callaway-live-ups-its-game-with-arri-skypanels

Callaway Live Ups Its Game with ARRI SkyPanels

When Callaway Golf wanted to upgrade its video productions, video producer Tony Regalmuto and marketing manager Ethan Ganot had a wish list: the system had to be versatile to handle different production demands, easy enough for non-professionals to use and provide the highest quality result.

For the last six years, Callaway Golf Senior Marketing Manager Ethan Ganot and Senior Video Producer/Editor Tony Regalmuto have produced Callaway Live, a 20 to 25-minute long show that streams live on YouTube, among other video content. Callaway Live is a hosted show that features guests from around the world of golf, and is aimed at golfers, media outlets and Callaway’s own sales force. “The show has been a success and the demand for content increased – and, with it, the need to upgrade a studio that had been built in a converted office space,“ shares Ganot.

Now entering the fourth season of Callaway Live, Regalmuto reports that it was time to retire the old set and upgrade the old lighting. “As we created more content we noticed that we had a bigger and bigger audience, and so with a larger audience came the demand for higher production quality,” he says. Regalmuto recalls visiting ARRI’s booth at NAB. “I first saw this light hanging 20 to 30 feet in the air and still looking perfectly fine on my skin, I thought, wow this is incredible! It kind of got the wheels turning for our studio setup here and what it could do for us by opening up a lot of other possibilities,” explains Regalmuto. ARRI came to do a demo, he adds, and it became clear how ARRI SkyPanels would improve the quality of the productions.

The Callaway production team changed up their old lighting gear for five SkyPanel S30’s and a few S60’s, which run through the DMX control system. “The SkyPanels keep everything cool and quiet,” says Regalmuto, who notes that the converted office space was never designed to be a 62-degree studio. “As an LED, the lights aren’t pumping out as much electricity, so it is also saving money. The look of the light is probably the best investment of it because we don’t spend any time at all re-shooting. We know that the first shot we take, it’s going to look right.”

Videostill

The versatile SkyPanels also provide increased production flexibility. “A lot of times working in the golf industry you do shoot outside and it’s not always a controlled studio environment,” explains Regalmuto. “Some of the challenges that we faced before the ARRI SkyPanels were hard shadows on people’s faces when it was high noon. We’ll also do green screen in the studio, and the hard shadows can be a nightmare in the keying process. The SkyPanels give us a really nice light spread and nice colors. Everything is really seamless and the post process is especially simple as a result.”

The SkyPanels also allow the production team to work more quickly. “If we have 20 minutes with a player, we have to set up the interview really quickly,” Regalmuto says. “We can take a SkyPanel out there and instantly we look like we installed an entire lighting set up.” Ganot points out that the ARRI SkyPanels are so easy to use that even a corporate executive (such as himself) can use them. “Not everyone here is a technical director, but even the less experienced or less technical people are able to make use of all of these assets relatively quickly, and easily,” explains Ganot. “It’s a push-and-play operation, and, for someone like me, a piece of cake.” Regalmuto notes that everyone on the team, which includes marketing and even retail, wears multiple hats. “They aren’t necessarily people who have any formal training,” he adds. “But the set up and the ARRI SkyPanels make it very easy for somebody who has no experience and no actual training to run it. That says a lot about the product itself. And the quality of the SkyPanels allows us to get a really high-quality result.”

Ganot agrees. “With the ARRI lights, we have a simple, quick turnaround time to be able to shoot a variety of different content and to have a very consistent, clean, high impact, high quality look,” he says. “We want our audience to know that they are investing in a premium product from a golf perspective. And our guests sometimes say it’s the same gear they’ve seen in TV studios, so from a brand perspective makes us feel really good that we are giving them an environment that they think lives up to the standards that we are trying to portray.”