On Friday we arrived at the Fleet Center (search) hours before our show so that we could scout the facility. Because we were so early and because the convention does not start until Monday, the Center had few people inside. (See the photos of the interior.) Most of the people inside were doing last minute preparations for coverage.
I was delighted to see where Fox is situated — we have a great spot in a skybox overlooking the entire convention hall. This will best enable us to get you all the information about the convention as it happens. We also have great camera shots, which may not seem huge to you now, but when you watch the coverage, you will be pleased to see the shots. You will feel like you are there with the FNC crew.
We were told that we had to be out of the Fleet Center by about 4p.m. since that is when the big security sweep began. The entire Fleet Center was swept — as well as the area outside which includes many, many media trailers and satellite trucks.
Outside the Fleet Center, in addition to our satellite trucks are our trailers with our workspace. See the photo of the workspace. The workspace is far from glamorous — but does the trick. The only "issues" that arise are computers — it is key that each of us has one. Sometimes with these big events, getting a computer space feels a bit like musical chairs. When the music stops, you need to make sure you have moved quickly.
On Friday we did not do our show from the Fleet Center but from the roof of a hotel where many governors, Democratic officials etc. are staying. The photos attached to this blog show you the rooftop "facility" and you can get an idea of how much work goes into taking a show "on the road." We had two rooms off the terrace — one for a "control room" (see the picture) and the other for computers.
By the way, ten minutes before our show started Friday night, a strong wind kicked up. The make up artist had to rush out on the terrace and put so much hairspray on my hair that when I turned my head, all my hair moved as though I were wearing a football helmet. I worried that if I fell, my hair would break. (Incidentally, Tony Snow claims that when the make up artist sprays his hair, that his head feels like a brick!)
And, I must be jinxed. As the show started, we got audio problems — not as bad as the night before but bad. I had to "ride" the volume control — sometimes the remote guests would be loud and sometimes almost inaudible. Hence I had to continuously turn the volume knob up and down non-stop during the first two segments or I would not be able to hear or understand the guest.
When the volume is too loud, the guest is totally distorted — not to mention my eardrum getting blown out! The problem got fixed after the second segment but I admit that I am getting a bit raw about the problems. And yes, this IS part of the business and the technical demands upon everyone when a show is on the road are astronomical.
We are all excited about our shows this week — we have two hours to air so much is going into the planning. We are also hoping to take your calls so that you can be part of the show.
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