Following the success of their “America After Ferguson” townhall, PBS contracted Broadcast Management Group to provide live production services, technical execution, and production staffing for “America After Charleston.” The 60-minute special took place at the Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston, SC. “America After Charleston” explored issues that had been recently brought to light after a shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Our live production division was awarded the project only two weeks before the scheduled shoot date, meaning we had to mobilize quickly to put the necessary pieces in place. Broadcast Management Group participated in regular calls with the client to discuss technical and creative needs, and we conducted a site survey to walk through the venue and map out our technical approach.
“America After Charleston” took place at the Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston, which was constructed in 1892. The church was a beautiful setting for the live production but did not have any production infrastructure. This meant we had to provide all of the production lighting and power infrastructure to support our technical setup. Our production truck and generator parked in the lot of a bank across the street. We cabled from the bank parking lot – through the graveyard of the church – and into a side door of the venue.
Most of the production staff for “America After Charleston” was booked locally in South Carolina. Our Director, AD, and Tech Manager were all flown in from New York. Broadcast Management Group’s CEO and EVP of Production filled the rolls of Executive in Charge of Production and Production Manager.
“America After Charleston” was shot with 10 cameras. Due to the circular layout of the church, we had to be very mindful of our camera placements. At the front of the church was a panel of guests as well as our host, Gwen Ifill, who asked questions of the panelists. The live audience also had the opportunity to ask questions.