Synergetic of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, takes advantage of a growing demand for a professional setting to create video content or host live virtual events by converting a portion of the firm’s warehouse to a professional TV studio for live streaming complete with a full Elation Professional lighting system.
President and CEO at Synergetic, Jason Weldon, believes that opening the studio has allowed them to pivot from their usual business of supplying entertainment technology gear for live events in the Mid-Atlantic region. “We’ve been able to offer customers the ability to hold a virtual event in a professional setting,” he said while acknowledging that the redirection to a live streaming and professional recording space has also been an economic lifesaver. “While we’re not 100% or anywhere close to it, it has allowed us to stay in business and offer something unique, easy and useful for our customer base.”
Last spring, it took the team at Synergetic a month to solve how they were going to make the pivot to a TV studio space and another few weeks to educate and train themselves on the setup. “It’s a TV studio so it’s a different ballgame compared to our usual touring setup,” Weldon stated. “Once it got out and people saw what could be done, our customers got excited. We’ve been able to give them a nice solution at an affordable price to hold a professional online event and importantly we were able to keep some jobs and pay some bills.”
The Synergetic studio setup went through three revisions before Weldon and his team were satisfied with the result. Beginning in mid-April, an initial setup was deemed too small after a few in-house events. Setup number two was larger but not the right dimensions so after tearing it down and rebuilding they finally got a space they were proud to offer their clientele. By Memorial Day, the studio space was ready, just in time to offer customers a nice presentation space for the summer.
The final space is 55 feet wide by 200 long with plenty of room for cameras and control. Weldon describes it as “a space that looks good, is professional, sounds and looks great, is mixed well, and at an affordable cost. The extra room we added lengthwise opened it up for putting more people on the stage set and it gives us much better camera angles where we can do sweeping shots and layered looks with depth.” The 5,000 square foot studio has everything a client needs: lighting, audio, video, cameras, teleprompters, mics, mixers, staging and more. Synergetic technicians, including lighting design assistance, are also available.
The lighting setup is made up of 12 Artiste Picasso, 6 Artiste DaVinci and 12 Rayzor 760 LED moving heads along with 12 Platinum Beam 5R movers and 14 Seven Batten strip lights to uplight a backdrop drape. “We don’t need ellipsoidals because the Picassos with framing shutters act as a Leko, and we can control the LED refresh rate so they work well with the cameras. The DaVinci’s give us colour and graphics possibilities and the Rayzors we use as eye candy, which works great for the bands that come in. The 5Rs create great beam effects.” Weldon added. “It’s been a workhorse rig and makes the stage look great.”
Bands and musical artists hold virtual concerts, create music videos, or even use the studio as a professional rehearsal space, while corporations and non-profits use it as a professional setting to deliver messages and updates, or to raise funds, instead of broadcasting from a modest living room or inadequate home office. Businesses also use it as a backdrop for social media content or as a product launch setting.
“The fixtures work well in both environments, corporate and band,” Weldon said, “and the positioning was thought out with both a corporate and a concert client in mind.” For corporate clients the look is clean with not a lot of fixtures in the shot while for musical clients they can move cameras back far enough to see more of the rig. Although clients do have the possibility of adjusting or adding to the rig, Weldon says most have been very happy with the setup the way it is.
With an eye to the future, another motivation for opening the studio was to stay in front of people who can potentially use Synergetic when the industry gets back working again. Whether or not that means the studio will remain open long term, like so many, Weldon says who knows what the future holds. He does anticipate though keeping the studio operational through 2021.