Live From CFP National Championship: Big Game Start of a Huge Year for Game Creek Video
This week’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game and all of the festivities that surrounded it may very well have been one of Game Creek Video’s biggest projects to date, but it’s just a taste of things to come in what promises to be a transcendent year for the organization.
To serve its client, ESPN, Game Creek deployed an eight-truck operation: seven units at AT&T Stadium and one at Sundance Square in Fort Worth for onsite studio coverage.
“This is a very large-scale event for us,” says Pat Sullivan, president, Game Creek Video. “It might not quite measure up to last year’s Super Bowl with Fox, because that was in New York and New Jersey and we had three clients there [Fox, NFL Network, and ESPN], but, as far as a single client goes, this is about as big as it gets [for football].”
Of the Game Creek fleet, Spirit A and B served as the main game-production units, while Glory A and B worked as the lead units on ESPN’s comprehensive Megacast. Additionally, Larkspur supported College GameDay, Discovery housed outside and inside onsite studio shows, Justice was out at Gilley’s Dallas, and Gemini was in Fort Worth supporting the Sundance Square sets.
To support the scope of the main game production and the accompanying Megacast, Game Creek has been working hand-in-hand with ESPN’s production and operations teams since the summer. Several meetings were held in Bristol, CT, to outline how the network wanted to better approach the slate of programming this year, and Game Creek took it from there to match the appropriate units with the logical programming counterpart.
“We’re big enough sports fans in our organization to understand that this was going to be a major broadcast event,” says Sullivan, “and that we needed to plan accordingly.”
The CFP Championship is a huge first step in a big year for Game Creek Video, which is preparing for the launch of a few major mobile production units, including the March debut of Fox’s new top truck series, Encore, and the units that NBC will ultimately use on its brand-new NASCAR package debuting July 4.
Sullivan is also particularly excited about the upcoming FIS Alpine World Ski Championships that Game Creek will work for Eurovision, which he says will be the largest single-event production in the history of the company: six mobile units and almost 90 cameras.
On top of all of that, Game Creek trucks are currently en route across the northern U.S., making the trek from Green Bay to Seattle in preparation for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game on Fox. Plus, the Daytona 500 — another Fox/Game Creek project — is rapidly approaching.
“It’s always a big effort to move these units around at this time of the year,” says Sullivan. “The objective of all of our customers is to have us arrive onsite, set up quickly, and give them the capability of getting in and getting to work and not having anyone standing around waiting for the truck. Our drivers are the best in the business, and they make that possible.”