D2 Productions Adds Second Mobile Solution

To meet growing demand in the mobile production facility segment of its business, Massachusetts-based video and streaming media company D2 Productions has introduced Zeppelin, its second live event truck.

Zeppelin is the latest edition to D2 Productions' mobile production truck collection.

Zeppelin is the latest edition to D2 Productions’ mobile production truck collection.

When D2 Productions, made its first foray into the mobile facility industry two years ago, it did so targeting what it considered to be blind spot in the market: small sports production.

That lead to the introduction of Genesis, which targets events such as college “Olympic” sports and lower level professional and semi-pro telecasts and live streams. The D2 team found their instinct was correct and found they had little trouble finding the young mobile facility work.

“Genesis was our first effort into the truck business and we’re very proud of it but we also learned a great deal from it,” says Dave Walzer, co-founder of D2 Productions. “There was definitely demand for that second truck, though. In the world of sports where a lot of things are on Saturdays, for example, there’s only so much work it can do.”

To meet that demand, D2 Productions unveiled Zeppelin this past April. Zeppelin is a 40-foot trailer, making it 67% longer than its predecessor and it features some notable gear upgrades giving it a little more juice over Genesis. At its core is the Sony MVS-3000A production switcher (1.5 M/E, 32 inputs) and a Blackmagic 72×72 HD-SDI router.

Zeppelin is 40-ft. long, making making it 67% longer than its predecessor, Genesis.

Zeppelin is 40-ft. long, making making it 67% longer than its predecessor, Genesis.

The truck’s production guts also feature three AJA FS2 dual-channel frame syncs, three Sony 32-in. multiview monitors, an Ensemble BE-56 test signal generator, Cobalt distribution and conversion, and more.

On the camera front, Genesis was launched with Sony EX3 cameras, but earlier this year, D2 upgraded that collection to Hitachi Z-HD5000 1080i cameras.  D2 stuck with those in the new build with Zeppelin and now each truck has five of those cameras. Zeppelin also carries a 70x Fujinon lens, a 50x Fujinon lens, a 33x Canon lens, and two Canon ENG lenses.

For VTR, Zeppelin – much like Genesis – boasts a NewTek 3Play 425 4-in 2-out instant replay systems, an Abekas Tria 3-channel clip servier, two Blackmagic Hyperdeck Studio Pro digital recorders, and a DVD player/record.

For graphics, D2 invested in installing the ChyronHego HyperX3 dual channel system. For audio, the truck is equipped with a Soundcraft GB8 32-channel audio mixer.

Zeppelin is spacious and features a separate room for audio.

Zeppelin is spacious and features a separate room for audio.

Walzer notes that despite its similar programming schedule [the truck is booked up for Ivy League football in the fall and Patriot League sports throughout the upcoming academic year] Zeppelin is not intended to be a sister truck to Genesis, as evident by its generally higher grade of gear. The new truck will handle much of the company’s bandwidth that it couldn’t meet before, especially in the southeast region [the unit will be based in Charlotte] but will also feed the hunger of the organization looking to invest in a professional caliber production.

“I say, ‘you get what you pay for,’” says Walzer. “There seems to be this movement afoot to bring these [production] budgets down. Of course, everyone is price conscious and that’s totally understandable. But we feel that with some of these productions that are out there, there’s a lot of professional production value is missing. Our target is the midlevel customer that still is discerning enough to know what a quality production is.”

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