fbpx

Live Production Look-Back: Global Townterview w/ Hillary Clinton

Mar 18, 2016

You may have heard that it’s election season here in the U-S-of-A.

Read More Add A Comment

You may have heard that it’s election season here in the U-S-of-A.  We figured what better way to kick off our Live Production Look-Back series than re-visiting our work with Hillary Clinton and the US State Department back in 2013.  Enjoy.

The Gist:

broadcast consulting, event production company, event production, live event production, video production, production companies, production services, live production, video productions, video production companies, live video production companies, video streamingBefore we begin, a clarification: no, ‘townterview’ is not a typo.  That was an actual phrase (unfortunate as it may be) that was used in the title.  We lay no claim to the ownership of said phrase.  OK, now that that’s out of the way…

During Hillary Clinton’s last week in office as Secretary of State, she wanted to conduct one final town hall meeting.  Secretary Clinton enjoyed interacting with the millennial demographic – both domestic and foreign – and had a great fondness for the intimacy and interactive nature of the town hall format.  So a plan was hatched to put together a live town hall production from a studio location in DC that would feature live remotes from international locations across the world.  Additionally, the program would rely heavily on social media – giving viewers at home the chance to submit questions in real time via Twitter and Facebook which were integrated into the show.  The initial plan was to produce the show at the State Department using DOS’s broadcast equipment and personnel.  However, the broadcast department at DOS did not feel they had the technical capabilities to produce such a complex production and wasn’t comfortable with committing to such a high profile project.  Instead, they referred Secretary Clinton and her team to Broadcast Management Group.

The Challenge:

broadcast consulting, event production company, event production, live event production, video production, production companies, production services, live production, video productions, video production companies, live video production companies, video streamingWe were able to secure the Knight Studio at the Newseum in downtown DC for this project, which is a great, state-of-the-art production facility.  They have all of the technical infrastructure and connectivity that we needed for this project, which took a lot of the pressure off.  The bigger challenge, however, was the timeline we had for putting the production together: 72 hours (48 of which were a weekend).  We were officially awarded the contract on a Friday and the program was scheduled to air early afternoon on the upcoming Monday.  But that’s the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with live production, so we got to work.

We planned for 7 live feeds total during the course of the show, one from England, Japan, Lebanon, Columbia, Nigeria, India and Australia (it was truly a global town hall in that we had representation from every continent on earth with the exception of Antarctica).  Each remote, with the exception of Australia (which was a surprise Skype feed), featured in-studio talent with a panel of guests.  The talent and guests would all have the chance to ask questions to Secretary Clinton in real time.  Dealing with 7 different time zones and some language barriers, we had to carefully coordinate and plan the logistics behind each live remote.  Additionally, DOS wanted each international broadcaster to cover the cost of their in-studio production and transmission to the Newseum in DC, which is something we had to negotiate with each broadcaster.

The Outcome:

broadcast consulting, event production company, event production, live event production, video production, production companies, production services, live production, video productions, video production companies, live video production companies, video streamingI remember the morning of the show being much less chaotic than I was expecting.  We went through our transmission tests country by country.  I seem to remember having some issues with Columbia, but we were able to get things ironed out and when it came time for the live show, everything went as smoothly as possible.

As I stated above, Secretary Clinton had a great fondness for town halls and had participated in a large number of them during her time in office.  After our show, she made it a point to stop by the control room and personally thank everyone on the production crew.  She told our director that the “global townterview” was by far her favorite town hall.  Granted, she’s a politician, so we have to take that compliment with a grain of salt, but it still felt good.

 

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!