The new ZDF family show "Das Spiel beginnt!" from MMC Studios Cologne

Board games are in - at any age.

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, at 8:15 p.m., Johannes B. Kerner and his young co-host Emma Schweiger (Til Schweiger's youngest daughter) presented the new ZDF family show "Das Spiel beginnt! - Die große Show von 3 bis 99" together presented popular classics and new trends on a big games night.

In exciting, funny and surprising rounds, actors Hans Sigl, Veronica Ferres and Kostja Ullmann as well as comedian Bülent Ceylan battled it out in Cologne's MMC Studio 30/31 against the experts in the field: the children who won in the end.

In addition to the big classic games, there were games of skill and reaction, action and sports games, tactics games, memory games and modern games. In various rounds of games, the celebrities competed sometimes against one child, sometimes against two or three of the little opponents. After the grand final game, it was clear that the children were the winners of the evening. Nena provided the musical entertainment for the show.

The odds:
More than 5 million viewers watched the show on TV. The market share was 19.9 percent (viewers aged 3 and over). The new ZDF show was also well received by younger viewers: Up to 1.47 million (market share 15.1 percent) of 14- to 49-year-olds tuned in.

"The Game Begins! - The big show from 3 to 99" was put on by Riverside Entertainment, Hamburg, in the MMC Studios produced in Cologne.

During the production of the new ZDF show, directed by Frank Hof, a total of 10 cameras were used in the MMC Studio 30/31 for use.

These included 3 Grass Valley (GVG) LDK 8000 cameras and one GVG LDK 8300 Super SloMo camera, one GVG LDK 8000 on a Grasshopper camera crane and one on an RTS RopeClimber system, one GVG LDX compact in a rig for overseeing the LED pitch, two GVG LDK 8000 elite wireless handheld cameras and one GVG LDK 8000 elite wireless Steadicam. Hero3 and Hero4 cameras from GoPro were used for special settings and perspectives.

For the production in 720p50, the mixing of the image signals was done in the HD control room 11 of the MMC on a GVG Kayenne XL (3.5 M/E). Feeds were realized via 4 channels of a Grass Valley Summit Server. An EVS XT2 was used for highlight editing and Super SloMo feeds. 4 Sony XDCAM-MAZs as well as a 10-channel ingest system were available for recording.

In the audio area, a Sennheiser DIGITAL 9000 wireless microphone system with DPA 4066 lip mics and Sennheiser SR 2050 return receivers were used, among others. Audio mixing was done on a Lawo mc²56 console.

The equipment department of MMC Studios was responsible for the "The Game Begins! Decoration and stage construction and - together with PropHouse - for the Development and implementation of the studio games responsible.

Decoration, media technology and kinetics for the show were combined according to set design specifications by Wieder Design to create the play set.

For the show, various game surfaces were created in MMC Studio 30/31 with the help of a cantilevered, movable bridge (12.00 m). In addition, interactive LED surfaces with various pixel pitches were used as floor (8.0 m x 8.0 m) and wall (12.0 m x 7.20 m) to support the games.

The games themselves were developed and produced within 2 months. In the process, the games were adapted for realizability on television and implemented in a modern look suitable for the stage. The stagings of the games were sometimes close to the original, sometimes in a modern and opulent look, sometimes following the game principle but with a completely new twist.

A total of 1040 people watched the show in the stands of the 2,600 square meter MMC Studio 30/31.

On the part of MMC Studios Cologne, the production was supervised by Account Manager Susanne Knapp. MMC production engineer Herbert Fittinghoff and MMC's Head of Operations, Jan Schubert, were in charge of technical management. Theo Kings led the work areas of MMC's equipment for the show as project coordinator.

Photo: "The Game Begins!" at MMC Studio 30/31 in Cologne. © MMC Studios / Herbert Fittinghoff