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Behind the scenes at production day

Behind the scenes at production day


“Spider-Burns” was one of the elements included in Carolina’s annual production day this year, when players rotated between photo and video sets. The content harvested over the four-day event will be seen throughout the season — on the scoreboard during games, during preseason broadcasts and television shows, and on the team’s social media channels. There are also the player introductions for network broadcasts, which are shared for use throughout the year.

And pulling it all together is, in fact, a production.

After Charlotte FC’s nationally broadcast game with New York Red Bulls on Saturday, June 11, four ESPN trucks rolled out of the production bay at Bank of America Stadium, and a crew came in to begin assembly of the sets. Ten workers arrived Saturday night at 9 p.m., and worked through the night until 5 a.m., hanging trusses and rigging and laying down the floor. After a four-hour break, another crew of 30 more workers came back for another 12-hour day to get it all ready, putting up lighting, an LED wall, and setting up the cameras and smoke machines to make it look the way it did. There were also camera sets and a green-screen room to capture footage beginning Monday morning, when players arrived.

There were around 50 people working Monday, many of them on the scene hours before defensive tackle Derrick Brown became the first player on the set at 6:15 a.m.

It’s a lot of logistics to get to the point players can go station-to-station in full uniform (with the team’s PR department instrumental in keeping things moving on schedule), but being part of such a scene also leaves room for some wide-eyed wonder, with a few players capturing some behind-the-scenes footage for themselves.

“It can be kind of a drag getting everything set up and getting everyone in the right place,” senior director of game presentation and production Mike Bonner said. “But once they’re in the room, they’re like kids again.”

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