Making of “The Quilt Show,” Part 2

by Thomas Hegewald


WKTV is pleased to announce the newest program to the station’s line-up, “The Quilt Show” premieres tonight, January 20, at 6:30pm.  Tutorials for the program were recorded in 2014 at the Quilts on the Grand Show. When last we left the intrepid WKTV crew on location at the DeltaPlex, they were videotaping demonstrations for “The Quilt Show.” Routines had settled down a bit, everyone was working together beautifully, inevitably this was the perfect time for the equipment to go haywire. So now the scene is set for the second day of taping on location, as told by producer Thomas Hegewald. Enjoy.


Making of “The Quilt Show,” Part 2

T. Hegewald. Quilts at the DeltaPlex Arena
Quilts at the DeltaPlex Arena before the crowd shows up

The second day of recording we were more relaxed. Since the site was secured over night, we had left everything but the cameras in place. However, something unexpected happened that second day just as we powered up to get everything ready. Communication from the truck to the cameras didn’t work. In short, the camera operators couldn’t hear me direct them as to which shots to focus on or when their shots were were “on”, or being recorded.

Setting up for the next tutorial at the DeltaPlex
Setting up for the next tutorial at the DeltaPlex


Added to that, the main, centrally located camera on the talent, or demonstrator, lost power shortly before we started recording. This was also the one back-up camera we were using to record the entire show in case something went wrong with the other cameras. This left us with only three cameras – one shooting an overview of the table and one camera on each side of the table for cross shooting projects and products on the table.

Tutorials were recorded in front of a live audience
Tutorials were recorded in front of a live audienctable.


Because of the 40” monitors on the sides of the table, the camera operators could see which camera I was currently using for the program and knew when to hold their shot. In today’s tech savvy world, my audio operator sent texts to one of the camera operators, who happened to be her husband, relaying my directions to him for when and how to change shots. Midway through that first show, the fourth camera came back on-line, but we never did get the communications systems to work again.


We recorded six shows the first day and three the second. In between shows we transferred the footage to an external hard drive that the Guild had purchased. Once all of the shows were done, we spent over an hour packing everything up and loading it back into the truck.

T. Hegewald. The Super Suite at WKTV
The Super Suite editing station at WKTV


I began the process of editing the next day. While we had provided a Q&A portion at the end of each show, I decided to cut it out. We couldn’t get a microphone to participants quickly enough to hear the question and the audience wasn’t lit for recording, both of which created moments of silence for the demonstrator while listening. We could put two short shows together to broadcast in a half hour time slot for television broadcast. The shows would also be an easier to transfer to the internet if they were shorter.


I finished editing the shows mid-December and met with some of the West Michigan Quilters’ Guild members to review them. For the next two weeks I made a few changes based on the feedback and exported them in formats compatible for broadcast and internet posting.


We all learned a lot going through this process. It was bigger and broader than some expected and full of details and technical issues that weren’t always predictable.

Producer / Director Tom Hegewald directing "The Quilt Show"le studio.
Producer / Director Thomas Hegewald directing “The Quilt Show”


We’re already discussing how we would do it differently for the next show in 2016, including rehearsals for the demonstrators and crew. Using equipment from WKTV allowed us to try it out, make the mistakes and learn from them. In this way we produced something bigger than we could have done on our own, for very little cost, while at the same time we produced something worthwhile for the Guild and the community.


Editor’s note: If you would more information about training at WKTV so that you can produce your own shows, please call 616-261-5700.  You also can produce a show for yourself and the community!