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Top Production Challenges During Comic-Con

Jun 1, 2017

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San Diego Comic-Con 2017 is right around the corner and we’re in full pre-production mode. We’ll be producing live programming for 2 different clients at this year’s event. As we start to book resources and plan for each project, we felt it was appropriate to share what we’ve learned from prior years. Here’s our breakdown of the top production challenges during Comic-Con.

Rentals

Securing resources can be one of the biggest production challenges during Comic-Con. As with most projects, planning in advance is key. That’s especially true with equipment. Making sure you have everything you need PLUS spares is crucial. If you’re light on cabling or missing a converter, it can be very challenging to find what you need locally. We like to account for all of our cable runs, mics and IFBs and then ask our rental house to double down on the order.

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Parking

Parking, parking, parking. Parking is a challenge for everyone during Comic-Con, including the production crew. The 1st two days of Comic-Con are a little more manageable, but the weekends get downright crazy. We typically try to find a hotel that will let us rent a few spots for the week so we have space in our back pocket if needed. Otherwise, we encourage our crew to carpool or Lyft whenever possible.

Production Crews

Having worked Comic-Con before, we have local crew that we prefer to work with every year. But we know that bookings can fill up fast and people aren’t guaranteed to be available. Finding the right production crew during Comic-Con can be a challenge. It’s important to put people on hold early and if your “go-to” isn’t available, ask for referrals (and vet accordingly).

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Travel

There aren’t a ton of direct flight options into San Diego from the east coast and at 4-months out, hotels are already going for $1,000/night. As with everything else, the key is to plan early. Most car rentals and hotels will let you cancel your reservation within a certain window. We try to book rooms as far in advance as we can, even if we’re still trying to finalize contracts with our clients. AirBnb’s are also great options in the event hotels are too outrageous. What better way to feel like a San Diegan than taking over a native’s home for the week?

Stay tuned for more updates over the next few weeks as Comic-Con quickly approaches.

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!