I love providing a wide range of services to help your production shine. Depending on the scope and deadline, I can deliver these single-handedly or coordinate a network of specialists to ensure your project meets your requirements.
The beauty of show control is that a single operator can drive the system through every twist and turn of a show with maximum consistency and minimum opportunity for error. Systems like graphics, lighting boards, buzzers, producer buttons, information displays, sound boards, video switchers and routers are pushed along automatically as the control system cues through the show. Most show control systems consist of a list of cues which are advanced manually of by timecode. That's sufficient for shows which are the same every time, like a stage show. But what about a game show, with contestant interaction, complex rules, producer judgements, varying questions and repeated sections? That requires a much more intelligent system, especially when you need to be able to go backwards to pickup at an earlier point and still have the scores and other states be correct.
There are no off-the-peg Show Control systems which can offer this advanced functionality. By building each system on top of a well-established framework, full customization can be achieved while keeping development time, experimentation and bugs to minimum.
You might already be working with a designer to achieve the look that you want for titles, backgrounds and logos, but how are you going to achieve these dynamic parts? If your requirement is very simple or you're OK doing everything in post, you might be able to play simple movies using equipment the production already has. For everything else, you need realtime graphics.
Working is leading graphics system Ventuz, I can turn your designs into a realtime system which can adapt to whatever content comes up in whatever order it's required. There is no limit to the number of feeds. Key and fill? Feed for pixel-mapping onto the set? 5x HD feeds for a team name? Stereoscopic, 180°? You've got it. The low cost of scaling up can really pay dividends by generating more of the show live and simplifying post-production.
Traditional broadcast graphics is just one small part of what Ventuz is designed to do. It's more commonly used for high-end presentations and product launches. Its also perfect for interactive graphics, whether it's a touch screen on a stand at a trade show or a huge video wall in a TV studio which responds to the hosts' movements.
A well-implemented show, studio, control room or post-production system is more than just the pile of boxes plugged in to each other. The hard part is integrating everything together so that it does exactly what you need to reliably and consistently. For that, you can't beat custom software, specifically designed to streamline your processes.
For example, I've provided systems which allow video switching, routing, graphics, Skype and audio mixing to be controlled by a single operator from a touchscreen user interface. Nothing was exposed to the operator which was not needed for the specific type of production and many actions were automated.
In a show system, it's pretty common to want to integrate with external button presses, sometimes with extreme accuracy. It's less common to need to integrate with noise measurement software or RFID tags in bundles of cash, but it was fun to do! I have a lot of experience with working out ways to pull disparate systems together and it's one of my favorite things to do. I have integrated with switchers, routers, lighting systems, LED mappers, social networks, phone networks, audio equipment, cameras (video and SLR) and many strange and poorly-documented devices.
Many productions require a lot of content to be organized before getting to stage. If there's a lot of content which will eventually be making its way into graphics systems, it's worth thinking about a custom preproduction system. Maybe you simply need a documented process to generate text files, organize them into folders and synchronize them with Dropbox. Maybe it's worth considering a full cloud-based custom web application with redundancy, backups, synchronization, reconciliation and audit trails.
The right workflow will ensure that all the important research and checking work happens in the office rather than during precious studio time.
I would love to talk to you about your format before it is even commissioned. I've provided consultation and technology for many formats from the earliest game testing to office run-throughs, commissioning, production and on to multiple successful seasons and international rollout. I can help you calculate payout rates, pick up format wrinkles and test out variations. An experienced game show producer might have produced 1-2 new shows each year or less. Working at the early stages has allowed me to dig deep into a lot of formats since 2004.
You might want software to make your testing more realistic or you might need a presentation system that does not rely on a network exec' imagining how it might look on-screen. Powerpoint and Keynote might work for a show that follows the same narrative every time. For a game show with multiple possibilities, your options would be to script the whole performance or make frantic, error prone changes to your presentation as the game progresses. To show a game show format in the best light, it's always best to have real contestants playing a real game and no distractions from the technology.
All systems need some hardware in the end. I can design your system or work with hardware specialists to buy or rent a system to cover your requirements.
If you have a format that you are rolling out internationally, I could be a great partner. I have experience adapting existing systems for other markets, handing systems over to local teams and getting up-to-speed on unfamiliar system. Maybe you want a US-based partner for an existing system to avoid all the usual problems of time-zones, remote support, customs, visas and invoicing. Let's talk!
Some of the most exciting projects don't really fit into any of the normal boxes. When it's never been done before, a huge breadth of experience and relationships with a diverse range of specialists really helps. From the first email, you've got a valuable ally to drive your idea to completion.