Vandermeer's View: Hard Knocks invasion at NRG


The Hard Knocks crew has arrived. In a big way.

They've installed thousands of feet of camera and audio cables in the Texans offices at NRG Stadium. They've mounted robotic cameras in position breakout rooms and Bill O'Brien's and Rick Smith's offices.

The coaches meeting room is outfitted with over a dozen microphones and three cameras. And that's not including all the portable camera and audio equipment that will be used to cover practice.

This place is wired.

The room next to the Hyundai Texans Radio Studio has traditionally been used on non-game days for one writer and occasional visiting media. It's now been transformed into mission control, equipped with at least eight sound mixing boards and enough TV screens to make Time Square jealous.

The state of the art control center makes it possible to record activity in multiple rooms at once. If there's a notable moment happening in the linebackers' meeting room while Bill O'Brien meets with a player in his office, Hard Knocks needs to have them both. Audio is mixed on the fly like a live concert. The less post production work to do, the better.

All the video is sent back to NFL Films headquarters in New Jersey where the show is put together. The team can have a last look every Tuesday morning prior to that night's airing, but Supervising Producer Ken Rodgers points out that rarely have any changes been made to the finished product.

Director Matt Dissinger's Hard Knocks army is already out shooting some pre-camp footage with the players. They'll start rolling at NRG early next week as camp begins August 1. The show premieres August 11 at 9 p.m. CT on HBO.

Go behind the scenes and view photos of the announcement that the Houston Texans will be featured on the upcoming season of HBO's 'Hard Knocks'.

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