The Studio Space
The Fabrikam Media department studio is 30 by 40 feet—large enough to hold a small set and two cameras on wheeled pedestals. The studio has a tall ceiling with an overhead grid on which the studio crew can hang lights. With the lights off the floor, there is more space for sets,
, and other equipment. Sound
baffles, such as the panels used in the compression suite in chapter 15, are hung above the grid and attached to the walls.
Sets are modular, and can easily be taken apart and arranged for different situations. A typical set consists of a thin carpet and desk placed on two risers
together near a corner. The risers are each four feet wide, eight feet long, and one foot high. The carpet keeps
noise down and helps deaden
in the room. The desk is raised so it is easier for the cameras to shoot the talent at eye level. If the studio needs to shoot an interview, the desk can be removed and two or three chairs arranged on the risers.
The background is a large seamless piece of blue cloth called a
. The backdrop can be changed to a different
or texture. The talent is placed far enough away to prevent shadows from falling on the backdrop.
Additional equipment, such as computers and a video monitor on a rolling stand, can be brought in when needed. When not needed they are stored in a small room
to the studio. Each camera and pedestal includes a
, so the talent can read scripts or notes while looking into the lens. Nothing in the studio is permanent: lights can be moved, sets can be changed, and cameras can be removed from the pedestals and used for shooting on location. The studio can even hold a small audience.
The Control Room
Adjacent to the studio is the control room. This is where the
of a live program are
in real time. The control room also contains editing equipment, so the room can be used to edit a continuity style production. The small room has an area for mixing the audio, an area for switching between video sources, and an area in which the producer and customer can sit and observe or take notes.
The audio area contains an audio mixer for blending multiple audio sources, such as two on-camera presenters and sound on videotape. The area also features two
and various audio processors, such as an audio limiter that keeps the audio level below a set threshold to prevent distortion.
The video area is centered on a video switcher, as shown in figure 18.2. A director uses the switcher to change from one video source to another, such as from a studio camera to a
videotape introduction. Switchers also do effects such as layering video sources and adding transitions. The person controlling the switcher, the director or technical director, controls the flow of the program. He calls shots and communicates other timing information by using a
A compact, portable video switcher.
A bank of
above the switcher enables the director to view all the sources. Remote control units enable him to start and stop VCRs, which are located in the machine room next to the control room. A character generator
to the switcher enables him to add titles with a variety of font styles. A computer editing system sits on the
side of the switcher. After the Fabrikam technicians install the live encoding computers, an additional computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, and a KVM switch will sit next to the editing system.
The studio and control room are designed to facilitate live-to-tape production, so adding live Windows Media-based production functionalty is easy. The output audio and video signals are simply rerouted from a VCR to the encoding computers. Distribution Amplifiers (DAs) are used to split the signals to multiple destinations. This will enable the director to, for example, encode on two computers and record a backup tape
. Once the encoders are in place, the studio can begin sending a live stream to tape, to a disk, to the intranet, or to the extranet.