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WQED TV producer and PITTSBURGH Magazine back-page writer writes about his current work and assorted other things.


November 5th, 2012 · 2 Comments

It’s November 5, 2012.  It’s our deadline for delivery of the tape of our new program, BREAKFAST SPECIAL 2: REVENGE OF THE OMELETS, and I think we’ve made it.

I spent most of the morning on the phone with two good-natured and patient folks at PBS headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Sheronne Wilson and Dan O’Melia, trying to complete the computerized “Packaging Forms” that are one of the last steps in the formal program submission process.  When you finish those forms, you get the coveted shipping label and bar-code!  With that in my electronic “hands,” I was able to forward it on to the wonderful folks at Pillar 2 Post, our expert post-production friends (also in Arlington) who actually have evaluated and output the final High Def tape that will be the PBS master tape.

On past projects, we have always sent (or delivered in person if we were really late) a tape from here at WQED.  This time, for the first time, we sent a small external drive (750 GB) with the program and our consolidated project on it.  I think there was some doubt about the new fangled procedure, but all went well.  We did have some problems with non-drop frame time code (How did that happen?) but that wasn’t caused by digital delivery.  We had to cut one sound bite from the show, a 3-second-and-18 frame bite  from one of the last parts of the show, a comment from a guy at the Post Road Diner in Connecticut. Then we had to get some adjustments made to the Closed Captioning file, and we had to replace the video for one shot from Ken’s in Hilo, Hawaii, where the Pillar 2 Post folks found a glitch.  We were lucky.  The glitch was not in the original video and we were able to Dropbox them a new digitization of that scene.  (Is “to dropbox” now a legitimate verb?)

Lots of little detail work.  Not necessarily the coolest and most glamorous parts of the process.

Now there’s just the promo-spots to finish, the press release to write, and some promotional efforts leading up to our big premiere night on December 25 at 8 pm.


Tags: Breakfast Special 2: Revenge of the Omelets

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan Brioli // Dec 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Hi, Rick. Kind of a technical question combined with a potential suggestion here:

    Was the external drive a traditional drive, with platters and magnetic heads (the type that spins, essentially?) If so, for future safety, might I recommend using solid state drives to reduce the chance of potential disaster in case someone drops the thing during the transportation process? Slightly more expensive but worth it for peace of mind for everyone involved.

    Thanks for years of service to the ‘burgh!


  • 2 barry abrams // Dec 27, 2012 at 5:48 am


    Sorry the editing and detail work for part 2 is taxing.

    It is Thursday December 27, 2012 and I just saw part 2 of your special on PBS. Prince George’s County, Maryland feels left out – LOL.

    I want to be in my bid for Mrs. K’s Motel and Restaurant’s breakfast which has the BEST blueberry pancakes in the whole wide world. They make your mouth water thinking about them and eating them. Mrs. K’s has a family friendly atmosphere. All types of people eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.

    I would like to know what the good people of Prince George’s County, Maryland can do to get Mrs. K’s locally owned independent restaurant into Breakfast Special Part 3? Tourists and locals that travel north and south on route 301 need to know about this gem so they don’t pass it by!!

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