Clear-Com Intercoms Power Hell’s Kitchen Communications
Clear-Com is providing its Eclipse Median digital matrix intercom, V-Series intercom panels and CellCom Integra wireless intercom systems to FOX’s popular culinary-competition series Hell’s Kitchen, which stars celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The production team has been using Clear-Com solutions for the past eight seasons and is now relying on this new configuration for its communications needs. The show employs Eclipse as the heart of an intercom network featuring the V-Series panels and CellCom Integra, enabling reliable, flexible communications for staff members, who must stay in constant contact to keep up with the show’s frenetic production pace.
Clear-Com’s Eclipse Median brings most of the wired and wireless communications devices used by Hell’s Kitchen staff members into the same communications environment. Eclipse can accommodate both Clear-Com and third-party systems, so when an employee needs to speak to another team member, he only needs to pick up the nearest device to enter the network. This is integral to the Hell’s Kitchen production, as the show’s action revolves around the spirited interplay between Ramsay and the contestants, requiring production editors to follow each contestant and report back to Ramsay, via IFB and/or CellCom wireless system, on cooking errors, miscues and other issues..
“Clear-Com listened to our production needs and put together a package of equipment that was truly the right fit,” says second engineer Tony Gonzales. “The combination of the Eclipse digital matrix with V-Series panels and CellCom systems gives us a tremendous amount of communications flexibility, making it much less stressful to manage the various tasks that go into a typical episode of Hell’s Kitchen. It truly frees us up to go anywhere in the facility that production takes us, without having to worry about losing a connection.”
During Hell’s Kitchen filming and production, up to 60 staff members communicate through the Eclipse Median intercom frame. About 30 staffers work off of Clear-Com ICS-92 legacy panels directly connected to the frame, while the rest are on CellCom beltpacks, V-Series panels and a HME PRO850 Wireless Intercom System. Technical staff members are the main users of the CellCom digital wireless system, which operates on a different frequency band than the wireless microphones used in Hell’s Kitchen productions, heavily decreasing RF interference. In addition, the full-duplex 7 kHz bandwidth of CellCom offers a high level of audio clarity and quality.
“We are thrilled that Clear-Com is playing such an important role on this popular unscripted series,” says Bob Boster, Worldwide VP of Sales, Clear-Com. “Hell’s Kitchen has demanding communications requirements that need to integrate seamlessly with video and audio monitoring at the same workstation. With Clear-Com, end users can talk with contestants, talent, production staff, and other users either privately or with other team members, as our solutions provide for both group and one-on-one conversations.”