I got a tour today of the new RTE News Studio. The real one, not the one that doesn’t exist and cost 5 Million euros according the Daily Mail.
With just a few minutes to go before the launch of the studio during the 1pm news, some final tweaks were happening:
It’s really interesting to see how a news show is put together both in terms of the research and the editorial but the technical aspect too. This new studio will be the studio for the RTE 1 and RTE news shows, News2Day (kiddies news), The Week in Politics and more. I hear with this new studio there are talks about doing some new shows too, including perhaps a business show. If that turns out to be true, I’ll certainly tune in. I’d love to see more business coverage.
This new studio is bigger than what was there before and the background in the studio is walled with Barco screens instead of bluescreens. Videos can be placed on all three walls and the newscaster can actually look at the person in the link now instead of a green screen which makes it a little easier to work with. With the Barco screens too it means they can load new templates into the system and change the look entirely. The screens have been in place about a week so it’s early days yet when it comes to the graphics and imagery that RTE will be using. They showed us some mockups of the Leinster House background and a few more too and they look pretty damned smart. Not of this tabloid redtop wooshy crap that you see on Sky News.
It cost around €1.3M which came out of the surplus RTE had last year before the cuts happened. Money is so tight now that even Colm Murray isn’t allowed go to Cheltenham to cover it. Someone sponsor him! The money for this is a capital investment and this studio is going to last a long time. The Barco screens took a big chunk of that. I don’t know what the fuss is from some quarters about their “tax money” being spent. Anyone that’s been to the TV centre in RTE will know it’s falling to bits, probably held up with sellotape. Infrastructure needs to be maintained. At least now the News studio will survive if the rest of the place falls away into dust.
What fascinated me was the studio does not have cameramen or a stage manager. As the photo belows shows, there are three static cameras looking at the presenters. In addition there’s a remote controlled camera that looks a bit like a Dalek. Then you might notice a track up by the lights. There’s a camera on that which is able to swoop in and around the set:
The staff have been planning the new studio for months though they only started the labour on it on Dec 19th. Fast going. A lot of breathing outs and smiles today after the 1pm broadcast went without a hitch.
Here’s a pic of John Finnerty at the desk: