Coming in clutch for a dominant network
A few weeks prior to March Madness 2016, Turner Sports asked Solomon Group for an assist.
The network already had a set to use for its studio coverage of the tournament. But it was in storage and needed extensive remodeling. Our fabrication team traveled to Turner Studios in Atlanta to assess the existing set and bring the necessary elements back to our shop in New Orleans.
Our technical drafting team immediately dug into Jack Morton’s design for the environment and started making it real. We determined that the existing set involved three types of fabrication work: certain parts could be refurbished; others required retrofitting; and some needed to be built entirely new...including the set’s centerpiece, the anchor desk.
Solomon Group built a new desk that includes integrated scenic lighting, two different paint color finishes, three different metal laminates, and a two-inch thick, CNC custom-cut, clear acrylic top that weighs nearly 1,000 lbs. We also retrofitted it to house five, Christie MicroTiles that were part of the original desk.
Our team topped the desk’s existing platform with a gloss black laminate and gave it a custom, gray automotive paint finish. In addition, we extended the edge face and installed LED tape to create a light cove that surrounds the entire platform.
One of our team’s biggest challenges was the floor. The studio space where the March Madness set would temporarily live was in the basement of Turner Studios, and our client didn’t want the concrete slab painted. Our solution was to custom-print flooring on rolls of G-Floor, which can be put down and taken up quickly without harming the studio floor. The 50”-wide rolls were laid in a grid pattern to cover the space’s nearly 3,500 square feet. We used a direct print second surface method so that the custom-printed part of the new floor is actually a ¼” beneath the crew’s shoes. And the floor logo--which was a decal in the previous set--became a three-dimensional, custom-cut, scenic piece that was direct-printed in-house.
The set’s walls were another challenge. Turner asked us to extend them by approximately three feet. The existing walls were completely refurbished from the wagon platforms all the way up. To heighten the walls, we created a new set of header windows above the existing LED ticker displays. To tie the walls together, we built several aluminum-welded, face-frame light box columns. Each of these 20’-tall structures includes over 100 linear feet of RGBA LED tape, which can be programmed to display any color.
We also built a new, 20’ x 12’ center wall that sports a white surround LED Lightbox, seamless LED panels with custom brackets, and CNC-cut, faux pulley assemblies that fit the design’s industrial aesthetic. Finally, across the entire set, each wall contained its own, massive light boxes to backlight the graphics that appear through the “windows.”
Less than a month after retrieving the original set pieces in Atlanta, Solomon Group’s team delivered and installed a dramatically reimagined broadcast environment in time for Turner’s annual coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship...one of the premier American sports events.
What We did
- Custom Fabrication
- High-End Finishing
- Custom Graphic Flooring
- Integrated Scenic Lighting
- Project Management