Shot by shot: New ‘Nightly’ leans even more on video walls for storytelling

With the debut of its new home Friday, “NBC Nightly News” drove home its reliance and gentle camera moves and in-studio video walls to enhance its anchor intros.

The studio, designed by Clickspring Design, boasts 632 square feet of LED panels, divided into three main zones:

  • A sprawling widescreen wall sited on the south side of the studio.
  • On the west side of the space, two alcoves created by wood slated columns that are backed by a frosted glass world map features LED panels in rectangular shapes placed in an irregular “jigsaw” pattern in front of it. 
  • Next to this array is a two-story LED “tower.”
  • On the north end of the studio, a larger alcove includes wraparound video walls dubbed the “vista walls” separated by thin internally lit elements with metallic footers.
  • The final LED wall is actually outside the studio space proper in the working newsroom space and is mounted on a sliding track that can be used to cover the view into the other portion of Studio 3A, which is often used for MSNBC. This wall can feature a video loop of the space with “Nightly News” branded graphics on its own LED walls, covering up the production going on on the opposite end. This wall did not make an appearance on Friday’s edition of “Nightly.”

So far, “Nightly News” is still “breaking in” its new home — but we’ll take a look at how the various studio shots were used throughout the set’s first two broadcasts.

Pre-show

For the show’s pre-show teases, Holt is shot against the video tower with the anchor desk visible behind him.

Top of the show

At the top of the show, anchor Lester Holt stands to the right of the tower, with the date and show logo appearing on the tower itself. 

Off to the far right, the three wall alcove is also visible, with generic “Nightly” graphic backgrounds.

The jigsaw wall, meanwhile, features a collage of images related to the top story.

As Holt introduces this story, the graphic on the tower rotates to reveal a topical graphic. Text, in the same clear sans serif used in the show’s graphics package, animates in.

The top of the show also starts with an extreme wide shot of the space and the pushes in dramatically to tighten in on Holt and the graphic. 

Other stories are introduced at the video tower in a similar way, with or without text, and often with similar push-ins, albeit not quite as wide.

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