NEW ORLEANS - Images of the transformation of Jackson Square into CBS Park are now starting to make their way around the world. The game itself is another massive undertaking of hooking up wires and satellites and a system of cameras to capture the action on the field and beyond.
CBS has set up a compound at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that will serve as the nervous system for the broadcasts. The area is so big, they posted a map to navigate through it.
The production trailers are all built into 18-wheelers that travel with the CBS crews to each and every game.
For the Super Bowl, there are even more of them. Four days out from the game, hundreds of staff and crew are standing by waiting to for the kick off Sunday night.
“We've been on the ground here for the last year and a half on and off,” said Harold Bryant, Executive Producer and Vice President of Production for CBS Sports.
He helped lead the team to create both the Jackson Square park and the accompanying game day set inside the Superdome. WWL-TV’s Katie Moore asked, “How did you all come up with the concept to make it look like New Orleans, but still like CBS?” Bryant replied, “Once we decided we met with our designers and they gave us pitches and we said, we want to look like we're part of the neighborhood. We're in the French Quarter. We want to see some of that wrought iron.”
That wrought iron is real, with each and every detail designed exclusively for CBS.
“The music, the graphics, we weave all that stuff in. We've upgraded all that stuff this year. So, it'll have a modern, fresh flavor to the broadcast,” Bryant said.
CBS Sports has a network of about 120 cameras in the Superdome, Jackson Square and around the city to use during what could very well be a record-breaking broadcast.
The network will be using its 4k technology to zoom in on controversial plays.
“So you see he has possession. We're showing that. We're going in even tighter to show that he's actually in bounds,” said Joel Hahn, a production team member.
The resolution is four times greater than high definition video.
“It's a little bit fuzzy when you go in, but if you think about it, this is the size of your picture and we're only taking that much of it, which is pretty astounding,” Hahn said.
“When you have all these cameras and equipment, you can't forget the basics. So, I want to make sure we're on the field. We're back in time to see the snap of the ball and we also want to show the emotion, the reaction shots of the coaches and players,” Hahn said.
They even have a trailer full of people looking at all the angles on each play to try and quickly cue up the replays. And after thousands of man hours to coordinate it all, it's almost Showtime.
“We are ready. I'm ready to kick now,” Bryant said.