Just Another Game

Insights from Super Bowl XLIII TV Director Mike Arnolds

From a Television Production standpoint treating the BIG GAME like it’s “just another game”, as much as possible, might sound strange at first but the approach makes sense. In a recent article on thebroadcastbridge.com, Super Bowl LIII Television Director Mike Arnold shared some insights on how he approaches the game.

Failure is NOT an Option

With over 100M television viewers and advertisers taking chances with $5M ads, the stakes could not be higher for all the creative professionals involved with the production of the Super Bowl.

CBS will be deploying 115 cameras for the coverage this year, which is truly incredible and part of the mystique for viewers. I think we all have a vision in our mind’s eye of a single director staring at a wall of 115 monitors faced with the impossible task of choosing the exact right camera at just the right moment.

Obviously, it’s not quite like that but we know the task requires great experience and skill developed over many years in the industry. Although there’s 115 cameras, many of them of specialty cameras such as the pylon cams and extra angles for special situations. Director Mike Arnold points out that from his standpoint, there’s no need to keep eyes on all 115 cameras.

“I try to my focus on my key 20 cameras and let other people worry about the rest,”

Super Bowl LIII Director Mike Arnold (via thebroadcastbridge.com)

Just as the football teams should avoid getting overly hyped up or alter established routines, nor should the TV Production Staff. Treating the BIG GAME like it’s “just another game”, as much as possible, is logical and the recipe for success.

Focus on Story

Storytelling is always the key a concept that is focused on in the classroom and what drives every script, every outline…what is the story we’re telling. Although Football is a live event and unscripted, there’s always story.

The Broadcast Bridge article highlights storytelling, explaining how shot sequencing and the use of close-ups help to expose the emotion, the anguish, the elation of the game.

Paying Attention to the Announcers

Lastly, I want to point out the importance of having the visual match what the viewer is hearing…from the broadcast team in the booth.

Arnold said this year his shot selection will often shadow CBS Sports on-air announcer Tony Romo’s commentary, because the former quarterback has gained a reputation for seeing the entire field from a player’s perspective and how plays develop.

The Broadcast Bridge

You can check out the full article on The Broadcast Bridge.com

Foxborough Hometown Fans Send a Message to the Patriots Ahead of Super Bowl LIII


Earlier today I led a team of staff members and volunteers to produce this short video message that was sent to the New England Patriots for viewing by the team just before Super Bowl LIII.

The highlight video was completed in 3hrs immediately following a town rally on the common. Just a small-town America rally, full of well wishes for the hometown team. Hectic day, but I had a great time working with some talented people.

Christmas Light Controller Project – Part 1

Last weekend my son and I embarked on our second Christmas light controller project. I’m not sure how sophisticated our lights will end up, but we both like learning about electronics and the challenge of DIY.  

This current project builds upon our experience gain from constructing an eight channel Raspberry Pi light control. That setup now controls our Christmas tree lights and still needs some software tweaking, but works reasonably well.

Light-O-Rama CTB16PC Kit

This time we upgraded to a Light-O-Rama Kit that can be set up outside more easily and can be easily expanded by purchasing additional kits. The software is also much more sophisticated than what we used on the Raspberry Pi, allowing for all kinds of creativity.

For now, we purchased one 16-channel control kit (CTB16PC) which comes with over 175 components that need to be soldered. This is the FUN part!

When the kit arrive, I quickly realized the this was a much bigger project than I was expecting from a soldering standpoint. I’ve assembled audio XLR cables and some other small soldering projects in the past, but never tiny components like the ones in this kit.

My small soldering iron with it’s worn down medium sized tip was not going to work for this. My son headed to a local electronics specialty store, “You-do-it” Electronics Center in Needham, MA to purchase a few tools.

In Part Two, I’ll share the tools we purchased and the soldering class we stumbled upon.

More soon.

Year End Family Vacation

We are blessed to have this opportunity. The kids are at great ages for family trips and I know how of an impact this family time has on our boys.

#goodtimes #familytime #memories #skivacation #thankful

Video Production Trade News – Week of November 12, 2017

Each week I share select trade news articles with students enrolled in my New England Tech video production classes. It’s critical in any field to remain current, follow emerging trends, examine best practices, and learn about various challenges that face the industry.

Below are some articles from the past week that were discussed during class:

1. NBC to Make SkyCam Main Camera for Titans-Steelers

Trade Publication Source:
TVTechnology – http://www.tvtechnology.com/business/0011/report-hdr-tv-shipments-to-reach-nearly-48m-in-2021/282201 

2. Snapchat Usage by Media Companies

There are two announcements this week by major media companies that plan to use the Snapchat platform. 

Conan O’Brien Launches Comedy Show on Snapchat
Trade Publication: Broadcast & Cable
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/currency/conan-o-brien-launches-comedy-show-snapchat/170052

ESPN Launches ‘SportsCenter’ Segments on Snapchat
Trade Publication: Multichannel News
http://www.multichannel.com/news/content/espn-launches-sportscenter-snapchat/416529

2. On this Date in Radio history – Lee de Forest

On November 13, 1906 Lee de Forest patented the Audion tube.

Trade Publication: Media Confidential
http://mediaconfidential.blogspot.com/2017/11/november-13-radio-history.html

TinyRSS – Enable API Fails (SOLVED)

I just got around to upgrading my TinyRSS install to the latest version. I use TinyRSS for pulling in news and blogs that I like to follow. One of the main uses is for staying on top of video production trade news. I really like TinyRSS!

After the upgrade I was trying to get the app on my cell phone working again, which requires the TinyRSS API to be enabled. This can be turned on in the TinyRSS preferences. Every time I went to turn the API on it would fail with an error message, ” “{“error”:{“code”:13,”message”:”Method not found”}}”

After searching the web I discovered the error is caused by LastPass, which I use as a password manager. For me the easiest solution was to log out of LastPass for a few minutes, then log into TinyRSS and enable the API. Bingo! Problem Solved.

Video Production Trade News – Week of November 5, 2017

Each week I share select trade news articles with students enrolled in my New England Tech video production classes. It’s critical in any field to remain current, follow emerging trends, examine best practices, and learn about various challenges that face the industry.

Below are some articles from the past week that were discussed during class:

1. HDR TV Shipments to Reach 48M in 2021

High Dynamic Range (HDR) video is a fairly new technology that is gaining momentum. Just a few years ago I was discussing the rise of 3D TVs and shared my skepticism of the long-term viability of 3D as a true “game-changer”. HDR is different and I think it’s something students need to watch and learn more about. How will producing content in HDR impact the production process? How does HDR impact the editing process? What skills should we be developing to be ready for HDR? 

Source: http://www.tvtechnology.com/business/0011/report-hdr-tv-shipments-to-reach-nearly-48m-in-2021/282201 

2. WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

iHeartMedia, the company acquiring local radio news titan WBZ-AM has indicated employees at the station will have to re-apply for their positions, and that it does not plan to honor two union contracts.

Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/03/wbz-would-owners-tells-employees-apply-for-their-jobs/Q8ZIoWcVH5bEPSN1Yy1kvM/story.html 

Video Production Trade News – Week of July 31, 2017

Each week I share select trade news articles with students enrolled in my New England Tech video production classes. It’s critical in any field to remain current, follow emerging trends, examine best practices, and learn about various challenges that face the industry.

Below are some articles from the past week that were discussed during class:

1. PBS Federal Funding

“There is no PLAN B” if $450 Million federal budget for PBS is cut.

Read Full Article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-entertainment-news-updates-july-there-is-no-plan-b-for-public-1501448678-htmlstory.html  

2. Follow UP on NFL Ratings Discussion

Since our discussion last week, a J.D. Power 2017 Fan Experience Survey reveals other possible reasons for the dip in ratings.

Read More: https://www.sbnation.com/2017/7/27/16050800/nfl-viewership-national-anthem-protests-jd-power-survey-2017?yptr=yahoo

3. Drone UAV Pilot Training

Website: https://www.zephyr-sim.com/ 

4. July 30th – Vladimir Zworykin Birthday

In 1889…Vladimir Zworykin, called the “Father of Television” was born in Russia. He invented the iconoscope in 1931 while in the employ of RCA, the parent company of NBC. He died July 29, 1982 on the eve of his 93rd birthday.

Read More: http://mediaconfidential.blogspot.com/2017/07/july-30-radio-history.html

Video Production Trade News – Week of July 24, 2017

Each week I share select trade news articles with students enrolled in my New England Tech video production classes. It’s critical in any field to remain current, follow emerging trends, examine best practices, and learn about various challenges that face the industry.

Below are some articles from the past week that were discussed during class:

1. Sony’s Electronic Variable ND Filter

 

Electronic Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter is the name Sony is giving a new feature now available on certain Sony Cameras.

Controlling our environment and camera exposure settings to produce professional level compositions is a topic we’ve discussed in class many times. Developing a solid understanding of exposure is critical to controlling Depth of Field, a technique used is frequently to direct viewers attention and allow our subjects to stand out from the background.

Sony’s auto ND filter makes controlling DOF even easier, assuming you have enough light.

2. NFL Making Changes to Commercial Breaks – Testing Split Screen Ads

The NFL conducted extensive research last Fall, measuring viewer metrics including eye tracking, heart rates, and skin response. All in an effort to address the 8% decrease in TV ratings last fall.

Among the changes coming, the NFL will look to make the following changes:

  •  30 percent fewer promotional messages (ie. 60minutes coming up next)
  • Split screen Ads, with an ad on one side and what’s happening in the stadium on the other

The league is also making changes with an eye on cutting down the length of the game. Officials will use tablets while consulting with officials in New York. Overtime will be cut to 10 minutes from 15.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-17/nfl-puts-fans-in-lab-to-see-what-works-as-football-seeks-answers 

3. Media Composer | First

https://www.provideocoalition.com/first-30-days-media-composer-first/