Riedel Bolero The Expanse

The crew of Amazon Prime Video’s The Expanse series, coordinated by cinematographer Jeremy Benning CSC, uses Riedel’s Bolero to enhance coordination on set.

Previously, The Expanse crews relied on various methods of communication, ranging from HME wireless intercoms to walkie-talkies to face-to-face conversations. In order to “maximize time on set and eliminate misunderstandings and delays,” it was decided to start using Bolero from Riedel.

The system, a DECT-based intercom that operates in the 1.9 GHz frequency range without the need for a license, is present on the set of The Expanse in the form of 26 beltpacks and four antennas. Above all, on the film set, Riedel’s Bolero is used in stand-alone mode. For example, the audio feed from the sound mixer is connected so that all connected departments (camera, grip, lighting, producers, director, assistant directors, script and video playback) can listen to the actors’ dialogue whenever they need to. On the other hand, production uses Bolero to feed the “voice of God” loudspeaker to give alerts to the entire crew; and the director and script supervisor use the system to communicate notes to the cast.

Riedel Bolero The Technical ExpanseCommunication with the actors

The Expanse talent also benefits from the wireless communication system. When the actors are wearing their prop space helmets (a frequent occurrence), the Bolero solution is used to establish a two-way communication flow. In parallel, the Bolero system also has three walkie-talkie channels, allowing various teams to communicate without having to use two systems.

Jeremy Benning CSC believes that Bolero has proven to be an effective tool that has met their needs: “Not only does Bolero have excellent audio quality and an ultra-low noise floor, it’s also super-easy to control the entire system through the intuitive user interface.”

“My entire crew has said many times how much they appreciate Bolero’s single-system elegance, the clarity of audio, and the interconnectedness of all our audio streams — particularly since we’re often whispering cues to each other during takes. These are A-team technicians, but they’re mostly first-time Bolero users who are now completely in love with this solution. There is no going back once you have experienced Bolero, the ultimate way of managing a complex team with high-stake demands,” he adds.

Jason Ross, general manager of Canadian sales at Riedel Communications, underscores the solution’s adaptability: “Since we first introduced Bolero, it’s been embraced by producers of many types of large-scale, high-profile live entertainment events. And now, it’s gratifying to see Bolero’s wider adoption in higher-end film productions like The Expanse. That really speaks to Bolero’s incredible versatility for any type of production, whether it’s a marquee live event or a hit series on Amazon Prime Video.”

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For • 17 May, 2021
• Section: Study