Filmwerks Ends Year With a Bang With Thursday Night Football Set, Wallenda Walk
Owner Mike Satrazemis loves to reflect on how Filmwerks got its start as just a little company from North Carolina. Those days are getting further away in the proverbial rearview mirror as Filmwerks continues to expand, coming off the most active quarter in the company’s history.
“Filmwerks is winding down a very busy year,” says company GM Chad Corbin. “The integration of the Live Power acquisition is 100% complete and we have plans to continue expand our fleet next year with several generator units already on order. Our remote studio products will continue to expand next year as well.”
Among the highlights from a very busy Q4 was the building of a special on-field set for CBS Sports that is used for pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage of Thursday Night Football on CBS and the NFL Network. The structure offers tremendous value in its ability to erect on the field in less than two minutes.
Filmwerks also played a pivotal role in Skyscraper Live, the thrilling Nik Wallenda walk above Chicago. The company was responsible for the infrastructure of the entire television production compound and portions of the tightrope walk as well. Filmwerks played its traditional role as a full power and climate-control provider, while also building a host position, over-the-wire camera positions, truss and posts for lighting, the platform from which Wallenda made his initial takeoff, jitta cam structures, and structures for additional lighting and an ending point for the Cable Cam.
“This [Wallenda walk] had a completely different feel because everything we were doing in the past from the ground level we were now lifting up 500 to 700 feet on to five different buildings,” says David Fioravanti, who has worked as project manager on three Wallenda walks for Filmwerks, including Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon. “All of that infrastructure that we put in place for television to set up and shoot the live event was now at a skyscraper level and that’s presents a whole new set of challenges.”
Wind and other elements brought a lot of obstacles the nine-person crew that was on-site for two weeks.
Filmwerks was all over the place throughout the past couple of months, including work with the WWE tour, ESPN College Gameday, SEC Football for CBS, college basketball for CBS Sports Network, PGA/LPGA/ Champions Golf tours with Golf Channel, Breeders Cup with NBC, and NBA’s opening night with Turner Sports.
Corbin added that the company is also preparing for the Super Bowl where they are building a custom stage for a broadcast client.