LSU Media was required to move into a new set of offices at the start of the 2019-20 academic year. Rather than just simply moving desks and equipment, the team set about a large-scale renovation of the new office space, which was formerly primarily used as a corridor and meeting room space.
You can see the state the space was in after basic building work had been completed (removal and addition of stud walls and the construction of a cupboard shell) in the video below, which I filmed near the start of the renovation period.
Much of my focus was on the TV studio itself, which had been neglected for many years, and had not had a full renovation for a decade. During the move, it had been used as storage space for the masses of kit which we had accumulated for years and had previously been stored in our office. and I, alongside my team, decided to repaint the entire room, re-cover wall baffles, add permeant studio lighting in the ceiling and make the room appropriate for a wider variety of filming, with two ‘sets’ created.
The room was incredibly run-down, with a lack of investment over the past few years leaving it in a state where the only way it could be used was with a green screen or black screen. This had limited our ability to create live TV shows in the space without renting in backdrops or fashioning makeshift sets.
The studio immediately looked better with a lick of paint. The tired look the walls had before was the worst part of the room. Initially built as a recording studio for bands and artists, the space is not easy to work with – with multiple cupboards and a window to navigate as part of the set. We decided to embrace the window (which looks onto our new office) as part of the set, which we used during our election broadcasts.
The final touches to the room included the re-wrapping of the wall baffles with acoustic fabric, and the installation of covers for the electrical dado rails which had been installed in the last 10 years in a rather inconvenient location. The installation of panel lighting to the ceiling has allowed the space to become a permanent studio area, with easy setup – much better than having lighting on stands, which was the previous solution.
Since the General Election Broadcasts in late 2019 (seen in the above image), we have also finished the other side of the studio, which will be used as a smaller, alternative set, with light grey walls and dark grey baffles.