DP Craig Kief chooses Riedel’s Bolero for crew communications on his TV shows and commercials

Riedel's Bolero deployment by DP Craig Kief

Craig Kief, a Los Angeles-based director of photography, is using Riedel’s Bolero Standalone wireless intercom to ensure communications on his TV shows and commercials shoots. The system allows him to keep all of his camera operators, focus pullers, and department heads in close communication.

Craig’s previous comms solution comprised walkie-talkies and a legacy wireless system that operated in the crowded 2.4 GHz range, delivering “less-than-ideal” audio quality and suffering from interference, short range, and poor battery life. Bolero has changed that, first by eliminating walkie-talkies completely, and next by giving multiple users full duplex communications instead of forcing them to wait for a walkie channel to be clear before speaking.

“Bolero has been a fantastic addition to my team. Interestingly, now that we’ve gotten out of the 2.4 range, all of my other 2.4 gear is working better,” said Craig. “Wireless lighting control, focus control, and other gear is functioning much better now, and the main difference is that we’re no longer using the 2.4 GHz system. One big advantage of Bolero is that everyone leverages the intercom’s Bluetooth capabilities by using wireless earpieces. The freedom of no wires results in far fewer tangles as crews move around with cameras. With tools and gear hanging all over them and long days standing and moving around, having even one less cable dangling really means something. It’s purely a quality-of-life thing, but it’s made my crew so much happier after a long day.”

A unique aspect of Craig’s workflow is that he powers his Bolero antenna from a 12VDC battery. The antenna is mounted in a cart that is moved often over the course of a shoot. On battery power, there is no interruption of Bolero’s comms while the cart is repositioned as he uses two small Anton Bauer Dionic batteries.

“Bolero isn’t the conventional choice when it comes to comms for a team like Craig’s, but from Bluetooth to battery options, Bolero’s features and performance have been a game-changer,” said Kevin Broce, Riedel Communications’ Business Development Manager for the Western U.S. “The team can now communicate comfortably without fuss or interruption throughout the long days since they’ve had — literally and figuratively — a fair amount of weight lifted off their shoulders.”

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