Dellar Davis Ltd.
The team at Pixl were commissioned by Dellar Davies Ltd. for their client P&O Cruises, which had previously used the Central London studio at John Henry’s for several successful virtual events. When they decided to produce a Christmas broadcast event, they wanted to repeat the smooth experience.
P&O Cruises had a challenging time during the pandemic, with their fleet of cruise liners in dock or anchored at sea. In normal trading years, P&O Cruises plan several face-to-face events to which they invite members of the travel industry to inform them about their cruise products and new routes/ships. Whilst there were no cruises during the Covid pandemic, there was still a need to communicate with the travel industry. Face-to-face meetings were not possible, so they moved to virtual events to convey their message. These needed to be professional, high-production value broadcasts to reflect their brand and position in the market.
The P&O Cruises brief was to create a Christmas themed backdrop in a TV studio. Pixl recommended using Studio 8, which has a 3mm LED back wall and a 4mm LED floor. Using this technology, the Pixl team was able to create an immersive extended reality (xR) environment to surround the presenters. Pixl worked with the client to design and create the virtual environment, while also providing all the crew and labour for the studio, including production manager, vision director, camerapersons, stage manager, makeup artists, audio, lighting, crew catering, and more.
The 2-hour broadcast took place on December 17, 2021. Jo Whiley hosted the event, which was a mixture of live performance and pre-recorded videos. Viewers also won Christmas themed prizes during the event. The client provided the virtual platform for the broadcast to be viewed on by 20,000 travel agents and travel industry professionals.
The studio was booked for two days with set build and rehearsals on the first day, further rehearsals on day two and the broadcast in the afternoon. The environment needed to be a corporate, P&O Cruises’ branded set, with a Christmas overlay. The environments were approved at the beginning of December. These were created using 3D Mac and were then ingested in the Disguise VX4 servers sitting in the studio. Three 4k broadcast cameras were used in total, of which two were on studio pedestals and one on a 6m jib. Studio 8 is made up of high-resolution LED walls and floor. All cameras had on board autocue. There were 18 crew in the studio to deliver the technical requirement with a further three people in the production office.
Father Christmas made an appearance on stage in a grotto to assist with the prize giving. Remote presenters were able to communicate with the studio and also view autocue, their presentation slides, and the camera view of the host. This was achieved through Quicklink.
The feedback P&O Cruises received was excellent. They were at a point where the business was ready to recommence their cruise liner operation and having a top-of-the-line platform to deliver this message to the travel industry was crucial.
“You all did a really superb job, and we appreciated all the detail that went into the production planning and rehearsals,” said Elaine Dellar, CEO of Dellar Davies Ltd.