Staying Connected with PACKTALK
The production team started out using a smartphone group App to communicate while riding, but they finally decided that they needed another solution. Working together with CLS Garage, a Cardo Systems distributor in Hong Kong, and the Cardo Systems team, they were kitted out with PACKTALK BOLD devices for riders. Those needing a helmetless solution, such as the production team and camera operators, received PACKTALK Headphones, meaning they could finish filming the remaining 13 episodes without traditional communication restrictions.
Research Writer, Tammy Cheung, comments: “Having never used an intercom before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but to be able to maintain stable communication with riders during rehearsal and at different shooting venues, it made all the difference. The battery life exceeded our expectations – normally we would need to charge at lunchtime – but with the PACKTALKs, we didn’t need to worry as they lasted the 13 hours they claimed to.”
The Benefits of Excellent Audio Quality
The Cardo PACKTALK features a voice-controlled Bluetooth intercom so the actors and crew could communicate with each other without physically interacting with the device. All they had to do was say, “Hey, Cardo,” and the intercom would connect them. Unlike traditional one-to-one communication systems, the PACKTALK series uses Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC), which creates a direct link between each user and every other rider in the group. This gave the producers and actors complete freedom and flexibility once all the units were connected. They could move in and out of the range without needing to manually reconnect, as it happens automatically.
Gavin Leung, Producer of Free Riders, adds: “The connection was great – even when we were in crew cars and going through tunnels. It strengthened the communication with the host of the show during the riding segments, which helped reduce the amount of re-shooting that we needed to do, as we could give live feedback. This also had a knock-on effect when it came to editing the footage as it meant we had fewer takes to go through.”
The high-performing functionality of the units has already given the team ideas for how they can incorporate additional elements in the next series.
He continues: “The quality of the audio is outstanding – especially the noise filtering. We could hardly hear any wind noise when talking to riders. It was so good that it could be used as the voiceover resource for the programme next time.”
Easy Communication While Riding and Filming
Another benefit of switching to Cardo, it allowed the crew members to direct the presenters and guests easily, even while riding.
Hong Kam, a Guest on Free Riders, states: “I am not a professional actor, so the opportunity to have real-time direction was great. There was no delay to their instructions, and I relied heavily on them to instruct me as per the product requirements. The coordination between the crew, host and guest was excellent and meant that we could shoot a few takes before having to return back to the crew car – so it increased our efficiency too.”
Not only did it increase the efficiency of the production, but using the PACKTALK devices meant that even the guests could multitask…
Hong admits: “It was handy that I could take phone calls too during the shooting if I needed!”