Makee Studio Makes the Cut for Corporate Clients and Virtual Events
As demand for video content across industries has grown, Makee Studio founders have seized the opportunity to fill an unmet market void and offer a studio-as-a-service for corporate entities. Today, the studio produces content for virtual events, web segments, online entertainment, and more, using a range of AJA solutions including KUMO routers, Ki Pro GO H.264 recorders, the FS-HDR real-time universal converter and frame synchronizer, and the HELO H.264 standalone streaming and recording solution. General Manager Louis Lu recently spoke with AJA about the success of Makee Studio, industry trends, and the future of events. Here are highlights from the interview:
Tell us about Makee Studio.
Makee Studio is an AR-compatible facility, providing program production, content creation, and live streaming services for companies and organizations across industries. We opened for business at the end of 2020, following nine months of preparation and designing the facilities and infrastructure, and are the first studio-as-a-service provider in Taipei.
How do you service clients?
Companies are increasingly requiring high-quality video content to connect with consumers and target audiences, though they often don’t possess the resources, facilities, or production knowledge to create professional-looking content. Prior to Makee, most local broadcast facilities were owned and operated by TV stations that solely produced internal content, without a studio service component. We saw an opportunity to fill this gap and established Makee to provide companies with production facilities, professional technology, and experienced talent that streamline the creation of high-quality content.
Where are you seeing the most demand for your services?
Our studio has helped some of the largest events in Asia transition to hybrid and virtual formats. In 2021, Computex Taipei, one of the biggest computer exhibitions in Taiwan, filmed and live streamed more than 30 segments at Makee. The InnoVEX startup pitch contest for the ICT industry, AWS Accelerator Demo Days, and SEMICON Taiwan have also produced virtual event content at our studio.
Please provide an overview of your studio workflow.
We designed our facility to function as a studio-as-a-service, so we don’t look like a typical broadcast facility. VIP guest areas for clients are separate from the main control room, our new LED wall, and other areas for crew. To avoid cable cluttering in the halls and guest areas, we’ve installed eight wall-mounted boxes dispersed throughout the studio that house SDI and NDI cabling. This allows our crew to move PTZ cameras to film in any location around the facility and connect to our internal system by plugging into the SDI cables. The cables lead to two AJA KUMO 1616 compact 16x16 routers, with one receiving incoming SDI inputs and one transmitting outputs. A single AJA KUMO CP control panel allows our team to monitor, configure, and control both routers remotely or from a central location. Inside the control room, KUMO feeds two-to-four incoming signals into an AJA Ki Pro GO for convenient, high-quality H.264 recording. As a lot of our clients are not able to physically come to our facilities for filming, we’ve also designed our workflow to support the integration of remote signals from any location into live segments.
Why did you choose Ki Pro GO for your studio workflow?
We started out capturing recordings in high-resolution Apple ProRes 444 or 422, but soon realized that H.264 compression best suited our clients’ needs, as most projects are uploaded to websites or YouTube. While typical broadcast stations might record a show for an hour a day, we’re shooting for eight-to-ten hours per day, which Ki Pro GO handles with ease. During production, we’ll switch between each of the four USB drives, which we backup to our computers and conveniently hand off to clients at the end of the day. They’re always impressed with how quickly we’re able to share files.
How are you using FS-HDR in-studio?
We use AJA FS-HDR for real-time color correction and syncing between the various camera feeds. Our studio is equipped with a range of PTZ and studio cameras from different manufacturers, and FS-HDR is critical for live frame syncing and matching each camera’s color to create a unified look.
What tools are you using for streaming?
AJA’s standalone HELO appliance offers our team reliable and stable performance for live streams. We’ve even tested it for more than 72 hours of nonstop streaming to evaluate its capabilities, and it handled the live workflow without any downtime.
Tell us about your new LED wall.
We recently built an LED wall to shoot real-time backgrounds using Unreal Engine. The workflow includes an AJA Io 4K Plus audio and video I/O device for SDI signal input and HDMI signal output for live previews while we’re setting up the wall. We view the previews on an external monitor prior to filming, which has saved our team a lot of money.
Do you expect that demand for virtual and hybrid events to continue post-pandemic?
Absolutely. The Computex show organizers said that they saw a 600 percent increase in the number of attendees for this year’s virtual exhibition. By offering online components, event organizers can reach more people. Attendees can also view more show content online than when they attend in-person events. It was always a challenge to run upstairs to listen to sessions, then navigate through the expo hall to view everything over the course of a few days. Now, it’s streamlined into a more accessible virtual format.
What is the most fulfilling aspect about your job and the services you provide?
Photography and film have always been personal hobbies, so I enjoy working in a studio environment. I also love that I get to help provide new opportunities for brands to communicate and connect with target audiences through rich audio and visual media.