Host Howie Mandel on the set of Mobbed.
Burbank, CA (December 13, 2011)—Wexler Video is supplying production gear for the Fox reality series Mobbed, including an assortment of wireless technology.
Establishing and maintaining a RF environment for an unscripted television production can be challenging as they are often shot on location and involve mobile crews and unpredictable action. For Mobbed, wireless requirements are complex due to the show's use of flash mob sequences, where hundreds of apparent strangers suddenly break out into elaborately choreographed performances.
The flash mob performances invariably take place in open public spaces that are considerably more than five times the size of a typical sound stage—a huge area in which to extend wireless coverage. Recording such scenes requires five audio ENG rigs (each equipped with two wireless camera sends and one IFB transmitter), 24 wireless microphones for talent and multiple in-ear communication devices, as well as an Avid Pro Tools multitrack system in audio control to record audio sources on isolated tracks.
The flash mob is intended to be a surprise to the show's featured participant, so there can be no second take. "The choreography has to be exact, the music has to start on time, and the crew has to be ready," notes Pascal Bok, Wexler Video's manager of audio services. "It's very challenging because it requires a lot of gear-no-loss cables, antennas, microphones and lots of frequencies."
Bok notes that Wexler assists the show's production crew with coordinating the frequencies required by the more than 40 wireless devices used in the production. At a place like a shopping mall, there could be dozens of devices also in operation. "We monitor frequency use to be sure no one is stepping on us, and we aren't stepping on anyone else," Bok says. "In public areas, there are often rogue transmitters, so you have to be monitoring constantly."