Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Mike the TD

Vicki's cousin Mike -- like a second cousin or first cousin once removed or however that works.... came into town yesterday. He's a free-lance technical director for Television shows. He was here working the NIT tournament for ESPN (Mizzou was eliminated last night in the first round -- big surprise there).

He showed us the inner workings of the "trailer" -- basically a big control room in a tractor trailer. When they park it, one side extends like an expensive RV to make the interior bigger -- and they put stairs on to get in and out of the doors. Cameras and expensive electronic equipment is stored below -- and inside is this television studio. There were about 70 8" television monitors in there, and he sits in front of this massive control board. The producer sits to the far left, the director in the middle, and Mike -- the Technical Director -- sits in the control seat.

The producer decides which direction the telecast is going to go -- what kinds of things they will focus on. The director decides which shots & graphics will best fit that story, and it's Mike's job to make it happen. All those screen wipes, graphics, and bugs that come up on your screen... scores, stats, replays... all Mike. Cool.

We took him to Murry's for dinner -- he had about a 90 minute break after the place got set up, then he had to be back in the trailer 2 hours before the show.

Had a nice time with him at dinner. He showed us some family pics on his laptop -- and we went home. He's already in Vegas for the next game today.

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