Ottawa, Canada, January 27th 2020 – Last night’s 62nd GRAMMY Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles and brought together a star-studded group of artists from the world of music and entertainment. For Chris Marsall, owner of CGLA Studios, it was another day in the office (or truck, to be precise), although even an experienced professional like Chris still feels some excitement when working on such a prestigious event. “CGLA has helped drive the red carpet broadcast for E! Live for a number of years now, and it’s a very busy and high-energy show. There isn’t much downtime, but it is nice to look out of the window when you get a chance and soak up some of the atmosphere”.
Chris has been using XPression, the real-time graphics platform from Ross Video, for almost a decade, and XPression is the backbone of the E! Live red carpet show. “I first started working with XPression in 2012”, he notes. “I began with two boxes and have worked my way up to twelve XPression CGs that I use and rent for shows. As far as the GRAMMY event is concerned, I’m working with three systems – one for the lower thirds for talent and interviewees, a second for the sponsor elements and specialty graphics, and a third unit that does all of the fashion IDs as the celebrities step out of their limos or walk along the red carpet”.
As far as Chris is concerned, XPression has changed the landscape for live graphics. “We are always under pressure when we’re on-site for a live event and we need to work efficiently. XPression is an amazing tool – we can make changes on the fly, in real time, and it’s nowhere near as stressful as my experiences of working with some other products. CGLA creates graphics packages for customers using traditional software like Photoshop and After Effects, but the ability to build all of your elements inside XPression is fantastic – best performance and quickest to air revisions! Also, Ross really listens to its operator base and is constantly improving the product on the basis of user feedback. As an example, one installer updates everything unlike other systems where you need to update software then upgrade plugins and adjust data feeds. That emphasis on ease of use is incredibly important to users like me and shows that Ross really thinks about things from a customer perspective”. While not a feature of the GRAMMY broadcast, Chris has also been working with XPression on virtual studio/augmented reality applications recently and has been incredibly impressed with what he has seen. “I have to say that XPression deals with camera tracking and 3D space better than any of the competitor products”.
With the GRAMMY awards successfully completed, what’s next for Chris and the CGLA team? Another small, low-key event in Los Angeles that is only two short weeks away. “As soon as I get home I start preparation for the E’s coverage of the red carpet at the Oscars, and XPression is right at the top of my equipment list for that too”.
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