WRAL’s live broadcast of the Durham Christmas Parade looked flawless on air, but a large crew worked hard behind the scenes to bring the festive fun to viewers. Cutting edge technology, a dedicated staff and some picture-perfect weather all came together for a successful morning both behind and in front of the camera.
“The execution of the Durham holiday parade is a product of an innovative way to provide coverage with a smaller footprint compared to the Raleigh parade,” explained WRAL-TV News Production Manager James Ford. “Last year (2022) a new concept of producing the parade with LiveU technology was so impressive that it has become the standard protocol. LiveU technology allows mobility beyond cables and stationary cameras. While some positions required stability, we have found an optimal way to meet the standards of the company and provide great community service.”
He continued, “This year, we utilized multiple LiveU’s and maximized the use of 6 cameras (Including Sky 5) to produce and execute the parade from Raleigh. Camera operators were connected wirelessly to a communications hub that allowed the Director and Producer to communicate with the team on site in Durham.”
The WRAL crew started loading the equipment for the coverage on Friday. Saturday morning, the crew met at the station at 5am and arrived in Durham at 5:30am.
“There were around 17 total people including Anchors, producers, engineering, crew and reporters on site with 8 more people back at the station working in Control room and quality control,” explained WRAL-TV Crew Chief Tim King. “This was my 33rd parade here at WRAL, and everything went as planned.”
“All things considered; every new challenge is another result of a team that looks forward in all we do.”
WRAL-TV News Production Manager James Ford
The anticipation mounted as everyone got in place.
“The set in Durham was erected while traffic was still open to drivers and finally closed just minutes before the parade was to begin,” Ford told CapCom. “4 Engineers, 3 Production team members and 3 Photographers pitched in to meet each deadline in preparation of the live event.”
Besides the crew physically on-site in Durham, a team of WRAL staffers also worked back at the station in Raleigh to make the broadcast happen.
“Western Blvd. was staffed to execute the parade with a continuous flow of graphics and special composite 2-boxes that emphasized our commitment to the Durham community,” said Ford. “Having two active locations with years of experience at the helm made this project flow with ease. For the first time in many years, I enjoyed taking in the sights and sounds from a different perspective.”
If you missed the parade on WRAL, or want to watch again:
WRAL.com VIDEO: Watch the Durham Holiday Parade
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Heather Gray for these CapCom photos.