Michael Hogan, Art Director, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” /
06.12.2014 09:00 PM
ChyronHego Powers ‘The Daily Show’
Michael Hogan
NEW YORK—Here at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” we rely heavily on a playout system for producing the show. We need to add over-the-shoulder graphics, multi-box frames for chromakey remotes, cued lower-thirds and custom animations that interact with show dialogue. The way that our graphics are controlled on cue has become an integral part of the program. 

Earlier this year, we decided to replace our existing graphics system as it just wasn’t up to the increasingly more sophisticated requirements that developed. We evaluated products from several vendors, but it was clear early on that ChyronHego offered everything we were looking for.

We chose their Mosaic XL processing engine (server) running ChyronHego Lyric PRO real-time and scriptless graphics creation application software. We did some initial tests and trained on the new system for about two weeks, before taking it live.

Such time-critical productions as “The Daily Show” require that I access or create graphics on the fly. The Mosaic helps me do this by providing tightly integrated authoring via ChyronHego’s Lyric PRO application. This lets me simultaneously manipulate 3D objects, 2D and 3D text, logos, and movie objects without compromise, all in real-time.

ON-DEMAND ANIMATIONS EASILY DONE
In addition to traditional over-the-shoulder boxes, the system is used to create pre-built animation templates into which we embed a director’s cue. This allows them to simply call up the cue and the animation automatically begins playing. We used to have to feed out animations on tape and these had to be timed to Jon Stewart’s dialogue. As you can imagine this was somewhat difficult. Now, with the ChyronHego system this is a piece of cake.

Another big reason we went with ChyronHego is that we didn’t want the technology to get in the way of creativity. The new system allows us to focus on our vision, not the tools required to achieve it.

SPEEDS UP PRODUCTIVITY
The system has also helped to make things more efficient, allowing our production work to run more smoothly. I typically get my assignment for graphics around noon on show day, with the rehearsal going at 4:00 p.m. Following the rehearsal, there’s usually some script tweaking and then we shoot the show in front of a live audience at 6:15. Many of our graphics elements have been pre-built days before, but it seems there’s always a last minute change or two and that’s where the ability to make such changes on the fly really shines.

Once our graphics created in Lyric software are ready to go, they’re stored on the Mosaic XL system and played out on cue. Everything runs like clockwork.

The new ChyronHego system has really made a difference in how we do things. I can’t wait to use it for the congressional elections coming up later this year.

Michael Hogan has served as art director at “The Daily Show” since 2006. He may be contacted at mhogan@thedailyshow.com.

For additional information, contact ChyronHego at 631-845-2000 or visit www.chyronhego.com.



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