Starting during the 2013-14 season, CanesVision began broadcasting select pregame morning practices to a live web audience, featuring interviews with Hurricanes and opponent personalities, as well as sound from the locker room, and live coverage of the practice itself. This new show presented some interesting challenges: gamedays were already hectic enough for CanesVision, but adding another live show in the morning added even more to that plate. In addition, due to it being the first time we had done the show and budgetary constraints, we were limited to the staff that could assist with the show. Therefore each show was done typically done with a producer/director/TD/audio control in one position, a second control room staffer running video playback and a robotic camera, and two hard camera operators. There were even occasions with one person in the control room and two hard cameras (as seen in parts of the episode below). I was also responsible for the setup of the broadcast the day before and morning of, which included setting up four of our cameras, and loading in broadcast content/data.
These constraints were what I love to thrive in, in that I created a couple solutions to help us make the show happen while looking like a full fledged production. One solution was a small utility program that used Yahama’s Network Driver to control our audio board. I wrote the program to listen for VTR commands from the Ross Vision switcher (which did not have an enabled audio board option), and change scenes on the audio board from those custom controls. This allowed the second person in the control room to focus on playback of videos and running the robotic camera. A second solution made for the show was a helper program that read in season statistics from an Excel sheet, in order to easily facilitate the use of those season statistics during the progress, without the need to render out still images of each player’s season stats for each broadcast. It was even more necessary during the 2013-14 season when those stats were generated via a Click Effects’ CrossFire, as that was the only working system that would accept dynamic data on-air.
As a part of this project, we also produced a live trade deadline show, viewable here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiH7AsECeqc
We had a fantastic intern who edited/produced the majority of the pre-produced segments seen in the episodes throughout the 2013-14 season, so she directed the majority of the episodes while I ensured the live stream and other equipment made it through the broadcast without issue. I did direct a couple of the episodes, one of which is seen below. This particular episode below was also one where I was the only person in the control room, short of a robotic camera operator and two other hard camera operators. Therefore, I started the playback of videos, had control of audio on the broadcast, managed the live stream, in addition to producing, directing, and technical directing.