The Quicklink Studio (ST55) and Studio-in-a-box (ST500) solutions have been used by The People’s Court, TV’s longest running court show, to continue production during COVID-19.
In March 2020, The People’s Court’s production was abruptly paused due to the effects of the pandemic. Very quickly it was realised that travel and distancing restrictions were not going to ease, and The People’s Court production team started exploring ways of producing the show remotely.
“Very quickly we came across the Quicklink solutions which included the necessary features for our particular production workflow that other systems lacked. Namely the ability to record each contributor independently at full resolution, and to be able to connect to and manage many participants throughout a shoot day” said Scott Ratner, Senior Editor at The People’s Court.
A ST500 (Studio-in-a-box) was deployed to court reporter Doug Llewelyn’s home in North Carolina to be set up in his home library. ST500’s and ST150’s were also deployed to Marylin Milian, the courts judge, in Florida where a remote studio setup was installed.
The deployed ST500’s (Studio-in-a-box) allowed the show’s producers to gather professional, high-quality contributions. The inbuilt camera, lighting and audio were able to be controlled remotely from a secure web browser. The solution is an all-in-one, easy-to-use portable unit incorporating a Panasonic PTZ camera, inbuilt lighting, LCD touchscreen and audio interface.
For interviewing litigants located in their homes, the Quicklink Studio (ST55) was used to gather high-quality contributions from desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet devices. The solution allowed The People Court to easily send a guest invite via email, SMS or WhatsApp and have the litigants intuitively join without the requirement of installing any apps or software.
Jamie Billet, Supervising Editor at The People’s Court added; “We experimented with Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing solutions, but there was no way to record full-frame and full-resolution video for each person. We settled on Quicklink to connect and record the streams from our professional cameras filming the judge and the rest of our cast, as well as the phone or laptop cameras connecting our litigants.”
Scott added; “The Quicklink solutions made it possible for us to produce an entire season of People’s Court remotely. In March we wrapped production of season 24, recording more than 300 cases and 150 shows totally remotely utilizing hardware and software from Quicklink”.
The ST55 solution works within a simple web browser, with no apps or software installs required by the contributor. Contributors can be invited via SMS, WhatsApp, email or by generating a simple URL link. From the Quicklink Manager, an operator is able to remotely control and configure the contributor’s device camera, microphone and speaker settings.
“A key piece of the puzzle is the Quicklink Manager. It allowed us to be able to communicate with the litigants and prep them prior to them starting their case, and it could be done while another case was being shot and recorded. This allowed us to queue up litigants and have them ready to go when the prior case ended, making the whole production run smoother and faster than if we would have had to stop and connect new litigants at the start of each case.” Added Scott.