Digital media company, Mashable, contracted Broadcast Management Group to provide live production support, production staffing, and technical management for “The Mashable Show” – a daily live show held during SXSW in Austin, TX. “The Mashable Show” featured interviews with celebrities, filmmakers and musicians as well as pre-produced video content highlighting some of the major attractions that Austin has to offer. Each day culminated with a live event ranging from an attempt to break a Guinness World Record (for burrito making) to Mashable’s spin on Shark Tank, called ‘Dolphin Habitat’. Each 90-minute live production was streamed to Twitter.
Leading up to the live production, Broadcast Management Group participated in weekly prep calls for “The Mashable Show”. These meetings consisted of talking through creative concepts that were being considered for the live production, to discussing technical needs for the live event. Our live production team also conducted a site survey in Austin several weeks before the event to review our equipment placement, cable runs, and camera blocking.
“The Mashable Show” took place at The Main in downtown Austin, a former music venue that has since been converted to an event space. Because our live production was taking place within a larger event – Mashable’s “Mash House” SXSW activation – space was severely limited. We had virtually no space for case storage and our control room footprint was tight. In addition, “The Mashable Show” featured characters from Sesame Street as co-hosts. Integrating these characters into the live production required custom built-set pieces and creative camera blocking. None of these factors impacted the live production, but did require some additional time to pre-engineer our setup as well as some on-the-fly adjustments.
Most of the production crew were booked locally in Austin, TX. Broadcast Management Group’s CEO and EVP of Production filled the rolls of Executive in Charge of Production and Production Manager. We also flew in an audio team and Technical Director from out of town.
Due to parking restrictions, our only was to bring in a flight pack for the live production. All streaming and encoding we performed on-site with primary and redundant hardware and internet connectivity. “The Mashable Show” was shot with 9 cameras, which included a main set location and a 2nd “activation” stage where talent would host a live event at the end of each day.