Spike TV has established itself as the preeminent broadcast outlet of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, otherwise known as E3. The network has become the first to disseminate news, announcements and product reveals, as well as to present interviews with game creators and company executives, and live demos of new products.
The annual live-to-air broadcast originates from a glassed-in studio that overlooks the LA Convention Center and LA Live, where the expo, product launches, and corporate extravaganzas are held. Spike’s all-day live special takes the form of a newscast and talk show, with Staples Center as the backdrop. From a lighting standpoint, the project presents numerous challenges. The lighting brightness levels outside the studio windows can be four to ten times greater than would typically be used on a similar show inside a studio environment. Therefore, the interior lighting intensities must be increased to match what the camera will see outside, just behind the on-screen talent. Otherwise, the exterior would appear so overexposed, that it would turn almost nuclear white, distorted, and unrecognizable on television.
Intensity Advisors has participated in two annual E3 broadcasts. A careful mix of high-powered HMI sources and higher wattage incandescent fixtures were utilized to balance the light levels and color temperatures between the interior and exterior. As the outdoor lighting changes over the course of the day, adjustments are made to the studio lighting, in close coordination with the video control engineer. There were certain times of the day when some exterior overexposure was unavoidable due to the rapidly changing conditions outside. It is an organic process that must be monitored minute-by-minute, and the only predictable element is change.