In the film and video world, ‘live streaming’ is usually a phrase which means boring corporate conference gigs or trying to figure out how to setup a rig to Facebook stream events via a smartphone. However, there may be a bold new live streaming frontier to explore.

Meet “Orbital Redux”, dubbed the “world’s first live streamed Sci-Fi narrative series” and available on Project Alpha. Created by Steven Calcote, “Orbital Redux” features eight live-performed and live-broadcasted episodes following two space pilots aboard the Helium-3 traveling from the moon back to earth.

As you can expect, it takes a very forward-thinking group to pull off an effects heavy series live. Let’s take a look a behind-the-scenes look into how the “Orbital Redux” team was able to pull it off.

Sci-Fi Goes Live in Orbital Redux

“Orbital Redux” follows Zachery “Max” Levodolinksy and Tommie as they fly mundane “trucker” spaceflight jobs - that is until a redux fails and they have to jump into the action. The show’s hook however is the incredibly complex production setup which features a pretty impressive live streaming workflow.

Launching a Live Streaming Series

To shoot “Orbital Redux”, the team partnered with Blackmagic to shoot using Blackmagic URSA Mini’s, URSA Mini Pro’s, Micro Studio Cameras and multiple ATEM Switchers.

“We organized our mission control in terms of internal video and external video. By internal, we mean the video occurring inside the ship, managed by Adam Fair, and external video which goes live to the audience, which I handled. Adam also managed two HyperDeck Studio Minis loaded with hundreds of graphics that he could use to customize the overlays displayed on the set monitors.” - Associate Producer Griffin Davis

The other big challenges of live streaming a sci-fi series are simply planning out camera placement and movements. To accomodate opposing angles across the set, the team set up an elaborate system of moving set panels, monitors and walls to - quietly - rotate in and out to allow for camera operators to move across the set for shots without crossing lines with other cameras.

For more information on “Orbital Redux” you can check the series out on Project Alpha here. You can also watch an episode online below!