D2 Productions’ Genesis Hits the Big Time in the Big Easy
When D2 Productions rolled out Genesis last April, Managing Partner David Walzer had ambitious goals for his new 24-ft. HD production truck. But not even he could have imagined this.
After just nine months on the road working one-off events — including a college soccer broadcast for CBS Sports Network — Genesis is in New Orleans serving as the primary production truck on CBSSports.com’s daily live Super Bowl Webcasts.
“You can’t do any better than the Super Bowl in American sports,” says Walzer. “That’s the pinnacle of the industry, there’s no question. I’m, of course, just ecstatic that, within its first year of operation, my truck is going to the Super Bowl. I’m proud that it’s going and grateful to CBS for selecting us and placing their faith in our truck to get the job done for them.”
With CBS’s primary NEP production trucks positioned in the truck compound outside the Superdome, the broadcaster needed a production platform that could get inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center across town for live shows Webcast to CBSSports.com. Real estate is at a premium inside the convention center, and Genesis offered the solution with a reasonable footprint and the technological capabilities that CBSSports.com needed.
The small mobile unit is built around the NewTek TriCaster 850 EXTREME and also features NewTek’s 3Play 425 (four-in, two-out replay system), Chyron IP graphics engine (running Lyric Pro), Sony EX3 cameras with Telecast Copperhead SMPTE fiber chains, a 32-channel Soundcraft audio board, and Blackmagic Design’s 40×40 HD-SDI router, the centerpiece of video routing in the truck.
D2 Productions was able to land the gig with the help of Kitay Productions President Joel Kitay, who also works for CBS as a contractor on a regular basis. Kitay has been working closely with Walzer to help promote Genesis throughout the industry. Kitay spoke with CBS executives about the truck, and they decided Genesis would be a fit for their unique needs on the three-camera daily Webcast.
Genesis arrived in New Orleans on Jan. 25, followed closely by Walzer, who came into town on Jan. 26 to begin setting up the unit. On Jan. 27, CBSSports.com began shooting and delivering a daily 1½-hour Webcast that will continue through Super Sunday. There is also a pair of editing systems on board the truck. Reporters collect daily interviews, which are cut down to about 15 minutes apiece and fed back to CBS around 5 p.m. every day.