BMG REWIND: ARTE France’s 2008 Election Special

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Our newest installment of BMG REWIND revisits our work with ARTE France on their 2008 election special in Washington, DC.  The 90-minute live program covered the outcome of the 2008 US election, which aired live in France and Germany.

The Gist:

In the Fall of 2008, Broadcast Management Group was contracted to produce a 90-minute live special for ARTE France covering the outcome of the 2008 election.  The special aired live in France and Germany and was translated into 3 languages on-location.  Because the outcome of the election wasn’t known ahead of time (obviously), much of the editorial content was completed the day of the show, shortly before air.

The Challenge:

ARTE France wanted a venue location with an iconic DC look.  The problem was that this production came together with short notice, and during an election cycle, most resources in DC were already booked.  Our biggest hurdle was finding a location that fit their creative needs, that was available, and that was within budget.  We were able to find a location that checked every one of their boxes: a rooftop location in Arlington, VA with a skyline view of the National Mall.  It was the perfect setting for talking politics.  We were, at that point in time, the first company to produce a live television show from this particular venue.  We quickly found the limitations of the space.  Cables had to be run out the window of a stairwell and down the side of the building – 12 stories – to our production truck parked below.  Additionally, we brought in translation booths for handling the on-site translation.  It took some clever maneuvering to get these into the venue’s elevator.  We were met with some strange looks and lots of questions, but we made it work.

The Outcome:

The live special really came together.  Despite some language barriers with the director (who didn’t speak English), ARTE France walked away happy.  The venue proved to be a challenge, but it offered one of the most amazing views of DC and it was the perfect setting for an election special.

We had so much fun working with ARTE France in 2008, that we’re doing it again this year.  Check out the live production services we’re offering on election night this November.  Spaces are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis, so contact us today to get started.

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