Passion 2013 Conference, Part 1
Apr 4, 2013 11:14 AM, With Bennett Liles
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One of the biggest events to hit Atlanta’s Georgia Dome this year was Passion 2013, a religious gathering reaching out to students and young adults. The big show called in TNDV Television to provide 23 cameras, live web coverage, and big screen feeds. TNDV Technical Manager Nic Dugger is here to tell us all about it, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.
Nic, thanks for being with us on the SVC Podcast with TNDV Television. Your crew had a huge remote, in fact I think it took two of your biggest trucks, at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome recently, the Passion 2013 Conference. A lot of singing and praying and music and TNDV Television was there to feed huge LED screens and a whole lot more. Before we get into all that though, tell me something about TNDV Television. What’s been happening there lately? Absolutely. Well, it’s a pleasure to be here with you. TNDV has been in business for just under nine years now. We’re based in Nashville, Tenn., and we started with one engineer and one small SD truck, and in just a few short years we’ve grown into a company with five mobile trucks now and a staff of six full-time truck engineers. And we’re excited to be launching our newest truck coming up. We have a new audio truck coming online. So in addition to all of our video and production work, we also do a lot of entertainment-based events. Last year we averaged just over 150 truck shoots, so we stay very busy. [Timestamp: 1:49]
Sure sounds like it. Back in the days when I used to do TV audio it was a little weird to even request a separate truck just for sound, but these days that can be the tail that wags the dog sometimes.
Very much so. That’s something that a few years ago I wouldn’t have even considered an audio truck, but because of the scale of shows that we’re doing is growing and growing and input lists are exploding, we decided to build a new audio truck that’ll hit the road in just a few weeks, and it rolls with 256 inputs to start. We’ll probably grow from there, and with any luck, we’ll have this audio truck at one of the Passion Conferences in years to come. [Timestamp: 2:25]
Well, it sounds as though on this remote you may have used just about all those sound inputs. What was Passion 2013 at the Georgia Dome?
The Passion Conference is a week-long youth religious retreat of sorts. It’s a week made up of small group meetings and very large group meetings. The large group meetings happen to take place inside a large venue. This year it was the Georgia Dome, which seats approximately 60,000. And it was in the round, so we sat around 60,000 folks. The floor was full and all the seats were full in this NFL Super Bowl-sized arena. And TNDV was primarily responsible for the cameras and the video system to not only broadcast the event, but to provide feeds for the inhouse video boards and the web stream and what will ultimately get converted into a DVD product that’s available. We supplied crew in the lines of camera operators and technical engineers in the truck and all of the camera systems themselves, of which there were quite a few. [Timestamp: 3:29]
You mentioned the Super Bowl and the Georgia Dome could certainly hold a Super Bowl, but you actually outdid them a little bit on the cameras. You had a few more than even that used.
There’s a rumor. You know, we were in New Orleans this year for the Super Bowl. I was not actually onsite at the arena, but I heard they had 22 cameras that were primarily responsible for the Super Bowl. This year at Passion 2013 I had 23 cameras, and that’s not including POV or small specialty cameras. These were 23 actual truck cameras on SMPTE fiber that went from the truck to the various locations all over the dome. So we had 23 real cameras, and it felt like doing the Super Bowl. The only difference is we had a lot less time to set it up and we did it for four-and-a-half days, not just a single game. So it was logistically opportunistic. [Timestamp: 4:22]
Right in the middle of the Dome there were some huge LED screens. As you said, it was done in the round and that introduces a whole new physical dimension to coverage of this event.
It was challenging. The video boards in particular were a challenge first of all because of the number of them. There were actually six primary LED boards and in addition to those six there were also ribbon screens that went along the edge of the seating throughout the arena that got a feed. And there was also some custom LED products, some soft goods, a pixel curtain in the center of the stage, not to mention plasma screens located throughout the venue and all over the show floor. The trick being almost none of these were a traditional aspect. You know, a 16x9 1080i aspect would simple, and that is what we streamed to the web, but the LED boards, we had three separate aspects we had to shoot for. So the video boards running the length of the field that were hung in the center were one aspect. The video boards that were on the field on the end caps of the hanging rig were another aspect, and then the two video boards that were built into the facility itself that they use for football games, were a third aspect. So you add the traditional 1080i aspect ratio to that, and that was four different screen sizes we had to frame for, which made it very challenging for our camera operators and very tricky for our director, TD, and AD’s working out in the trucks. [Timestamp: 5:51]
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