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August 2014

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Page 39 of 51 38 POST AUGUST 2014 OPEN HOUSE anhattan Center (www.mcstudios. com), on West 34th Street in New York City, has been working on a number of live events recently. The multi-floor facility is connected to the famed Hammerstein and Grand Ballrooms, where musical perfor- mances often take place, but the facility has also been using the venues lately for Real Housewives and Bates Motel reunion shows, as well as for TNA Wrestling. Marvin Williams is the director of video engineering & operations at Manhattan Center, and has been with the facility for more than 20 years. The studio has space on the 1st, 10th, 11th and 12th floors of its 34th Street location. "We are a service provider mainly, but we have done some content," says Williams of the studio's work. A good portion of Manhattan Center's space is currently occupied by the Al Jazeera network, which is in the process of building a new home at another location in Manhattan. "They'll be renting from us until 2016," says Williams of the Arabic news network. Manhattan Center is geared for pro- duction, with two large control rooms, the Hammerstein and Grand Ballroom venues, and several-dozen edit suites. "We did a build out for MTV 2, when they were doing Girl Code and Guy Code here," Williams explains, "and we built out 24 to 28 edit rooms for them." The network has since moved on, but those remaining rooms are flexible enough to be used for editorial or office space, depending on the need. They work with a partner — USTV — to outfit the rooms as needed, often configuring them with Final Cut Pro or Avid systems for editorial. "This is a full HD facility, with a 3G back- bone for it," he notes. "We have multiple cameras. I think we house 26 cameras in-house. We own about 16 of them right now. Mostly all of the infrastructure, we have in-house." Manhattan Center is an Ikegami house — they recently added seven new cameras, as well as a Grass Valley Kayenne switcher. Footage is captured to Grass Valley K2 servers. And while the trend in the industry might be to shoot and post in Ultra HD, the studio, says Williams, is maintaining an HD workflow for the immediate future. "We can do multiple flavors," says Williams of the studio's HD capabilities. "1080. 720. We just recently did a 23.98 shoot for The Real Housewives of New York. It was a reunion show. We did it in the Grand Ballroom and that was done with eight cameras." In this case, the show was captured to XDCAM. The studio also hosted a reunion for A&E's Bates Motel. "They show the final episode, and [then] everyone sits around and talks about it," Williams explains. "It's a live show. We had the writer and executive producers here, and the main character was in England, so we fibered him in. We did it twice and have another one sched- uled for December." The four-camera shoot made use of a jib and three pedestal cameras, he recalls. The studio also hosted a four-day, seven-camera shoot for TNA Wrestling in the Grand Ballroom. "They set up a ring," says Williams of the event, which was shot in front of a live audience. "They get pretty rowdy," he notes. Looking ahead, TNA will return to the studio for another four-day shoot in September. MANHATTAN CENTER HOSTS BROADCAST EVENTS M Live broadcast events are common at Manhattan Center. Williams is pictured at right, along with a control room. REUNION SHOWS AND WRESTLING ARE KEEPING THIS MULTI-LEVEL MANHATTAN FACILITY BUSY BY MARC LOFTUS

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