Filmed in Tim’s hometown of Start, Louisiana, at a cotton gin that only recently had ceased operations.
Incorporate the stages and the screens into the cotton gin buildings (here is the view from DSR close to the proposed stage area).
This one had a group of challenges: the location was raw and littered with old machinery; transportation and lodging was difficult to find; the weather, and the heat, and the insects, were unpredictable.
The production design needed to incorporate camera backgrounds, stepped video screens to follow the line of the steel roofs, views from the helicopter camera, and comfortable viewing and sight lines for the live audience.
Develop the production design in the Vectorworks CAD program, which allowed me to simulate the aerial shots, and the different views and relationships of talent, backgrounds, and audience:
Echo the cotton gin feed tubes by creating oversize shiny cylinders with built in lighting (some of which float freely like giant wind chimes) to provide brightness, enrichment of the camera backgrounds, and visual transitions from the cotton gin buildings to the stage area:
Create a presentation for Tim McGraw and the NBC producers, get a fast greenlight for the show, and film it!