High Tech met Old World when top game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) staged its press event during the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at LA's century-old Orpheum Theatre with AV support from WorldStage. "The Download: EA 2012 Preview" provided guests with a first look at EA's upcoming titles with live demos, world premiere trailers and breaking news.
"Electronic Arts is one of the world's leading game publishers, and we at WorldStage were proud to be the chosen provider of innovative, state-of-the-art technical solutions for their press event," says WorldStage project manager Jack Dussault.
EA's Press Conference was broadcast live on MTV2, Spike and G4 television. The event was part of Spike TV's "E3 All Access Live" coverage, which featured more than 17 hours of multi-platform coverage from the convention. The press event premiered such highly-anticipated games as SimCity, Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Madden NFL 13 (with a live appearance by NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin), FIFA 13 and other projects currently in development.
"Besides a live invitation-only presentation, this year 1080i, 720P, 480i and composite feeds went out worldwide to -over three million viewers," Dussault notes. "It was streamed live from 11 sites, including IGN, Boxdownstairs, Stuff We Like, EA.com, JeuxVideo, GameSpot, EuroGamer (France), Game Informer and Gamers Bliss. After the event, the footage was posted to sites such as GameSpot and G4, eventually reaching an estimated virtual audience of over six million viewers."
"This was the fifth year Debra Robins, owner and Executive Producer of Plumbago Productions brought our firm in to support the audio and video requirements of the EA press event," says Senior Account Executive Michael May. "Each year Debra and Plumbago Productions' Creative Director, Jeffrey Hornaday create a unique, "boundary pushing" technical stage design. We were extremely honored to once again be part of the production team."
WorldStage provided an array of display surfaces for the Orpheum stage. A custom 50' x 30' voile scrim that hung across the front edge of the proscenium served as the display surface for a trio of Christie HD18K projectors mounted on the front of the balcony.
Three LED screens were positioned upstage behind the scrim: a 15x26-foot center screen, which was stationary, and 6.5x10-foot screens on either side, which flew in and out depending on the segment and the look desired. The LEDs were composed of approximately 200 PIXLED F-6 LED tiles.
"During certain segments of the presentation, the LEDs went black so you couldn't see them behind the scrim," recalls May. "Then we'd fire them up and you'd get an awesome three-dimensional visual experience." The LEDs gave a lot of depth to the stage. There was only 1 presenter that appeared between the main led screen and the scrim. This was the CEO - during his introduction,
Rounding out the video gear were five HD cameras: three Hitachi SK-HD1000s, one of them on a 30-foot jib, and two Sony BRC-H700s robotic cameras, WorldStage's Digital MediaHub players and a Spyder screen switching system.
On the audio side, "We retrofitted the client's demo game sources and video sources with state-of-the-art HDMI to 5.1 analog audio decoders to feed center, subs, left/ right side and rear true 5.1 surround sound with over a half-million watts of amplification for a truly amazing surround audio application," says Dussault.
The WorldStage team for the EA press event included Shane Zinke as EIC, Jason Spencer Spyder operator, Rob Ricci media hub playback, Ken Stanford video director, Justin "MC This" Hammond robocams, Terry Nakamura and Bryan Dominick projectionists, Ken "soundmantofthestars" Newman A1, Geoff Gibson A2 systems and Will Herold A2 RF.
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.