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David AndrewsMoving to a new
by on Aug 3, 2009 at 12:50:47 pm

I am not sure where to go with this ......I have just been asked about moving our facility to a new location. I work for a University and we have a building that has been piece mealed together through the years. We do a variety of work. We are in the Public Relations part of the University. We have produced TV show ( Coaches shows , Public affair show , Mag Shows, most of our work includes commercials for the University, coverage of Division 1 sports highlights and features distributed to local affiliates, documentaries, and many projects designed for a larged audience ( foundations stuff ) in an arena. The University has never been clear regarding what they want us to be doing so this is really tough. I have a boss who knows very little about this business, and after a near heart attack last year I finally got some help. We shoot on P2 and a majority of our work is for on air. Also, a majority is in 720p HD since a lot of it is for inhouse projects. We have 2 edit suites, a large rooom with home built chroma wall, and audio suite and 2 offices. In this year we put together an archive room which is used to take all of our footage mostly on MII, svhs, DVC Pro , Mini Dv to DVD and Blu Ray. Our studio lights hanging from a drop down ceiling that are 30 years old for our chroma wall. a press conference . My boss wants a quick rundown of potential infrastructure issues. Power, routhing etc... They are moving us because they have a need to put someone in this building..The new area actually has some nice cieling hieght, it is the old basement of a church..which actually has a small stage. My gut feeling is we need to get consultant in here. I haven't been to a real production house in 15 years so I am bit concerned here....seems today they think you should be in an office like everyone else. I am sure system design and facility design is quite a bit different today. How do you approach the administration with a quick watch out list so they will understand we need to bring someone in who knows more about this. I am a producer, writer, compositor, editor, photographer well you get the idea. Any recommendations would be helpful..

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Mark SuszkoRe: Moving to a new
by on Aug 3, 2009 at 6:40:13 pm

The studio space itself hasn't changed all that much in terms of needs. You still need clean, plentiful power, HVAC that's been hushed by special techniques. Soundproofing. Cable routing for all the regular cabling needs, plus the IT needs. You need a studio with a high ceiling so you can hang a real pipe light grid as well as set walls as needed. One of the big changes over the past decade has been that with the advent of color-balanced flourescent lighting, you can save on power for the lights themselves, as well as power spent to cool the room, because the flos don't heat it up all that much, compared to tungsten sources. And less Airconditioner running equals quieter, as well. And flos last a LONG time. So I would lobby for incorporating a switch-over to flos for most of the new studio, as a long-term cost savings measure. You don't necessarily throw away all the fresnels, etc. but you use them as seasoning, not as the base.

Automation has made great strides over the decade; so you want to look into options for automation control of the light grid as well as possibly one or more of your cameras, teleprompters, a server for play-to-air, etc.

The control rooms and etc. can be in more regular old office-type infrastructure, more or less... though it makes life simpler if you have raised computer room flooring and overhead troughs for running cables thru, and again, clean, filtered power, backup power, and HVAC to keep the gear racks happy. The edit rooms need connectivity, an acoustically quiet room, some control over ambient lighting. You need an IT infrastructure tying it all together.

A place for everything and everything in its place... but also create and hold out space for things you don't expect yet. A flexible "mystery room" or two that can change over time. This year it may be a green room for preparing the talent and holding production meetings with clients. The next year it might convert to a suite for authoring and dubbing DVD's in mass quantities. Or a Foley stage. Or a narration booth. Or a sports video ananlysis room for the coaches. A teleconferencing center. Or it may become another editing suite for a dedicated, long-term documentary project, along with mass storage for a tape library as the tapes are converted to DVD or hard drive archives. You want a spare room that can be flexible and adapt to these changing needs. Plumb it for all the IT stuff while the walls are open and exposed. Lay in dark fiber and ethernet cables while it is easy to do so. Mark out the walls floor, and ceiling such that you really know where the load bearing stuff is and where you can punch a new window or door in a few years.

This kind of design and integration is best handled by a specialist consultant/contractor who builds studios. If you skip this step, you are "stepping over dollars to pick up dimes" because the pro will spot and prevent expensive mistakes you may not be able to afford to correct later in the process. He can find cheaper ways to get good results that still work. You may end up living with the results for years, so it is best to get it right the first time. The consultant in this case saves more than he costs.

Look at this eviction as an opportunity. Get everyone's wish lists and your complaint files together,find some consensus, see what you can do about making the next place better than the one you have to leave. Fold some of the transition costs into the move costs, like new lighting and IT.

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David AndrewsRe: Moving to a new
by on Aug 3, 2009 at 7:54:13 pm


Thanks so much for the info. I really am excited about a new place. After being in our current location for 21 years the new place has great possibilities.


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