Previously, individual teams on “The Expanse” each had their own communications methods, ranging from HME wireless intercoms to walkie-talkies to face-to-face conversations. By combining all of these methods into a single, unified solution, Bolero enables crew members to maximize their time on the set and removes misunderstandings and delays.
A DECT-based intercom that offers optimal functionality and minimal latency in the license-free 1.9 GHz frequency range, the Bolero system on the set of “The Expanse” consists of 26 beltpacks and four antennas. The crew on “The Expanse” has fully embraced the capabilities of Bolero in stand-alone mode; for instance, the audio feed from the sound mixer is patched in to allow all connected departments (camera, grip, lighting, producers, director, assistant directors, script, and video playback) to listen to actors’ dialog whenever they need to. In addition, the production uses Bolero to feed the “voice of God” speaker for delivering announcements to the entire shooting crew, and the director and script supervisor use a wireless talk-back speaker to give notes to the cast.
When the actors are in their prop space helmets (a frequent occurrence), this presents an opportunity for Bolero to facilitate two-way communication with them as well — a capability that previously required a separate sound system. Three walkie-talkie channels are also patched into the Bolero system, enabling the keys (first AD, gaffer, and key grip) to communicate with the rest of the crew without having to wear two systems.