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You really need to see the convention on the big screen

By Tracy Curtis

CHARLOTTE, N.C. What we see on TV each night of the DNC is big. These productions really are larger than life. But each day, a lot of little things go into preparing for each of these monster nights.

Mainly walk-throughs – when speakers for the evening practice using the podium and the teleprompter. There’re mic checks, sound checks – and even gavel checks.

Yep: They want loud and powerful banging. So they’ve got a drum-machine effect attached to the gavel. “BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” Godzilla is in the house. He scares the delegates, but there’s a lot about these things that scare people, so everybody’s warming up to him.

Speaking of big, the ginormous screen behind the podium is hugely effective in seeing the tiny speaker. Which is good because the network producers getting video of the walk-throughs need to figure out whom they’re looking at.

“I think that’s Michelle Obama’s brother,” someone guesses. And they all start googling on their phones – then hold a teeny tiny image of Craig Robinson up to the 38-foot image on the jumbo screen. “Yep. That’s him.”

But nobody has trouble reading the prompter. It’s exactly 100 feet in front of the podium, and even Godzilla doesn’t need his reading glasses. The font size is 350 points.

Suddenly, through giant speakers, music: “Got to Be Real.” Are we changing slogans? And then, “Ladies and gentlemen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.” And there she is, strutting to the podium and … whoops – her shoe gets caught on something. But she just laughs and says she’s glad it didn’t happen live. And then the secret service tackles a stagehand.

Another thunderous blast: “Best of My Love” – a little sappy, but better than “We Can Build It.” Oh, wait, it’s not a new slogan it’s … Kiss Cam! OK, well maybe it’s just a camera test – but it’s shots of people on the big screen, mostly bored reporters and stage crew.

But me? When I see my 38-foot image pop up, I go big. I wave my hands. Flash a smile. Give a wink and blow a kiss. You know, go big or go home.

Now there’s a slogan.

tracyobserver@yahoo.com

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