Local firms score on Super Sunday

Though the biggest game of the year is set to be played in Miami, Fla., Tulsa companies are cashing in at Super Bowl XLIV.
From backhaul services to security detail, Tulsa companies will be heavily involved in the production of one of the most watched television events of the year.

Security First
Even with an expected 80,000 to 90,000 fans, the Super Bowl actually isn’t the biggest event Security Detection will handle during February, said Randy Smith, president and owner of the Western Region of the firm.
It is only the beginning of a busy month, Smith said from the firm’s Tulsa office at 2517 S. Memorial Drive.
“During February is some of the largest events that we do,” he said. “We will barely have time to leave Miami. As a matter of fact, some of our people will have to fly directly to Dallas to Cowboys Stadium to be at the NBA All-Star Game (Feb. 14). They are only a week apart this year.”
As “the largest and most experienced supplier of event security equipment in the U.S.,” including walk-through metal detectors, package x-ray machines, explosive detection equipment and hand-held wands, Security Detection will rent security equipment to the Super Bowl for the fifth consecutive year.
Security Detection’s three regional offices and three satellite branches will be called on to provide equal shares of the 120 walk-through metal detectors, 120 hand scanners and x-ray machines needed to provide security at each of the nine Super Bowl entrances, Smith said.
“The All-Star Game will require more equipment than the Super Bowl this year,” he said. “They are expecting 115,000 people at the NBA All-Star weekend. It’s going to be a huge event. We will have to fly some of us direct, and have some equipment staged in Dallas and get started while the big trucks are making the trip from Miami. As soon as we wrap up in Dallas, then we have to go directly to Los Angeles for the Oscars.”
The satellite office for the Tulsa office is in Los Angeles. The Boston office has a satellite in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Toledo, Ohio, office’s satellite is in Orlando, Fla.
“When it is something the size of the Super Bowl, we have to pull all our offices together and bring all of our equipment from each office and rendezvous in the location,” Smith said. “We will rendezvous there 12 days prior to the Super Bowl and begin setting it up. It takes nine of us about 10 days to do it.”
The three people from each region will stay on site, but will remain “in the background” and provide technical support for security personnel, he said.
That does mean they are there for the Super Bowl, but it doesn’t mean they will get to spend much time watching the festivities.
“It’s a fun event for us, because of all the activities and being involved with everything,” Smith said. “At half time we are wrapping up and can go in and take a look. Quite frankly, I don’t prefer to stay — it’s too loud, it’s too congested, and if you don’t have a seat you really just can’t enjoy it. I would rather just go somewhere and watch it on TV.”
In for the Long Haul
Super Bowl XLIV marks the 20th consecutive year the NFL has relied on Level 3 Vyvx for backhaul services for the most watched television event of the year.
The Tulsa-based division of Denver company Level 3 Communications Inc. will carry the live event video directly from the stadium over the Level 3 terrestrial network to the league offices, broadcast networks and satellite teleport sites for global delivery of the game.
Level 3 Senior Product Director Derek Anderson said the game requires extensive manpower.
“We typically have team of up to 10 people on site a week before the game,” Anderson said. “And our network operation center in Tulsa is well-staffed and running 24/7, 365 days a year.”
For the Super Bowl, Level 3 Vyvx services will deliver a specialized solution that includes HD acquisition, encoding and transmission of the video broadcast signal from the game. In total, over 2,800 hours of video content will be acquired, encoded and transported across the Level 3 Vyvx platform for Super Bowl coverage. The Super Bowl caps an NFL season during which Level 3 Vyvx provided video transmission for every NFL regular season and playoff game, delivering more than 5,600 total feeds.

Crunch Time
Jon Edwards found himself in a crunch when he realized that he was just about out of time to produce and shoot an entry for an annual commercial competition for the Super Bowl.
That was a time crunch. And, a Doritos crunch.
Edwards, president and CEO of E.F. Productions LLC, which is short for Edwards Family Productions, planned on entering the Doritos Super Bowl video commercial competition, “Crash the Super Bowl,” but had forgotten about it until he received some entries from a friend and serial video contest competitor Jared Cicon of Claremont, Calif., to critique.
“That reminded me, ‘Oh, no, it’s here again,’ Edwards said. “I wanted to make it a family thing. I got my whole family involved and started brainstorming on some ideas. My oldest son, Micah, 20, came up with an idea that occurred at his apartment one day. My youngest, Jeremiah, 15, sneezed real loud and a friend took off his hat and threw it at him. It scared him.
“We spent about a 13-hour production day not including the pre-staging stuff the day before,” Edwards said.
With the help of production assistant and independent film producer Heidi Priddy, winner of the Best Mini Feature in the recent Tulsa Script to Screen film festival for “Message in a Box,” Edwards produced two entries for the competition, the hat-throwing commercial and one appropriately called “Doritos Fairy.”
Both can be found at the Doritos contest Web site www.crashthesuperbowl.com and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/JITProductions#p/a/u/1/zRqT17Dzeu0.
Despite his efforts, Edwards was not optimistic of his chances of being selected as one of the six finalists, who will be announced Jan. 5.
“They probably already have (selected the six),” he said. “They had more than 4,000 submissions. Most of them were very poorly done. Just something that people threw together. But they had quite a few serious contenders. Some were big budgeted productions. Some people went out on a limb. I mean 10s of thousands of dollars.”
If E.F. Productions had been among the six finalists, “I would have expected a phone call or e-mail by Monday, and here it is Wednesday, so we are very doubtful.
“When they post the top six, to be voted on by the public, then it becomes a very big PR campaign for those people, which, had we made it we would have been really exercising our rights to communicate to the whole world, vote for us,” he said. “If we had been in the ‘Top Six,’ we would have received $25,000 and a trip for two to the Super Bowl.”

Eye in the Sky
Swooping, over-the-field camera angles make for a dramatic viewing experience, and few companies are more adept to provide those shots than Tulsa’s Skycam.
A division of Tulsa-based Winnercomm, Skycam is a robotic camera suspended from cables and controlled via computer.
“The camera itself is gyro-stabilized, and we put a motion stabilizing lens on it, which sets us apart from the competition,” said Skycam president Nic Salomon.
Skycam boasts a list of clients including ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBC, USA, Turner Sport and BBC, and will provide overhead shots of the Super Bowl, as well as the Pro Bowl, the BCS Championship and a gaggle of non-BCS college bowl games.

Like You’re Actually There
If you are watching the Super Bowl and many of the related shows in High Definition, you are watching the handiwork of Bixby-based DTAGS LLC.
DTAGS, the leading remote encoding solutions provider in the media and entertainment industry, will again provide remote HD video transmission services for Super Bowl coverage as well as related per- and post-game shows at and around the stadium, said Mike Burk, president of DTAGS.
That includes “Sports Center,” “Mike & Mike,” “Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption.”
“DTAGS is pleased to provide remote HD services for the most highly viewed live broadcast event of the year, enabling the broadcast to be delivered in high definition to millions of viewers worldwide,” said Burk. “Customers rely on DTAGS to support their live, mission-critical HD content.”
DTAGS will provide Super Bowl broadcasters with fully redundant video encoding and decoding transmission services, including monitoring and quality control, from four locations in Miami.
“Broadcasters are enhancing the viewing experience for sports fans. When you realize the impact HD has on those fans, you want to be a part of that and DTAGS will continue to support the growing number of broadcasters who bring the HD experience into the home,” said Burk.
DTAGS is also providing remote HD services for college football bowls, including the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Eagle Bank Bowl, Texas Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Rose Bowl, Outback Bowl and the BCS National Championship.

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