• 17 June 2020
  • EVS.com
Jamie Benning

Q&A session with EVS operators Jan Mokallai and Jamie Benning

We've asked two experienced EVS operators, Jamie Benning and Jan Mokallai share their ‘expert views’ on the new LSM-VIA IP-based replay and highlights solution launched earlier this month.

Can you please share some background information about yourself?

Jamie: I've been using EVS equipment since 2001. I mainly work on motorsport although I've worked on just about everything from football, rugby and cricket, to music festivals, panel shows and cookery programs.

Jan: I’ve been working as a replay op, lead op and EVS engineer on trucks for about 10 years now, as well as doing planning and consultancy for larger setups. Besides that, I joined the EVS family about seven years ago, working in various roles in training and support before getting the golden ticket with the offer to join the LSM-VIA team as Solution Specialist.

You were one of the EVS operators involved in the design and development process of the new LSM-VIA. Can you tell us a bit more about that? 

Jamie: As a long-term trainer for EVS, I, along with several others have been invited to contribute ideas for the new LSM-VIA. This has been done during the ‘Train the Trainer’s sessions for the last few years, as well as a few specific trips to EVS’ HQ in Liège, Belgium. I've always got lots of ideas of how things can be improved, and it's been great to have the ear of the development team during this time.  

 Jan: I’ve been part of the LSM-VIA development team working as Solution Specialist for over three years now. In this role, I work closely with my team to define the roadmap, create new functions and do workshops, both for operators and engineers. To be able to have an active role in the creation process for LSM-VIA is certainly a dream come true!


The LSM-VIA is described as the new replay experience, can you explain?

Jamie: The LSM has of course been THE way to do replays, highlights and inserts for 20 years or so. With the new LSM-VIA's streamlined workflows and shortcuts, operators will now be able to meet the demands of present and future productions. With the new toolset at our disposal we, as operators, can go the extra step and help create new ways of doing things. It feels like the ceiling has been taken off. 

Jan: LSM-VIA’s new functions bring a lot of value not only to the operator’s work, but also to the production, as we can now access content much faster. And with the shortcut buttons we can create completely new workflows! One of LSM-VIA’s goals is to provide operators with a powerful toolbox to help them tailor their workspace to the production’s needs, which are quite different all around the world. And this is just the beginning!


Is it wrong to say the LSM-VIA is the successor to EVS’ legacy LSM?

Jamie: I see LSM-VIA as a way of reacting to the demands of our job. The legacy system will still be around for a while, but I think the new LSM-VIA will allow us not only to meet these demands, but also to suggest completely new ways of contributing to productions. 

Jan: No, why? To be the successor of the best remote ever is an honor! It’s important that ops recognize the LSM-VIA instantly as an “EVS-remote”. The sound, the reactivity, the philosophy is similar. But because we’ve added so many new functions, lowered the entry-level for beginners, and facilitated workflows, we can definitely say there’s a new sheriff in town!


What impact will the new system have on the way operators work and on the live storytelling?

Jamie: So much of our job comes down to speed and efficiency. Many of us have found ways to work around the limitations vs the demands. With LSM-VIA, it really does feel like the ceiling has been taken off. Which will ultimately allow us to tell better stories, faster! 

Jan: It depends on the operators and the production. We know that some workflows cannot be changed easily. Why? Because they work! But ops will request LSM-VIA, because they will see the benefit in faster access to media, better connectivity and completely new workflows to offer more and better content to the producers. We’ve also significantly improved the collaboration between the operators as well as sharing media with archives. As said previously, our goal is to have a powerful toolbox and let the ops be creative in creating new ways of working and storytelling.


What’s the most exciting new feature or functionality in your opinion?

Jamie:  I am most excited about the integration with the Dyvi switcher as well as the improved functionalities overall. Being able to create quick shortcuts to the network records for example, will greatly improve the efficiency of our workflow. 

Jan: Tough decision, they are all exciting, but to me personally hands down the shortcut buttons! The possibility to map every function and media to the remote’s six designated buttons is such a great asset.


A word to other fellow EVS operators?

Jamie: For those that remember the transition from VT to EVS... It's time to take the plunge again. This system is about to revolutionize the way in which we do our job.  

Jan: LSM-VIA is not only made for but made BY us, the OPERATORS. Go check it out, it’s awesome! We’d love to hear your feedback!