December 27, 2023 - Ross Video Team, Education

How to Build an Elite Mobile Production Unit 

One of the most significant challenges for outside broadcasters is maintaining the same high-quality production standards viewers are accustomed to when filming with a mobile unit.  

Ross Production Services is our full-service turnkey production company. Their mobile production units deliver high-quality video and audio content from live events of all types and scales, ranging from college sports to The Olympics.  

This article will teach you what makes them such a high-performance unit and how to approach building your own elite mobile production team. Here is what we will cover: 

  1. Harness the Right Skills & Experience: Build a team comprising experts with proven technical proficiency in outside broadcasting.  
  1. Empower Them with the Right Technology: Maximize your team’s capacity to deliver high-quality video productions by switching to innovative technology.  
  1. Develop them with the Right Training and support: Leverage training and support to enhance your team’s skills and knowledge continually.  
  1. Prepare Them for the Unexpected: Allow your team to account for and prepare for common failures and emergencies that may disrupt mobile broadcasts.  
  1. Streamline & Automate Production Workflows: Leverage automation to streamline your production workflows for productivity.  
  1. Build strategic partnerships with vendors: Prioritize relationships with vendors who provide exceptional training and support.   

Want all the details on how to build high-performance mobile production teams? Keep reading.  

1. Harness the Right Skills & Experience      

The most critical factor in your team’s performance is the people. Finding the right people and building a culture of learning and improvement can set your business apart. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when hiring: 

Cultivate a Specialized and Diverse Team: Diversity of skills and experience will ensure you build a team with technical expertise and confidence to create and problem-solve on set. 

Build Technical Proficiency Under Pressure: A skilled outside broadcasting team thrives under pressure while maintaining high-performance standards.  

Prioritize Adaptability and Reliability: You should count on your team to mitigate technical issues on the fly and deliver a seamless broadcasting experience.  

2. Empower Them with the Right Technology 

Once you’ve assembled a world-class news crew, you should empower them with the best outdoor broadcasting technology. The right technology lets you build a flawless production system that meets your broadcasting needs without sacrificing quality.  

The best outside broadcasting technology features include:  

Integrated Technology and Infrastructure:  

Integrating various technologies and components into a unified infrastructure helps streamline production workflows. It allows your team to share and distribute media assets in real-time and collaborate for greater broadcasting efficiency.  

Agile and Scalable Systems:  

Building scalable, flexible infrastructure within a single system allows you to adapt your systems to production demands faster and easier. Modular infrastructure with software-enabled functionality (like Ultrix) will enable you to reconfigure and customize your system to meet changing needs without additional equipment or extensive hardware configurations.    

Automated Workflows for Efficiency:  

Automating tedious and repetitive tasks allows your team to focus on producing quality content. Automation helps streamline production workflow and reduce human errors while accelerating production times.  

Role-Based Access Controls:  

You need effective control over your resources and technology when working with a large team. Role-based access control boosts security while allowing role-appropriate technological access. Administrators can assign permissions and privileges to prevent unauthorized access.  

Custom Control Interfaces:  

Tailoring control interfaces to specific production roles helps boost efficiency while reducing the learning curve. Intuitive user interfaces organize control options by priority, which helps improve productivity and reduce turnaround time.   

3. Develop them with the Right Training & Support 

Alongside providing your team with the best-in-class technology, you must continually help them improve and upskill. Building proficiency lets your team perform at their best and achieve optimal results. Here’s how to build a world-class mobile reporting team:  

Trustworthy Vendors for Training and Support:  

Prioritize partnerships with reliable vendors providing next-gen technology, comprehensive training, and dependable ongoing support. This guarantees your team will receive excellent training and excel in their roles.  

Require In-Depth Training and Accessible Documentation:  

A reliable vendor provides in-depth training that molds your team into outdoor broadcasting experts. Documentation such as user manuals and video tutorials help your team work quickly and independently.    

Insist on Ongoing Support and Skill Development:  

With broadcasting practices and technologies evolving rapidly, your team must continually develop their skills. Ongoing support such as workshops, webinars, and industry conferences can help your team upskill and keep up to date with the latest broadcasting technologies and practices. An informed team will be ready to take advantage of efficiencies and capabilities offered by new technologies without a steep learning curve. A reliable vendor with good training support can also help you create a culture of continuous improvement and professional development.  

Build a Collaborative Work Culture:  

Creating an environment that encourages collaboration and communication helps build an efficient team. Organizing brainstorming sessions and team meetings and facilitating cross-functional partnerships help promote teamwork. Team members should feel comfortable asking questions, sharing ideas, and soliciting feedback.  

Plan for Succession:  

Succession planning lowers the learning curve by allowing team members to pass equipment and process knowledge when transitioning to new roles. Shadowing and mentorship programs build proficiency and help maintain operational continuity.  

4. Prepare Them for the Unexpected  

A mobile team operates in a highly unpredictable environment and will likely encounter numerous technical and environmental challenges. Identifying and preparing for the most common outside broadcasting failures can help minimize disruptions. Here’s how to prepare your mobile production team for failure: 

Conduct routine needs analysis 

Conducting a needs analysis helps safeguard your outside broadcasts from disruption. A needs analysis systematically analyzes your broadcasting operations to determine your needs and identify gaps. It’s a strategic approach to help you invest in equipment and technology that delivers your desired outcomes. 

Create a response plan 

Develop and practice emergency contingency and response plans that outline the actions your team must take to minimize disruptions during a live broadcast. An effective response plan covers potential failure scenarios, establishes communication protocols, and defines roles and responsibilities. It also provides troubleshooting procedures for common problems.  

Build in redundancy 

Redundancies provide failover mechanisms that ensure uninterrupted broadcasting. Building them into your equipment and processes will minimize disruptions and ensure critical broadcasting equipment always stays online. Redundancies to prioritize include signaling, power sources, and networking.

5. Streamline & Automate Production Workflows 

Since the production workflows have many crucial but repetitive tasks, you can leverage automation and streamline your production process. Automation increases productivity by allowing your team to prioritize creative tasks over grunt work. Here are some crucial factors to keep in mind when automating your production workflows:   

While automation helps streamline production workflows, sometimes you may not have complete control over the entire process. However, you can automate as many processes within your sphere of influence as possible. Automating repetitive tasks reduces errors and lets your team focus on high-value work. 

Building custom control interfaces can help you reduce manual work during broadcasts. DashBoard and RPM allow you to create intuitive workflows and controls tailored to specific production and broadcasting roles. They provide a graphic user interface to monitor and control your production ecosystem in a single place.  

Optimize your production operations by automating content creation and distribution with specialty tools like XPression. Xpression automates graphics creation and playout to let you insert graphics into live broadcasts on the fly.   

6. Build Strategic Partnerships with Vendors 

Vendors have extensive knowledge of their products and services. Collaborating with them lets you tap into their expertise and benefit from their guidance. Here’s how to leverage vendor relationships for success:   

Build strategic partnerships with vendors who offer access to specialized resources and expertise. Trustworthy vendors should support your team and help them thrive by: 

  1. Offering maintenance contracts and extended warranties  
  2. Promising fast and low-cost servicing and replacement 
  3. Providing training & ongoing support when staffing issues occur 
  4. Guiding you to new and emerging technologies that will make your operation more efficient 

7. High-Performance Mobile Video Production 

It takes the combination of highly proficient experts, best-in-class production infrastructure, and technology to build a high-performance outside broadcast production team. Ensuring your team builds proficiency in the latest production technology and standards is pivotal to your outdoor broadcasting success. You’ll need a reliable vendor to help you create custom infrastructure, comprehensively train your team, and provide the support they need to use it proficiently. 

Interested in more?

We’ll put you in touch with a member of our team to discuss your specific needs.