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See The Texans' "Hard Knocks" Mission Control Room

The crew of HBO's critically acclaimed "Hard Knocks" series has been busy preparing to feature the Houston Texans for this season. See how they are wiring NRG Stadium for the action that all starts next week.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

NRG Stadium is getting wired up as the film and production crews of "Hard Knocks" make ready for their 10th season of the series.  As all fanatics know, this season features the Houston Texans.  We'll soon see cameras and boom-microphones chasing around players, coaches, family members and fans as crews from HBO and NFL Films capture training camp activities and epic behind-the-scenes moments.

In order to direct all those resources and to ultimately pull together the high-quality finished production, they have installed a high-tech mission control room.

Marc Vandermeer provided the following in an article on The Mothership:

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.


Are you getting excited yet?  Training camp officially starts next Friday, July 31st.