The traditional motion picture walky-talky is a ubiquitous sign of set work. Look at any BTS footage, and you'll see major DPs like Robert Richardson with a unit on their belt, wired up to a headset. The only drawback is that walky-talkies are "push to talk," which works well for keeping the line clear if you have hands free, but are majorly frustrating if you have your hands full with a camera or a follow focus.

The solution used in multi-camera work, where an operator is generally holding the tripod and doing focus and zoom in real-time and can't reach up to a walkie button, has always been intercom systems. Hollyland is now making a major move into making those intercom systems set-friendly with the Solidcom lineup of headsets.

Connect Your Crew

The beauty of the Solidcom line is that when they are on your head, they are "open."

This means everything you say is broadcast to your team. I started testing them last summer, and they quickly became a default for any camera team I work with. Having a director on a monitor, the camera operator(s), and the first AC all be able to quietly chat with each other through a take without having to reach up and hit a button is one of those things that, once you are used to it, you just can't live without.

Hollyland HeadsetsCredit: Hollyland

Of course, you can mute it if you need arises. This is done simply by lifting the microphone handle to its upright position, and you are muted. Great for moments when you need to have a private chat or use the facilities. The beauty here is how large the microphone bar is, which makes it relatively easy to go to if you want to mute while holding something; much easier than the small button on the walky-talky you need to push to talk.

With the newest unit, the Solidcom C1 Pro, you get the addition of electronic noise correction. By adding a second microphone to the headset, the units can now analyze the sound of the world around the user and then automatically remove that sound. If you are working in a noisy production environment like a live concert, this noise suppression will help you hear and communicate with your team clearly.

The units have a surprisingly robust range when working outdoors. Working on a cycling shoot recently, I was able to hear communications between the team hundreds of feet away and even caught a bit of communication around a mile away, though I would never depend on that. But for line-of-site communications in a single location within a few hundred feet, they were incredibly reliable.

Hollyland HeadsetsThe Solidcom C1 ProCredit: Hollyland

Stay Connected, Even Across Headset Generations

One nice benefit is that the newer C1 Pro units are backward compatible with the original C1 units. If you have already invested in a kit of units, you can add some upgraded  C1 Pros and they can all work together.

Hollyland Solidcom C1 Pro

New Release
  • Two-Mic Environmental Noise Cancellation
  • Reliable 1.9 GHz DECT 6.0 Technology
  • True-Wireless Headset, No Bodypack
  • Comfortable Single-Ear Design
  • Wide Frequency Response
  • 1100' 2-Way Operating Range
  • Mute/PTT Button or Rotate to Mute
  • Includes Batteries and Charger
  • Expandable System
  • Backward Compatible with Solidcom C1
Set of 4

They have, hands down, become the thing that most people have asked to borrow or find out more information about since I started testing them rigorously on shoots.

But what do you think? Would you want this on your next project? Let us know in the comments!