A Sneak Peek Behind The “Fourth Wall”

During the production of a recent volleyball game in our District we decided to do a little experiment. We were able to send one of the multiviewer video signals of our Blackmagic Design ATEM 2 M/E Switcher to a recorder so we can see what the student director sees during a broadcast. This give us is a little sneak peek behind the “production curtain” or as it is referred to in the film industry, the “fourth wall.”  Although I realize I am stretching that definition a bit, but you get the idea. behind-cam

During the Hahnville Senior Night presentations we fed the Clear-Com intercom audio into the recorder by putting a lavalier mic in the headset of an extra intercom and plugging the lavalier into the recorder to record with the multiview. We only did this for the pre-game presentations as a test, but it seemed to work well.

We had a little bid of a feedback problem in the intercom, so we disconnected it for the game, but it was actually coming from another Clear-Com station that had it’s speaker active.  We are going to try this again for our next football broadcast which tends to be more hectic and have a lot more moving parts.  During the game we fed the program audio into the recorder.

multiview_asislynIn the layout of the multiviewer we have our system set up with “program,” or final output, in the bottom left-hand section and “preview,” or the shot up next, in the top left-hand section.   In the picture you can see our director sits directly in front of the program portion of the monitor.  We had three active cameras for this match and we typically only use one of the replay outputs or “Replay A” as it is labeled on the monitor.  We also have our graphics systems set up with a green chroma key.

Many television stations do this in order to review a broadcast or for training purposes. I think this will be a very valuable training tool for this crew and future crews.  Also, this could be a great addition to a student directors resume reel.


Now that the 2016 Press Play Crew is a little “seasoned” with seven football games and four volleyball games under their belt they are a pretty well-oiled machine not only during the production but also in the setup and teardown before and after games.

As their Adviser, I am very proud of what this crew has accomplished in three short months.  Besides the live productions, they have also produced nine “On The Prowl” coaches shows and shows for the United Way, St. Charles Parish Government and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and many PSA’s.  Nearly all of them had no or very limited live production experience.  They’ve come a long way!

We had seven students on the crew for this broadcast and we rotated positions after every set.  We had a director, audio, graphics, replay and three camera operators.  Our announcer for the broadcast was a former student, volleyball player and coach who is now an English Teacher at Destrehan High School.

Link to Senior Night Presentation on YouTube

The video above shows the senior night presentations with intercom audio and the videos below shows the first set with program audio.  Both were directed by Hahnville High School Junior Asialyn Singleton.  The video of the second set was directed by Destrehan High School Senior Don Surmik and the third set was directed by Hahnville Senior Savannah Sheppard, and this was Savannah’s first time directing a live sporting event!

Link to SET #1 on YouTube

Link to SET #2 on YouTube

Link to SET #3 on YouTube

On Friday, November 4, 2016 we broadcast a football game between Thibodaux High School and Hahnville High School.  Below is a link to a multiviewer recording of a  two-camera production my students produced.  Normally we use three or four cameras with a 10-12 student crew but on this night we had a crew of only five students.

Link to Football 2-Camera Broadcast on YouTube

To see some more of this crew’s work visit our website at: http://presstheplay.tv/

Albert Dupont

Albert Dupont is the Facilitator of Advanced TV Broadcasting (ATVB) at the St. Charles Parish Public Schools Satellite Center in Southeast Louisiana. He has been at the Center since it's opening in August of 2005. The Center is located on the Mississippi River, just north of New Orleans, in Luling, Louisiana. The ATVB Class at the Satellite Center is also known as Press Play Productions. The “student run, student led” team produces an award winning football show called “On The Prowl” and live sporting events. Before becoming a teacher, Dupont worked for 17 years in the broadcast industry as a producer, videographer and editor at WVUE in New Orleans, WAFB in Baton Rouge and KATC in Lafayette, Louisiana. As a videographer and editor he has won numerous Louisiana Associated Press and New Orleans Press Club Awards. He is also an Avid Certified Instructor in Media Composer and an Adobe Certified Associate in Premiere Pro and Photoshop. You can follow him and his class at the following Twitter and Instagram accounts: @W5Video & @PressThePlay Press Play Production’s Website: http://presstheplay.tv/

Albert Dupont has 7 posts and counting. See all posts by Albert Dupont

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.