10 Steps To Making An AMT TV Show
It takes a lot of work to put together an American Mountain Theater TV show. We’re still relatively new at it, but we thought you might like a chance to peek behind the curtain and see all the work that goes into it.
- Step 1: Concept. First thing you need is a concept. Our concept is relatively simple: showcase what we do. Our TV show is made up of various performances from over the years here at AMT.
- Step 2: Have the Right Equipment. We lovingly call our editing computer “mission control.” It is a Mac Daddy PC with specs that you wouldn’t believe! It was ordered from a company who provides these kinds of workstations to places like NBC/Universal Studios. It has 30 TB of hard drive space, 24 GB of memory, 3 high definition monitors, and the complete Adobe Master Collection, including Adobe Premiere Pro, which is the software we use to edit our shows. We also have an in-house HD video camera, and a full audio editing suite.
- Step 3: Hire an Editor. With all the high tech equipment, you need to have someone who can run all that stuff! You know we like to keep things in the family here at AMT, and when it came to hiring an editor, it was no different. Drew Sexton, Kenny’s son, studied video editing and production at a school in Missouri, before packing his bags and making his way to the mountains of West Virginia.
- Step 4: Film Material. We already had footage from our 2009 show, but it takes a lot of material to produce shows week after week, so we work with a crew out of Pittsburgh’s Video House to make us look our best. Each time we film, it is done live, most often with an audience, and the guys from the Video House come down with 4 cameras, the control station, and a top notch crew to make sure things go smoothly. Drew co-directs each video shoot to make sure we have the angles and shots we need for each song and comedy skit that we film.
- Step 5: Mix the Audio. Each time we film, we record all the audio live to our 48-track Tascam recorder. It picks up every sound from every instrument and microphone on the stage. Then our Audio Engineer and former bass player, Seth Maynard of Lone Wolfe Productions here in Elkins, takes all those tracks and puts them in Pro Tools and mixes each track to sound its very best. The mixed audio is then synced back with the live video for editing.
- Step 6: Edit the Video. After each shoot, Drew has to go through all the different camera angles and piece together the whole show. The four cameras become one in this step.
- Step 7: Select 30 Minutes of Material. Once we have all the pieces, Drew selects different songs that total the appropriate length for each TV show. He mixes and matches material from different years to get the right amount of high energy songs, comedy, and slow songs to give you a taste of the live experience.
- Step 8: Film Introductions and Additional Segments. After the backbone structure for the episode is in place, Drew and Kenny set up a mini-shoot to film introductions to each number. These segments are then dropped in to the show, and the edit is tweaked to be exactly the right length to be sent to the TV station.
- Step 9: Render the Episode. Once the episode is complete it is rendered out, put on a hard drive and send to be closed captioned. Once closed captioning is complete, it is transferred to a tape that is delivered to WV PBS.
- Step 10: Be Enjoyed by Viewers Like You!
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