| ||New studio or RF technology — station |
|Submitted by |
| ||Brightlines |
|Design team |
| ||WCCO-TV: Gary Kroger, dir. of eng. & operations; |
Mike Marrone, head floor dir./stage mgr.; Todd Megrund, floor dir./stage mgr.; Steven Richardson, floor dir./stage mgr.
Brightline: Sam Cercone, managing partner; Dan Glass, lighting eng.
Nicholas Hutak Lighting Design: Nicholas Hutak, lighting dir.
Beecher Walker & Associates: Lyle Beecher, AIA, principal/CEO
|Technology at work |
| ||Altman ODEC outdoor ellipsoidal fixtures |
SeriesONE, 4 x 55-W,
dual-circuit, DMX- dimmable fixtures
Control screens and intensifiers
Multifixture racks and hangers
Daktronics 10mm outdoor LED display
Horizon-A PC-based lighting-control system
Osram Studioline 5600K and 3200K 55W lamps
Rosco N.3 and N.6 neutral-density filters and scrim
By 1956, seven years after its on-air debut, Minneapolis’ WCCO-TV was drawing lunch-time crowds outside its studio windows, on which the weatherman would write the day’s forecast while those gathered watched themselves on the monitors. This inventive take on technology and a desire to connect with its public have survived to the present day. In the last 18 months, the CBS-owned-and-operated station has inaugurated a reconfigured newsroom and two redesigned broadcast studios that feature innovative architectural- and lighting-design technology conceived to take full advantage of its downtown setting.
First to be completed was the Nicollet Studio, which runs alongside the city’s central pedestrian mall. As a backdrop to the anchor desk, an expansive glass wall was angled into the building’s western facade, with additional windows fronting the adjacent weather center.
Normally, lighting a set subject to significant levels of daylight requires treating the windows with gels or other color-temperature-correcting materials, which can tint or mirror the surface and make it difficult for onlookers to see through the glass. Because WCCO was determined to preserve maximum visibility into the building, a motorized triple-roller system using Rosco N.3 and N.6 neutral-density filters was devised for the windows. To harmonize with the lighting conditions, Brightline SeriesONE (S1.4) DMX-dimmable studio fixtures were selected and lamped with daylight-temperature (5600K) Osram Studioline lamps. The electrical and thermal efficiency of the 4 x 55-W fluorescent technology enabled the station to avoid the need for additional HVAC resources despite the increase in ambient sunlight.
Next, WCCO turned to an even more challenging makeover of another facility — a much larger, enclosed studio that abutted a grassy plaza on the east side of the complex. For the Plaza Studio, the design team proposed a radical statement: opening the plaza to the public (complete with an outdoor LED screen showing current programming) and opening the studio wall to the plaza using more than 1000sq-ft of glass set in Minnesota limestone, with the panels behind the main anchor desk alone more than 15ft wide and 18ft tall. Neutral-density filters were again deployed, but because of the need to shoot both evening and daytime shows under potentially volatile light conditions, Brightline custom-engineered its SeriesONE fixtures to feature digitally addressable dual-circuit ballasts, so that a fixture could be configured simultaneously with both daylight (5600K) and incandescent (3200K) lamps. A Horizon-A PC-based lighting-control system stores multiple cues to match changing color-temperature and level requirements on set.