The amazing “Lopez Tonight” set and Sweetwater facility

by John Ankwicz – Executive Vice President Telepictures Productions

Our challenge was to build a facility that was at least the equal of the other long established late night talk shows, while balancing economic realities. We had to design a streamlined workflow that could handle the demands of a nightly day and date show. It was paramount in our minds not to over build or over design. This is the 3rd HD def facility that we have built. We took what we learned building the TMZ and the Ellen facilities and designed an efficient and reliable HD facility to support our unique production needs.

A bonus for us has been our ability to work with Chuck Dages – EVP of Warner Brothers Emerging Technology. Chuck and his team are on the leading edge of all current technologies and industry trends. Their expertise and resources were extremely valuable in helping us make the best equipment and workflow choices.

Lopez Tonight is produced nightly from Stage 29 at Warner Brothers. This is a four wall stage that heretofore had been used exclusively for film production. We had less than two months to build it out for a nightly multi- camera HD production. We built a spacious production compound in trailers adjacent to the stage, rather than working in the tight confines of a mobile unit. Our postproduction facility was built next to the control room. Initially done for ease of connectivity, this proximity proved to be very efficient for the producers to make last minute changes in the edit bays right up to show time. We deliver the show nightly from our post production facility to exacting technical standards of our partners at TBS in Atlanta. Media Extreme provides the redundant connectivity.

At every critical juncture we used trusted vendors from our prior production experiences. Joe Shackelford of Sweetwater Video and Chris Genereaux of Avid are our valued partners. Their team’s dedication and expertise were invaluable under the pressure of an extremely tight construction schedule. We were shooting test shows and editing field pieces six weeks after construction began.

Key members of our Telepictures team include:

Chris J Circosta Telepictures VP of Production

DJ Birnbaum Telepictures Director of Production

Jason Schroeder Telepictures Engineer

Pat Brennan – Telepictures Engineer

Gustavo Covarrubias – Telepictures Engineer

Telepictures Productions is an industry-leading and Emmy Award-winning producer of television programming for the first-run syndicated marketplace, as well as original digital content for broadband and wireless.  

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