When it came down to the final two contestants, Donald Trump was stumped. Marlee Matlin and John Rich were neck and neck in charity fund-raising and both were exemplary apprentices. But only one could be hired. However, when it came to the production crew to air this live NBC broadcast, there was no contest: Pete's Big TVs was hired before. And they were hired again this year to display the parade of people and performances in the final live broadcast.
The set depended on video screens in a variety of sizes and resolutions to display scenic images and live action from Def Leppard, the Harlem Globetrotters, David Cassidy and other celebrities.
Technical Producer Gayle De Poli of Pink Slip Productions and Production Designer Seth Easter worked with Pete's Big TVs to create the visual landscape of live and static images displayed within the set.
There are challenges when incorporating video screens into the set. Besides availability of the panels and meeting a budget, the cameras must “read” the screens clearly at all angles, De Poli says. “To resolve all that we only put panels where they could be seen. None were put in areas that were never going to be on camera or seen by our theatre audience,” she says.
The main screen in the center stage was a Lighthouse R6B 6mm LED screen. It was framed to resemble a large painting.
“The smaller the millimeter of the LED screen, the finer the resolution will be and the better it will look to the audience both in-house and at home. The 6mm center framed screen could be shot at any angle with our video cameras. They looked perfectly seamless from every shot,” De Poli explains. “I absolutely love that new 6mm screen. Couldn't shoot if from a bad angle. There wasn't one.”
Surrounding a large part of the set was an LED 20mm flex screen, which curved in a half-moon shape. An image of New York at night displayed on the screen “It looked like the set was on a rooftop in Manhattan,” De Poli says. “Very pretty. The screens looked so awesome.”
As technical producer, De Poli was responsible for procuring all of the audio, video, transmission to NBC, as well as managing the technical crew for the live production. “The creative team will come up with the ideas and I execute that task. I have to get the very best the market has to offer, set it up in a timely manner to stay on schedule with the production plans and stay on budget.”
To achieve the “very best the market has to offer,” De Poli turns to Pete's Big TVs, as she has for many years starting when they were known as Performance AV, she says. “They have been my source from the early â€˜90s for large screens and custom fly-pack HD video systems. Each year the technology improves and Pete's Big TV's stays ahead of the curve by continually upgrading their inventory.”
Pete's Big TV crew included techs Matt Ellar and Rob Maloney.
By the way, in this season finale, Trump chose John Rich, songwriter of “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” over Marlee Matlin as the winner.
Photo credit: Mark Burnett Productions/NBC
About Pete's Big TVs
Pete's Big TVs/Performance Video provides LED video screens, projection and full video production for concert, entertainment and corporate events since 1987. For current news, photos and updates on projects in action, visit the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/videoequipmentrental or call 1-800-999-0010.
Press: Debi Moen, INK.