Great visit in Charlotte (and some TW “behind the scenes” comments)

Wow, look! I have a blog! I didn’t know that! OK, well, I did know that. But when you don’t post for nearly a month, you might as well have forgotten. 🙂

My trip to Charlotte went wonderfully last week, and for those of you who were aware of it and who prayed about it, thank you so much!

The telecast tapings went very well, with both of them being taped Wednesday (a week ago, today, coincidentally). Normally, I do one before lunch and one after, but for the first time I was not able to finish the first one (“Seven Prophetic Trends”) before lunch. Part of it was the fact that we were experimenting with a new technology we have on the set where images and graphics can be pushed live to the big 80″ monitor on the wall while the presenter is speaking and in response to his words (as opposed to being fixed video or images or post-production inserts). We started with something lowly and humble (the text for two of the points I was making in that telecast) and only tried it out for one “act” in that production. But it went smoothly and demonstrated how easily we could add the feature going forward for more complicated graphics or videos. And I enjoyed continuing my role as the unofficial TW guinea pig for experimentation. 🙂 The next scripts I write, I am going to keep the “live push” in mind from the start and write with that ability in mind.

I said that part of the delay was the experimenting, but another part was just little ol’ me. As we were working to figure out the blocking (stage lingo for movement around the set) for the experimental shot, I had gotten caught up in talking with the director about moving forward with our production capabilities and our mutual passion for making the show the absolute best it can be. We both agreed that the content of the programs is outstanding, and we want the “package” of that content to reflect that high quality. It was an energizing discussion, but it did leave me a little behind in getting to make up (or as I like to think of it, “Suzie’s Spa”), which was completely the fault of yours truly. Still, not only were we able to pick up the last few shots quickly right after lunch, but the second program taping (“The World of Angels and Demons”) went very quickly, so we probably ended about the same time we normally do.

And, as usual, the crew was fantastic. We keep getting bigger! With three cameras and three camera operators, a floor director, a control room full of watchful eyes, script-followers, action-callers, etc., it has grown into quite a production over the last couple of years! Really, the growth of the telecast and the production value has really skyrocketed since early-to-mid-2013 — it has been amazing to watch and be a part of, and I’m excited about what lies ahead!

I also had the opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Meredith while I was there. Ooooo — lunch with the head guy in his office! Must have been something fancy, right? Nope: A turkey sandwich and chips from Jimmy Johns. Loved it. 🙂

It was a delightful lunch, and I appreciate the way Mr. Meredith invests in people. He asked about how things were going in my areas and we talked about the Work and all the exciting things going on. It is astounding–and, frankly, humbling–how many doors God is opening, and seeing so many things in motion is really motivating.

Outside his office in the executive waiting area there was a lot of construction going on. The offices, themselves, aren’t being changed much, but the area outside the offices has been long in need of some work, allowing the waiting area to have some proper walls and such and to make some of the wasted space more functional. Still, even small construction can make a lot of noise! And it was nice seeing young Mr. Tyler Wayne from my own area there doing some of the painting, which also gave him the chance to see me doing one of my telecasts. No word from him, yet, on what he thought, but perhaps it’s better if he doesn’t let me know. 🙂

I also got to spend some time on the other side of the glass, watching Mr. Richard Ames tape a new program. In fact, I posted a photo of it on my Twitter account:

I appreciate rare chances like this to see the other presenters work, and to see what life is like on the other side of the camera. While y’all out there are watching the presenter, there is a herd of people behind the scenes making it happen! In this case, above you see Mr. Ames preaching the gospel and explaining world events on camera, but in the studio with him are four people (three camera men and Mrs. Stephenson the floor director) and eight people in the control room, not counting Mrs. Ames and me, who were there as guests without anything “official” to do. I think that a couple of them were there cross-training on equipment — frankly, I’m not sure, since some of what goes on in there is normally invisible to me on the set while I’m taping, so it’s like another world. However, everyone was contributing profitably to the production, and it was neat seeing it all in action. So when I see that picture I tweeted, it’s neat for me to think of everything that was going on behind the scenes.

Actually, that reminds me (stream-of-consciousness moment): I think that David Meredith tweeted a picture of me on the set. (Going out to Twitter and looking… Ah! Here it is, at @lcginfo)

Yikes! I look like Captain Jaundice. 🙂 Actually, let’s cleanse our palette after that with a nice pic of Mr. King on the set, instead, also from LCG’s Twitter feed.

He taped that on Monday, I believe, while I was flying in from Cincinnati.

Look at those great graphics! The team is doing a great job making us look good — even given what I give them to work with! My thanks to everyone there, and, Deborah, your on set graphics and titles are looking fantastic. (Look at that one over Mr. King’s left shoulder! “The Lost Empire of the Assyrians” — looks great!)

Anyway, it was a great visit to Charlotte. Good to see the folks in editorial, the LU gang, the kind and patient ladies of the executive office, Dr. Winnail, Mr. Ames, Mr. Rod McNair — in a real sense, the “Charlotte family.” Mr. Wakefield took the time to show me a fractal generator he had mentioned to me before (Fractal eXtreme — though, sadly, I discovered it is not Mac-compatible). Mr. Robinson’s daughters even kindly agreed to be in my Friday Night Greetings that week and were just too cute. And speaking of Mr. King, he and I both shared the condo while I was there before he flew back to England, and it was great seeing him and spending time with him there.

But, as nice as it was to see everyone in Charlotte, it was also wonderful to come back home. 🙂 Thanks, again, to everyone out there praying for headquarters and for God’s Work! It is amazing to see what He is doing, and I am so thankful that He allows all of us to be a part of it.

2 thoughts on “Great visit in Charlotte (and some TW “behind the scenes” comments)

  1. Captain Jaundice… strange visitor from another state… who, in the guise of mild-mannered television presenter Wallace G. Smith, fights a never-ending battle for faith, hope, love, and frameworks of biblical interpretation which make a lick of sense. 😉

    Seriously, I never cease to be amazed how much you can write in your blog when you do write in your blog. You must have the typing speed of a Kryptonian (and your keyboard must be made of unobtanium). 😉

    Wonderful news all around. (הללויה)!

  2. obeirne

    Thank you for sharing your experiences in your latest TW tapings, Mr. Smith. Your enthusiasism in giving us a glimse behind-the-scenes is certainly uplifting iand heartening. Of course your fervour for the Work is no secret as it is so obvious in the telecasts you present and the sermons you deliver. It’s great to hear that Dr. Meredith is such an open book and that there is such a God-family-In-Waiting friendly atmosphere between all of you involved in the Great Commission. I’m so looking forward to viewing your TW telecasts, as I am those of Mr. Ames and Mr. King. I have no doubt they will be up to – and will exceed – the high standards that have been a hallmark of this great programme.

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