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Best format for Stadium Big Screen

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Tom Hoffman
Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 19, 2009 at 6:03:28 pm

I am doing a piece of motion graphics for a stadium big screen. Does anyone know what format I should output at?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 19, 2009 at 6:19:14 pm

There are about as many varieties of stadium big screens as there are big stadiums, which means there is no standard. You'll be far better off contacting the people who run the big screen to get it from the horse's mouth.

Case in point: I've made TV spots to run on only one big screen. The people who run the big screen wanted anamorphic 16x9 on Beta SP. Well, Beta SP doesn't play back anamorphic 16x9 -- only 4x3. Nevertheless, that's what they wanted. Would you have anticipated something like that?

I'd start by contacting the people who hired you to do it for some contacts.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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maurice jansen
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 19, 2009 at 6:28:22 pm

agree with dave here.

you need more info.
one thing i can say infront.
forget fine detail and forget low contrast texture's .the resolution of most of these screens are very low.(250lines typical)
keep this in mind.

greet
Maurice


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Gary Hazen
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 19, 2009 at 10:19:41 pm

"most of these screens are very low" - mj

With the exception of the 'world's largest HD display' at Jerry's World (Dallas, TX).


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Steve Roberts
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 20, 2009 at 2:05:44 am

The NASDAQ Marketsite screen used to take Beta SP, squashed to fit a custom template. The template and specs were furnished by an agent who acted as the go-between for the client.

So try to get hold of the people at the facility, whoever books the displays at the facility, the client, the agency ... starting with the people who gave you the job. Don't stop until you get technical specs from someone you can trust ... which may not be the client.



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Tom Hoffman
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 20, 2009 at 3:08:10 pm

Thanks for the help. I have asked the client and they have just told me to put it onto a DVD as a movie. I think I just need to speak directly to the tech person.


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Dave Johnson
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 20, 2009 at 4:30:18 pm

Having made dozens of spots for arena Jumbotrons and similar non-standard displays, I know one very typical scenario to be ...

1) A psuedo "client" (sales rep, etc.) says "just put it onto a DVD as a movie", when what they really mean is "I don't understand that techie stuffy you're asking, which makes me feel stupid, so I'm just giving you an answer I made up to avoid having to deal with it".

2) You do what you can with the severely lacking info you've been given and don't question it in order to avoid upsetting anyone.

3) One of the real clients happens to appear in the spot and is understandably pissed because his/her head ends up looking like a pumpkin on a huge screen in front 50 thousand people.

4) You end up duplicating VHS tapes all day and can't figure out why because the sales rep in step 1 convinced the real client that you screwed up and you never even knew that conversation took place.

I've avoided this common scenario since I know BS when I hear it, but I've seen others fall victim to it even though they did absolutely nothing wrong (besides fall for BS). So, when you say "I just need to speak directly to the tech person", it seems you've correctly interpreted the spot-on advice already offered ... particularly, "contacting the people who run the big screen to get it from the horse's mouth." and "Don't stop until you get technical specs from someone you can trust ... which may not be the client."


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Steve Roberts
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 20, 2009 at 6:18:59 pm

[Dave Johnson] "1) A psuedo "client" (sales rep, etc.) says "just put it onto a DVD as a movie", when what they really mean is "I don't understand that techie stuffy you're asking, which makes me feel stupid, so I'm just giving you an answer I made up to avoid having to deal with it".
"


Dave speaks the truth.

Even if "DVD as a movie" were the required format, your next questions might be "should it be automatic play? After a delay of how much? Or should there be a "play" button on an onscreen menu?"

(I get nervous when I hear the word "just" before a direction.)





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Dave Johnson
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 21, 2009 at 4:14:32 pm

Thanks, Steve. I only hope others will also forgive my blunt wording ... I just know the scenario I described to be, very unfortunately, a huge and extremely annoying part of our business so I think it important for all in our business to be well aware of the signs of it.

And, very well said ... I never thought of it that way until you said it, but I too find the vast majority of any creative or technical direction preceded by the word "just" to be completely useless.


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Kim Segel
Easy trick...
on Oct 22, 2009 at 4:18:58 am

I've found one of the best ways to work in a non-standard format, or in a unique venue, working with non-tech people is:

Ask them to send you media that was previously, successfully run in that venue.

So if they send you a Digi-Beta, or an XD-cam, or a Quicktime, in whatever format, you can ingest it, and "reverse engineer" it, or better still, drag it into AE as a comp, and never, NEVER change those comp settings. Just keep their media on the bottom layer, muted.

(A lot of times NO ONE at the venue knows the correct delivery specs. The system was installed by a third party, and there isn't really an on-site expert.)

Good luck!


Kim






A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

--Emo Philips


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Tom Hoffman
Re: Best format for Stadium Big Screen
on Oct 22, 2009 at 12:54:30 pm

Thanks Kim. I might try this. I have sent a disk with a couple of different formats so hopefully they can help. My biggest problem is that my boss keeps insisting on being the middleman and he doesn't understand the issues. I wish there wasn't so much politics in design and they let us just do our job.


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