Jun 23, 2015

Butterflies!

Guest blogger Walter Schoenknecht, partner and writer/producer at Midnight Media Group, Inc., our Fall in Love with Music production company, shares his thoughts…

I know it doesn’t sound professional, but I’ve never met a veteran, hard-bitten production staffer or show crew member who doesn’t get a little nervous – or even queasy – right before a big show or performance. Ask the Maestro. . . I’m sure he’ll agree! And that’s just how we all feel right now, because today is a landmark date for the production team behind The Discovery Orchestra’s next public television venture, Fall in Love With Music. We’ve spent months proposing and planning, lining up production resources and tweaking up the technical stuff. We’ve been writing scripts, hiring lighting designers and evaluating acoustics. And today, our production odyssey begins – the first day of shooting!

Our multi-part series for American Public Television is very different from The Discovery Orchestra’s past TV projects, which were long-form explorations of a single musical composition, shot in a concert venue, complete with audience. The new Fall in Love With Music series is modeled on Maestro Maull’s immensely popular instructional presentation of the same name; we’ve broken it into nine half-hour programs, loaded with engaging activities and amusing diversions that all focus on. . . and help develop. . . the skills required to effectively, and enjoyably, listen to music.

But. . . back to our exciting first day of shooting! Today, we find ourselves in Enlow Hall, an outstanding performance facility at New Jersey’s Kean University. It’s a beautiful-sounding space, and attractive, too – we promise we’ll post behind-the scenes snapshots. Over the course of two days, we’ll shoot some of Maestro Maull’s teaching moments, plus some of those “diversions” I mentioned. But our real reason to visit this wonderful stage is to capture musical performances from two diverse groups of artists: Dan Crisci’s superb jazz quartet, and the amazing Amphion String Quartet”Óboth perennial Discovery favorites. You’ve seen them in the Discovery Orchestra Chats on YouTube, I hope.

We’re especially excited about some of the innovative technology we’re employing. For instance, for the first time, we’ll be capturing all the beauty and intensity of these performances in the new Ultra High Definition (UHD) format, often called “4K”. Your broadcaster isn’t quite ready to show 4K yet, but it really adds noticeable depth and subtlety to a conventional high-def program. We’re pretty pumped!

We’re thrilled to finally be able to yell “Action!” for the first time on this project, and look forward to our July week in the studio with Maestro Maull, too. But none of this would be possible without you, the followers, friends and generous patrons of The Discovery Orchestra, and you get a big round of applause from those of us behind the cameras.

But for now, stand aside, butterflies. . . we have work to do!

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