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Clear-Com Intercoms ‘The Newsroom’

HOLLYWOOD:Clear-Com said that its Eclipse-PiCo digital matrix, V-Series panels, Tempest2400 wireless system and HME DX121 digital wireless intercom are being used in “The Newsroom,” which aired on June 24 on HBO. The new Aaron Sorkin TV drama portrays the inner-workings of a cable news network.

‘The Newsroom’ cast members Clear-Com as working props on the show, and for actual communications with each other, the director, and with crew members. There are four discrete intercom channels on the Tempest2400 digital wireless intercom, two for the engineering staff, one for actors and the director to talk with one another, and a fourth channel for the actors to communicate with each other.

In one scene where the fictional news production crew was working in the control room, the actors relied on Clear-Com’s V-Series matrix panels to communicate with their counterparts on the news set, who listened to and interacted with them on their Tempest wireless BeltStations and various Clear-Com headsets, including the new CC-300 single-muff headset. This offers an accurate portrayal of a real newsroom environment while simultaneously functioning to meet the production’s communication requirements, Clear-Com said.

“In multiple scenarios, we’ve had our lead, Jeff Daniels, who plays the anchor on the show, wearing an IFB earpiece while conducting an interview, and the actor playing his producer was actually talking in his ear,” said video effects supervisor, Matt Morrissey. “Having an actor perform to live interaction rather than a piece of recorded audio really changes the performance, allowing the actors to depict their reactions to each other in real time for the audience. After the pilot episode, our creative producer liked this so much that he asked us to continue showing these kinds of interactions moving forward.”

The production team is also using Clear-Com’s Eclipse-PiCo, a computer using its Eclipse Configuration Software (ECS) software, and the Tempest BaseStation. A Tempest remote transceiver connected via a CAT5 cable is mounted in a central location to meet the desired wireless intercom coverage objectives. Additionally, five V-Series panels are located in the control room set, in front of the actors, as they would be in an actual television production. Morrissey, his graphics coordinator, and the technical director all wear Tempest2400 BeltStations and headsets so that they can talk throughout the set about graphics and other important issues.