lunes, 20 de agosto de 2012

Expertos de MTV y NBC para diseñar y producir la convención de Tampa


(Foto: The New York Times / La original tarima de la convención republicana.)

The New York Times nos adelanta detalles técnicos de la convención republicana:

They have built one of the most intricate set pieces ever designed for a convention — a $2.5 million Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired theatrical stage. From its dark-wood finish to the brightly glowing high-resolution screens in the rafters that look like skylights, every aspect of the stage has been designed to convey warmth, approachability and openness.

Conventions no longer command the kind of public attention they once did, and their very slickness can conspire against addressing the kinds of perception problems Mr. Romney faces. So one recent morning as Mr. Romney’s image makers — a team that includes many people who have never worked on a political convention before — scurried around on the sawdust-covered floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, they said an essential part of conveying who their candidate is will depend on making the four days of programming feel nothing like a convention at all.

“Usually the convention is so straight and staid and symmetrical, even-Steven,” said Eddie Knasiak, one of the convention co-designers whose credits include projects for Ms. Winfrey, Martha Stewart and MTV. “We were conscious of trying to make it not seem grandiose. We wanted it to seem inclusive, warm. It’s not like anything you’ve seen at a convention before.”

The convention hall will have two musical stages — one for surprise acts and another for the house band, which will be led by G. E. Smith, the former musical director for “Saturday Night Live” and guitarist for Hall & Oates.

To serve as executive producer, the Republican Party brought in Phil Alongi, a former politics producer with NBC News. Mr. Alongi has helped the Romney campaign fine-tune its programming so it fits neatly into the tight, one-hour block that the broadcast networks have dedicated to airing the convention in prime time. He has advised them on how to avoid certain pet peeves of producers, like running long at the top or bottom of the hour, when the networks have to cut away for commercial breaks.

Mr. Alongi, with his knowledge of what cameramen and producers will be looking for, has also ensured that Republican Party branding is placed in camera lines of sight. “When they’re flipping through the channels at home, I want them to know this is the Republican National Convention,” he said.

The most ambitious element of stagecraft, however, will be the podium — which features 13 different video screens — the largest about 29 feet by 12 feet, the smallest about 8 feet by 8 feet and movable. All the screens will be framed in dark wood.

“Even the frames are designed to give it a sense that you’re not looking at a stage, you’re looking into someone’s living room,” said Russ Schriefer, one of Mr. Romney’s senior advisers who is running the convention planning for the campaign.

From the six-feet-high podium, staircases slope into the audience. The intended symbolism: Mr. Romney is open and approachable, not distant and far above.

Along with other props — including a digital clock mounted to one of the arena’s upper rings that will show the national debt ticking ever-higher — the video screens will help augment whatever messages a speaker is trying to convey, be it images of woeful-looking Americans to convey that President Obama has mismanaged the economy or pictures of the Romney children that speak to the candidate’s deep bonds with his family.