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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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The Today Show was in transition, waiting for the brand new set to be finished in time for Meredith's debut.

Well, that left them without a place to shoot all these promotions. If you remember, they moved the whole show outside for the summer, while crews tore apart their old set and built the new one. They did the show in a temporary set-up on Rockefeller Plaza, but that was not the setting they were looking for on these promotional interviews.

So the Today Show did what you'd expect... they built a whole other set just for the promotions. Why not? Here's the other thing, they needed a studio too. No problem. They've got a few of those inside 30 Rock.

We walked into the studio through large doors, and it actually felt like an auditorium. There was seating throughout, and a big stage up at the front. It looked oddly familiar, even felt like I'd been there before. Then it hit me, "Dude, we're in the Saturday Night Live studio," I said to Susan.

Sure enough, seating on the side of the studio was all put away, and this temporary set erected. This thing was wired. There were 7 cameras for this shoot. 7 cameras! To put that in perspective, we use 3 cameras in our studio at Today's TMJ4 to bring you every newscast. These guys had more than double that, just to shoot these interviews.

Each one of us had a "tight shot" camera. In other words, for the duration of the interview, one camera would remain fixated on Susan, Matt, Meredith, and me. One camera was assigned to stay on all four of us at the same time, another to get 2-shots. Camera number 7 was on a boom, and moving all over the place. It was sweeping around to get grand shots of our meeting. Impressive.

The set itself was less so. It had a couple couches and chairs... some plants and stuff. It was no big deal, but then it wasn't supposed to be. The big deals were Matt and Meredith, and they would be out momentarily.

Tomorrow... Matt's entrance and initial impressions of the King of morning television. As always, keep your questions coming. I'll post them as they come in.


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