes the talent has already moved it. And that’s a whole other thing that a lot of people have a really hard time with, is talent also becomes now your lighting team, your costuming team, your prop department. They kind of, you know, have to be your eyes and your ears and your hands while you’re directing through the screen.

Mike: Well, it’s a team effort and we couldn’t do any of this without you. So, Omar, thank you for your creativity, your ingenuity, and your positive attitude. Thank you.

Watch the final cut here!