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‘Sunrise’ Lets Its Star Shine

Mar 16, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Most networks are always on the lookout for the next big star. But the people behind “Sunrise Earth” might feel they have that problem all sewn up. The real-time show on HD Theater, one of Discovery Communications’ hi-def networks, lets viewers get up with the world’s biggest star every morning.
Executive producer David Conover and his crew film the sunrise all over the world, including the Australian Outback, Stonehenge, a fishing village in Brazil and remote fjords in Norway, the Land of the Midnight Sun, where the sun—in real time—sets and rises again in one hourlong show.
Each show airs without commercial breaks, Mr. Conover said, and there is no sound “except for what’s integral to the scene at hand.”
“The idea [of just shooting the sunrise] is pretty simple,” Mr. Conover said. “Too simple for most people to think it would actually work. But once Clint Stinchcomb [executive VP and general manager of HD Theater] got behind it, we were able to get it on the air.”
Now in its fourth year, “Sunrise Earth” has aired 55 episodes, weekday mornings at 7 and 10 a.m.
Although the sun itself might not have changed over time, the technology for capturing it on video certainly has.
“In early HD, newscasters and actors were so poorly lit,” he said. “With [the sunrise], there’s more range of light; the reflective capacity of light shining through the atmosphere that hugs the earth.”
The show is a two-camera shoot, he added, with “maybe 120 edits. And it’s experiential TV, so the tempo is different. We finally realized the show is appealing to people because of the pacing.”

7 Comments

  1. “Sunrise Earth” is a reason to buy HD. Stores and cable companies should use it constantly as a demo to gain converts.

  2. David and the sunrise earth team has given us a preview of the future of television in HD. Elegant content that is more observational in nature.

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