Red Bull Media House Has Wings to the Cloud

Red Bull, founded in 1987, has had the slogan “Red Bull Gives You Wings” as the anchor of their marketing campaign since 1992. But since 2020, has been giving the team at Red Bull Media House (RBMH) a different kind of wings—from their cameras to the cloud. 

RBMH, whose own motto is “Giving wings to people and ideas,” is as fearless as some of the athletes they film when it comes to taking calculated risks with the technology and workflows they employ. Specifically, the Camera to Cloud workflow has helped RBMH deliver footage from events like the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship races to the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. 

So it’s no surprise that when they learned we had a new addition to our C2C workflow—Real-Time Logging (RTL)—they took the leap to see how it could help them soar to new heights in terms of ease and speed of delivery for their eye-popping content to news and social media outlets. 

Living on the edge 

Based in Salzburg, Austria, RBMH employs approximately 1,100 people who manage the media production needs for the many events the World of Red Bull produces globally. Known for their support of extreme sports, Red Bull needs extremely knowledgeable tacticians to surmount the many challenges that covering these events present. With crews ranging anywhere from five to 200 people in size, RBMH is responsible for making sure that their coverage conveys the excitement and high stakes of the event—and keeps fans engaged in the thrill of the moment.  

Dennis Wiehberg, senior project manager innovation for RBMH’s Media Production Services unit, has moved through the ranks of RBMH first as an ingest technician, followed by a stint leading the production engineering team, before moving into his current role. When the word “innovation” is in your job title, pushing technological boundaries is obviously a given, and during his tenure Dennis has helped RBMH develop new, more efficient, and faster workflows both in the field and in their editorial operations. With a workflow based in Adobe Creative Cloud, functions as the centralized platform for their end-to-end creative workflow. 

Stocked with an arsenal of cameras from Sony, RED, and ARRI, as well as iPhones (using Filmic Pro), and Atomos and Teradek solutions, the production teams specify the right gear for each unique purpose—which has to be rugged, light, and reliable. After all, the production team is out in the same conditions as, for example, the Hard Enduro motorcyclists traversing the Austrian terrain for the Erzberg Rodeo. The races go on for days at a time, often in inclement weather, taking both rider and videographer through narrow, muddy trails, up steep ravines, and over rocky embankments.  

From camera to completion 

As the production team does their best to capture all the action, which tends to take on some form of insane (good, great, or unbelievably terrifying), they also need to solve the challenges of getting that footage to their four editors as quickly as possible. Based safely back in Salzburg, the editorial team then needs to turn around that content to feed the fans who hungrily consume short- and long-form versions of it on streaming platforms and social media. 

It’s this kind of challenge that prompted Dennis to try Camera to Cloud initially. The Hard Enduro races are typically two to five-day events with a production team of six to eight videographers capturing somewhere between 3-4 TB per day. Understanding that this workflow could potentially provide a way for them to bypass the need to download camera cards and upload files, or to ship hard drives, meant that they could basically get footage from remote locations worldwide to Salzburg and out to social media within hours rather than days.  

The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship is an endurance test for participants and RBMH crew.

After that, RBMH began using C2C for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. “Basically, it’s how we do news from there and we’re also looking into rolling it out throughout the entire highlight production,” Dennis explains. “For multiple camera systems, we’ve reduced the time it takes to release highlights—it’s, like, two days less.” Even with Frame “just” serving as a central platform for rapid uploading and downloading in the field, it’s a huge time saver for the teams. 

Out in the field it’s a run-and-gun situation. The clips they capture—in the neighborhood of 50-60 assets—are destined for social media platforms including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.  “Our social media teams are one or two people—a producer and a shooter/editor. Usually they’re on location with each other, but even on location, depending on the actual event that you’re covering, with the distances you need to cover on foot can be super helpful,” Dennis says. 

Real-time reactions 

But there’s more to the Red Bull content than just speed—quality is key. That’s where the new Real-Time Logging (RTL) feature in Camera to Cloud enters their workflow. RTL is enabled by connecting Ambient NanoLockit devices to a project, and is available with the current version of today (V4 compatibility arrives later this year).

With buttons that are pre-programmed to indicate certain comments, RTL creates a heat map of timecode-accurate, customizable comments that go directly to the editor. For example, one button on the device might indicate “great moment” while the other might indicate “leave this out.” 

Not only does it save time by essentially creating an instant log of “circle takes” for the editor, it lets the director or producer stay more connected to the post-production process by letting them give immediate feedback that helps carry their creative intention through to the final product. 

Dennis felt that Hard Enduro could be a great test case for RTL. “We had a bunch of interviews and B-roll that was shot around the event, and we first gave it to the director to use on the interview day,” he says. “The editors could simply jump to certain markers in that cloud proxy and go through the footage without having to listen through the idle talk in between, which was actually quite cool.”  

Connectivity solutions 

Of course, for any Camera to Cloud workflow to function at peak efficiency, internet connectivity is a factor. RBMH’s production equipment rental service outfits the teams with a variety of solutions. “I think there’s pretty much a solution for every budget out there at the moment,” he says. “You have a hotspot on your phone, and then there are mobile multi-SIM modems that you can carry around with you. We recently switched to battery powered dual SIM Celerway modems, but have used Netgear and Pepwave equipment in the past. We found one company that’s got great ruggedized Starlink deployments for the field with 10-hour battery operation. It all depends on how much bandwidth you need and what you want to spend.”  

Pushing C2C to the extreme 

At RBMH, the production teams are as extreme as Hard Enduro riders in pursuit of new ways to improve the efficiency and speed of their production and post-production ecosystem. It was in that spirit that they conducted a recent test during a maintenance flight in their media helicopter to see if they could use Camera to Cloud while flying. 

Red Bull Media House running a C2C camera check.

Their rig: a Shotover F1 gimbal system with an ARRI Alexa 35 and an Atomos Shogun Connect. And, yes, they were able to send HQ proxies directly to while flying.  

For us, there’s nothing more thrilling than being able to partner with smart, inventive, and intrepid customers as we continue to develop our product, and nothing more gratifying than witnessing (and sharing) their success.  

Lisa McNamara

Lisa McNamara is's senior content writer and a frequent contributor to The Insider. She has worked in film and video post-production approximately since dinosaurs roamed the planet.

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