South East Crew - providing support to some of the most prestigious events in the South of England.
Formed in 1995, South East Crew (SEC) is a Brighton based company, providing smart, experienced crew for conference, theatre, exhibitions and events in the South East area and beyond.
The majority of their 30 strong regular team come from a background of theatre, lighting and sound, so unlike most general crewing companies, SEC is capable of providing much more than simply additional hands or muscle for their clients.
Over the years the company has grown and today works with production companies and direct clients on some of the highest profile and most prestigious events in the South of England. Their credits include product launches for Rolls Royce, BMW and McLaren cars, launches for Microsoft and Sony games consoles, supporting exhibitors at the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed and Southampton Boat Show, assisting technicians and production managers on BBC Outside Broadcasts and Studio Recordings and providing resources and technical support at Party Political Conferences. In addition SEC regularly provide staff for more local projects like Brighton Pride, and the Brighton Marathon through to productions which may require just a single crew member for a 4 hour call.
"We used to rely on mobile phones to communicate between teams. But this has proven to be inefficient at larger events..."
Georgina Roskilly is the proprietor of SEC and has the responsibility of sourcing and selecting the appropriate crew for each project as well as briefing her teams on each clients requirements to ensure projects go as smoothly as possible.
The company has recently taken its first steps into using professional two-way radio communications equipment with Kenwood ProTalk Digital radios. Georgina comments: "Many of our clients will equip their staff with (analogue) two-way radios at larger events so I was already aware of their benefits in project management. However, very often, they would only have sufficient radios for their own use so we used to rely on mobile phones to communicate between our teams. But this has proven to be inefficient at larger events where we need to coordinate several crews working across different locations instantly and without worrying about GSM network coverage." She continues:
"When I looked into two way radio options available, I searched online for reviews on products, brands and prices. The name ProTalk kept coming out top for sound quality, ease of use, ruggedness and reliability - really important qualities for us in the situations where the radios would be used. I liked the simplicity of a license-free solution, I liked the fact that there were no monthly contract fees or call charges and I especially liked the idea that my crew won't have to wander around a site in frustration trying to find a good spot to make a call like they often have had to do in the past with their mobile phones...
...So, it was a relatively easy decision to make in favour of license-free PMR 446 and Kenwood Pro-Talk. The more difficult part was choosing between ProTalk analogue (TK-3501) or digital (TK-3401D) models; but when I found out that ProTalk Digital was switchable between digital and analogue modes - which allows my team to communicate with each other and also with client staff when needed - had many advantages over analogue in terms of range, clarity and number of channels and was only slightly more expensive, choosing ProTalk Digital was a no-brainer".
Although the radios are a very new addition to SEC's communication capability they have already made a good impression with SEC teams and Georgina concludes: "The team love them and they are already able to work far more efficiently using ProTalk digital - clear instructions, regular updates, people and equipment in the right places at the right time - I can't see us ever going back to GSM for communications on location".