Covering the News At the 2012 NAB Show

Posted on by Larry

Packing cases are piled waist high in every office – we are making final preparations for the Digital Production Buzz’s coverage of the 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas next week. This is our fifth year covering this event and we’ve been working on the planning for months.

I thought you’d be interested in what we are doing, so I’m writing two blogs — one this week on the planning and one in two weeks with a report on how it went.

All our coverage originates out of a 20×20 booth in the South Lower Hall (#11505). Here’s our plan.

THE WORKFLOW

Over the last three months, Debbie Price, our NAB Show producer, has been scheduling interviews for the booth. We do three interviews an hour starting at 9 AM April 16th — more than 80 interviews in all!

Once the show starts, production assistant Lauren Garcia races around the show floors tracking down guests and guiding them to the Buzz booth.

Once they are in the booth, Debbie enters any name or title corrections into our show database and escorts them onto the set.

I record an interview with them and store the completed files on the server.

Megan Paulos, our traffic manager, logs the file into a paper-based tracking system. We’ve learned, over the years, that when deadlines are this tight, tracking files with sheets of paper is faster and more reliable than a database. Once all editing is done, log notes are entered into the computer.

Once an interview is logged, it’s assigned to an editor. Here, Rodney Mitchell, Adam Bedford, and Hilary White, our core editorial team, edits the material into its finished form. Our goal is for each editor to cut two interviews an hour.

After the interview is edited, the editor writes up a short description of the contents to be posted to the web – NABShowBuzz.com –  and turns the file back over to Megan, in traffic, for posting.

Megan, Greg Clark, or Debbie Price check that the file has no technical errors and all words in the description are spelled correctly. At which point the file is approved for posting.

At this point, either Greg or Mina Qubaisi, our two web wizards, post the file to the web, along with the short description and an info tile that contains a photo of the guest, along with their name, title and company.

Once the file is posted, Mina notifies Laura Peters, our social media maven, who starts tweeting that the new interview is posted and encouraging people around the world to listen.

As well, the best seven interviews of each day are gathered into a Buzz Special Report that airs every evening for listeners that want to save time and just listen to the highlights. We are producing eight shows, which air every night for eight consecutive days, starting Monday, April 16.

Our coverage of NAB is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Blackmagic Design and Pond5. Creating 80 interviews and eight special reports is not easy, and we are very grateful for their assistance! Keep track of what we are doing here:  NABShowBuzz.com.

THE SOFTWARE

This year we are using a Macintosh network powered by a G-5 tower, feeding a NetGear 16-port switch, with MacBook Pro laptops at every station.

All audio editing is done using Adobe Audition. Files are edited locally, but stored on the server.

Completed files are compressed using Apple’s Compressor 4 and posted to our website using FTP and  Panic’s Transmit.

COMMUNICATIONS

You wouldn’t think a 20×20 booth needs an intercom system, but the trade show floor is so noisy we are experimenting with using a ClearCom Tempest 900 intercom system. Six stations, four wired and two wireless.

We will feed program audio into the headsets, so members of the team can listen to the interviews, then, if necessary, carry on conversations with team members scattered across the trade show floor to keep guests and interviews running smoothly.

We are grateful to ClearCom for loaning us this gear. I’ll let you know how it works out in my next report.

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS

Cirina Catania, the producer of the weekly Buzz, heads an all-star cast of special correspondents that will be submitting reports for each of the nightly specials. She is joined by Philip Hodgetts, Norman Hollyn, Michael Kammes, Ned Soltz, Walter Biscardi, Carey Dissmore, and Simon Walker.

We are truly excited to get their take on this year’s show!  You can hear them exclusively in the night special reports.

THE AV GEAR

We are also grateful to the folks at Aphex for the loan of their Channel system. We’ve been using Aphex for several years and are very impressed with the quality of the sound.

I’m looking forward to putting the planning, equipment and staff to work covering all the excitement of this year’s show and encourage you to stop by the booth (again, that booth SL11505) to see how this is all works together.

Larry


6 Responses to Covering the News At the 2012 NAB Show

  1. Laura Peters says:

    Readers might like to have the Twitter handles for the special correspondents since these folks know things before anyone else.
    They are:

    Cirina Catania – @Cirina
    Philip Hodgetts – @PhilipHodgetts
    Norman Hollyn – @schnittman
    Michael Kammes – @MichaelKammes
    Walter Biscardi – @WalterBiscardi
    Carey Dissmore – @CareyD
    Simon Walker – @SimonWalker
    and, of course, follow the Digital Production BuZZ and all the news from the 2012 NAB Show – @dpbuzz

  2. Warren Nelson says:

    Wow!

    (And apparently “wow” wasn’t enough of a comment, so “Good luck! Wish I was there!”)

  3. 80 interviews! Wow, that is an ambitious production schedule, your booth will certainly be “abuzz” with activity. I’m sure you’ll be to busy to chat so I’ll simply wave as I walk slowly by SL11505 in awe . The intercoms are a good idea, I think you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

    • Larry says:

      Bruce:

      Wave with big gestures – I could use the distraction!

      As for the intercom, I’m really curious to see if it helps, and who on the team finds them the most useful. I LOVE the concept, and am grateful to be trying them out.

      Larry

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