Kitay Productions Delivers College Soccer to CBS Sports Network via D2 Productions’ Genesis
Since rolling out the Genesis 24-ft. HD mobile-production unit earlier this year, D2 Productions has teamed up with Kitay Productions, a Northeast-based television- and video-production company, to fly the flag in support of a more compact and affordable live-sports-production truck.
It was another win for the truck, which is built primarily around NewTek gear. D2 and Kitay worked together to produce a live broadcast of an NCAA men’s soccer game between Rutgers and Louisville in Piscataway, NJ, on Sept. 30 for the CBS Sports Network (CBSSN).
“Once again, we’ve proven that, with planning and care, you can produce a show capable of being broadcast on a network like CBS Sports Network,” says Joel Kitay, president of Kitay Productions. “[It can be done] with the NewTek technology, the right gear surrounding it, and the right people who know how to maximize the usage of the technology.”
NewTek tools at the core of Genesis include the Tricaster 850 Extreme switcher and the 3Play 425 replay system.
The game was a four-camera show using Sony PMW-EX3 cameras, two fitted with 33X-zoom lenses and the others with 20X-zoom lenses.
Genesis is also equipped with Blackmagic Design’s 40×40 HD-SDI router, three AJA FS2 dual-channel frame syncs, three Sony 32-in. multiview monitors, a 19-in. program monitor, three 19-in. standalone video monitors, a Plura 217 engineering monitor, an Ensemble BE-56 test-signal generator, and Grass Valley distribution and conversion tools. For the game, Kitay rented a Chyron Duet to integrate the CBSSN scorebug and other graphic overlays. All of it added up to a finished product that was much more affordable than a typical large production.
“I bet that, in the aggregate, it was a third to half the price of what CBS would have spent doing this via tradition means,” says Kitay.
Kitay Productions supplied much of the staffing, including those manning any of the NewTek-based positions as well as the EIC (engineer-in-charge), technical director, and replay operator. Kitay directed and produced the show. CBSSN supplemented with its own tech manager, camera operators, and other technicians.
“I was very pleased with the way things went,” says Dave Walzer, general partner at D2 Productions. “I think the truck did exactly what CBS needed it to do. This is why we built the truck, to nail those small to mid-level events. I think it’s been doing it with flying colors, and this was just another example of that.”
Yurcak Field, home to the Rutgers soccer programs, proved quite conducive to a truck of Genesis’s size. The truck was set in a parking pad directly behind the grandstand, allowing the production team to home-run the cables straight up the back of the stands into the press box. A lift needed to be rented to position a high–end-zone camera.
According to Walzer, in the months since its debut, Genesis has been picking up more higher-profile events. He understands how critical it is for the truck to put on high-quality shows in order to prove itself to the industry.
“I think, until you see the truck in action, until it has the hours on the air, there’s always a question in people’s minds: ‘does this thing work?’ ” says Walzer. “There’s still this stigma, when people hear the word TriCaster and/or trailer, that there’s this preconceived notion of what it is.
“Our goal here was to build a solid production platform in a trailer using NewTek technology,” he continues. “I think we’ve done that and we’re proving that we can create a benchmark standard for this class of production facility. Everybody that does a show on this thing is just amazed that they got that caliber of show out of this truck.”