Nashville-based production provider helps create two production designs for the concerts and live events held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Grand Ole Opry
As the only fan-voted awards and show experience in Christian entertainment, the annual KLOVE Fan Awards is a weekend celebration filled with many opportunities for fans to interact and enjoy the best in Christian music, films, sports, books, and more. Held over the course of three days in Nashville, Tennessee, the event takes place at both the Gaylord Opryland Resort and the historic Grand Ole Opry. Needing a partner who can help create the fan experience inside the Delta Ballroom and the video production elements for the awards ceremony itself, the KLOVE Fan Awards and Go Live Productions once again enlisted the assistance of Nashville-based production provider Elite Multimedia Productions.
“For the fan experience at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, we have a full production set up with a stage, and LED video screens,” began Steve Strout, KLOVE Fan Awards Executive Producer. “We typically load-in on Thursday night inside the Delta Ballroom which can fit up to 3000 people, and then kick off the event with a Friday night concert, which this year was headlined by Lauren Daigle. On Saturday, we then had a songwriter’s event hosted by Steven Curtis Chapman, and on Sunday morning we held a worship service that utilized the same production set for all three events.”
“During the awards ceremony, we used three high resolution displays of 3.9mm LED video on both stage left and right that were on automated close-down systems, which we used to provide a playback surface for video content, as well as background visuals for the host, presenters and award recipients,” added production manager and show director Scott Moore, Go Live Productions. “Additionally, we had seven of the 8.9mm LED displays that were upstage of the performance space that allowed us to provide whatever video content the artists needed for their individual performances. Many of the product choices are really based on budget, and Elite Multimedia Productions has always been a great production partner to help us bring in exactly what we need to make it all work.”
In the design process of the awards ceremony, Moore must always be cognizant of the challenges that lie ahead. Having worked on the production for a number of years, he understands exactly how to achieve a design that can accentuate the live broadcast for both the fans in attendance and the viewers at home.
“I like to lay out the production elements based on the practicality of what we can physically fit into the Grand Ole Opry, while still making the stage work to accommodate the set changes,” said Moore. “For the awards ceremony, we have 14 artists playing live on one stage over the course of three hours with an average set change time of 5 minutes. With the short amount of time we have to go from one act to another, it’s a well-thought-out ballet to make the design both practical and functional, and to get as much gear in front of the camera so all the acts don’t look the same.”
When the time approaches for the video creation, it is often up to the artists performing at the awards ceremony to provide the be content needed. With several different video surfaces available in the full production design, Moore has developed a system which allows the artist teams to submit the design which best fits their particular performance.
“For the video content during the artist performances, we send each of them a submissions guide and raster of the display spaces with the way in which we output video,” added Moore. “It’s then up to them to create the content that fits the specification and get it back to us. In the few cases where artists didn’t have content, we would then create something for their performance visuals. For the most part, it was a pretty simple raster for content creators, but there were a few times when we would have to come back with a few recommendations.”
In a live televised performance, it is not always a simple as one might think to create a successful video segment and it is imperative to understand how the viewers at home will be viewing each performance. Knowing that this might be a perspective that is often overlooked by content creators, Moore is quick to offer a bit of expertise on how to pull focus during the creation process.
“Often when content creators look at the entire video canvas as a full production space, this will present a challenge in a live televised event,” explained Moore. “Since the majority of our television shots will be close-ups of the artist, the viewers at home are only going to see whatever small portion of LED video which might be in the close-up background. When the content is more focused on what is happening overhead, this will only show up in a wide shot, and there may not be that many wide shots of the artist performance. We need them to be really focused on what is going to be in the background of the camera shot.”
Ready to begin the load-in process of the awards ceremony, another challenge presents itself. Since the Opry is in the middle of their production schedule as well, Moore and his team must be ready to adapt.
“The biggest challenge with the awards ceremony over the weekend, is that it takes place in the Grand Ole Opry and we have to design our rig in a way that it works around their existing production,” admitted Moore. “To do this, we start our pre-rig on Tuesday, and we have until 2pm that day to get everything in place, and then look like we were never there. We then come back on Wednesday to load-in all the lighting, video and scenic elements and have it ready for our show designers to program the 14 different acts on Thursday and Friday. By 2pm on Friday, it again has to look as if we weren’t there because the Opry has performances on Friday and Saturday night. Once we are clear of the Opry performances, we are able to take the space at 11pm on Saturday and work until around 3am the next day. We then come back at 8am on Sunday for our final tech and rehearsals with doors opening at 6:30pm on Sunday, and the entire production requires a ton of front-end preparation.”
With another year’s celebration now complete, the 2019 KLOVE Fan Awards was considered by all to be a great success. In a fast-paced production environment where every minute truly counts, both Strout and Moore are grateful for the production partnerships that help them create a truly memorable fan experience.
“Elite Multimedia Productions has a high level of both professionalism and creativity,” said Strout. “Even if you have last minute needs, they are great at getting it done and figured out. There seems to be no situation they haven’t encountered, and we have a supreme level of confidence in their ability to get it all done.”
“Because of the nature of how we have to operate within these confines, I can put no price tag on the partnerships needed to make it all work,” concluded Moore. “Logistics on this production are everything and having partners that are willing to take the time to get it all their gear prepped correctly, really is everything. There is no time to stop and figure something out onsite as that pushes everything back, and the team at Elite Multimedia Productions really did a great job.”
Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Elite Multimedia Productions is a one-stop shop for all things entertainment, specializing in concert touring, live event production and production gear rental. Offering full-service audio/visual production, video production, and live event lighting and LED, they provide the most comprehensive production support and services at the highest quality to clients across the world. No matter the size of the event, their passion for helping create unforgettable experiences is what sets them apart. With a combined 85 years of industry experience, their team of dedicated professionals knows how to pair the right technology with your vision, and their passion to innovate knows no bounds. For more information on how Elite Multimedia Productions is the right partner for you, visit www.elitemultimedia.com, follow on Twitter at @EliteMultimedia or find on Facebook and Instagram.
Selected Gear List:
Delta Ballroom Stage:
2- Avid Profiles
8 – Quad Channels Shure Axient Wireless
1 – Midas Pro2C
1 – ElectroVoice XLD PA Package with Shure PSM 1000 in ears
2 – Barco FLM-20 Projectors
1 – Panasonic Video Switching rack
1 – MAC Pro Media Server with Resolume and Pro Presenter
1 – Sony HD Camera Package
8 – FLEXCurtain HD 12.5mm LED Panels (full panels)
8 – FLEXCurtain HD 12.5mm (half Panels)
20 – Martin Mac 301
2 – Chauvet Amhaze Hazers
16 – Vari-Lite 3015LT
10 – Martin Mac 700 Wash
6 – Elation Cuepix
Fan Zone LED Wall:
FLEXUltra XT 1.5mm LED wall – 64 panels with Ground support system
2 – Novastar 4k sending units
1 – Alien Ware Media Server
Main Stage LED (*Fan Awards):
101 – FLEXLite Plus 8.9mm LED panels
100 – FLEXLite Plus 3.9mm LED panels