Production Management

ISKA 2022 US Open World Martial Arts Championshi

On Saturday July 2nd, the ISKA US Open Night of Champions played out at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort.After one year with no event, and one with an incredibly downsized event due toCovid-19 the champions of karate put on a fantastic show for all involved.

I was once again involved as the Production Manager for the event, but I also got to line produce our show, which was a really great and new experience for me and gave me a shot to stretch my TV wings. As always, the lead up to the event was a tremendous amount of work, due to the nature of the event we don’t always know who will be competing or what events will go to air until the day of the show. Additionally, our production crew cannot get into the room where the event is held, until the morning of, which makes for a lot of quick and heavy lifting and for a very long day for the crew. Our production truck arrived in the loading dock at 8am and I didn’t release most of the crew until about midnight. One day set, shoot, and strike events are always chaotic, so I try to have as many ducks in a row as possible, with back up plans before the event, AND set out lots of snacks and water for the crew who are working harder than anyone. Luckily, we have a few folks who routinely work this event, without whom I’d argue we could never make air, and know every detail of our set up and strike. Unfortunately, because of the multi-year gap between events, and several other shows happening around ours, I had a hard time booking our crew. I was able to get a few of the folks we can’t live without, but ended up with a fairly new group, all of whom were excellent. One of my new camera guys even asked if he could bring some of his students to help out and get to see a big event in action. The crews hard work really paid off and the event team was really happy with what we were able to do after 2 years of inaction.

Producing the event was a blast, it meant a very late night leading into the day of the event, working with our edit & tape producer Stacy, to build a rundown for the 3 hours of content the next night. With all the changes and preliminary rounds, trying to build a run of show any earlier was more difficult than it was worthwhile so we worked into the night making sure all the segments, interviews, and commercials would be built to run smoothly during the live event the next day. Without events for two years footage of some of our competitors was hard to come by so building packages around fan-favorite champions was mainly left until post production. During the live event I was mainly able to focus on what the competitors were doing in real time, and working with our team to secure some great interviews and reference points during the show. The competitors put on a great bunch of performances, and we had some surprise victors after a long wait for the big show.

The US Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championship is still available to stream on ESPN+ where you can watch all the hard work the competitors and the crew put into making a great show. Now that everyone is back in the swing of things (mostly post Covid) our hope is to bring you an even bigger and better show next summer, and for many summers thereafter.

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