Production on the Fly

With channels and studios looking for new ways to more efficiently produce events and shows, mobile production service provider NEP has just completed construction of its new SS3 truck, which the company believes will signifi cantly speed up the time it takes to set up, shoot and then strike operations at a venue.

The SS3 truck is unusual in that its core production equipment is designed to be used either inside the vehicle as a regular mobile unit or quickly taken out and setup as a flypack, which supplies all the essential gear needed for a production in a venue.

“With most flypacks, you have a fairly labor-intensive setup that might involve a couple of days and a number of people running wires all over the place,†says Joe Signorino, senior project engineer at NEP who spearheaded the truck’s design. “This can be set up in a few hours with two people.â€

To reduce set-up time, Signorino paid particular attention to reducing wiring, the size and weight of the equipment, and in custom designing gear (such as the stands for monitors) that could be easily taken apart.

In its final configuration, the truck features a Ross Video Carbonite production switcher, a DiGiCo audio control, Grass Valley K2 Dyno replay systems and K2 Solo servers, PESA router, Boland monitors, and Thomson LDK-6000 WorldCam cameras, with an eight-camera setup.

“Wiring weight and size were such important considerations that we ended up using equipment that we might normally not have used,†Signorino says.

While the truck doesn't have the capabilities of some of the trucks Signorino has designed at NEP for big productions like the Super Bowl, he says that it can be used in a wide range of productions, from sports and music events to studio productions of TV shows.

Construction was completed on the truck in early October and it arrived in L.A. on October 10th where its capabilities will be shown off to NEP units in Los Angeles. From here, it is being transported to Hawaii, where NEP engineers and freelancers, will be trained on the equipment for its first use in mid-November.

The dual mobile truck/flypack configuration of the SS3 will be important in Hawaii, where trucks need to be moved from island to island and the design would allow the unit to be shipped much more conveniently as a flypack. But NEP will also be looking at demand for similar units stateside.