Stanford Round Table

Challenge:

Each year Stanford University produces an event that brings some of the school’s brightest public figures back to campus for a roundtable discussion in their Maples Stadium. Under the watchful eye of 5000 students and alumni, high level concepts like brain science, happiness, and climate change are discussed in a 90 minute long live webcast that is later edited for rebroadcast on KQED and select PBS stations around the country.

In 2012, Beyond Pix was brought in to take over production of this five-camera live event from a Los Angeles vender and create the entire production using only Bay Area talent.

Solution:

The Roundtable was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am, but we could only gain access to the stadium from 10:00 pm the night before due to a late basketball game. This meant that we would need to have all our equipment in place and tested by 6:00 am the following morning, with the doors to the event opening at 8:00 am. It was going to be a long night setting up and going directly into the show at dawn.

With an experienced understanding of multi-camera production, Beyond Pix sent an advance team to Stanford to scout the space and get a solid understanding of everything from camera positions to cable runs to electrical tie-in points. Mapping out all of our positions ahead of time helped us maximize the short time allotted for set up between the basketball game and the Roundtable event the following morning.

In the past, Stanford had issues with the LA crew arriving weary from the 8-hour drive and stuck waiting around until they were needed. Keeping our crew and vendors local not only ensured a fresh and alert team, but also allowed us to schedule call times based on when people were needed.

Results:

            • Executed a flawless live show
            • Beyond Pix was asked to produce the Roundtable show until it’s cancelation two years later

Production Notes:

Because the stage was round and the panel was set in a semi-circle facing the moderator, we had to set up cameras that could give all participants a close up shot from any of the 360˚ positions in the room. We set up four cameras at each cardinal position and a wide lensed camera on a 30” jib arm to give us wide sweeping shots of the stage and the audience.

Each camera was recorded separately as well as a “clean” version of the whole show (no graphics), so that PBS could re-purpose the materials.

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