The Media Booth

Case Study

Walking the Extra Mile

DRI logo

Democracy Reporting International

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) has been active in Lebanon since 2016, strengthening democracy by bringing it closer to people through effective local governance, improved transparency and citizen participation.


I can give you my general assessment without delving into details since I am not an expert. First of all, I am very grateful to you for helping us in the design and inception phase to make the idea of the talk-show a reality and for advising us on the needed resources to make it happen. You cared a lot about this project and you walked the extra mile to support us, advise us, and adapt when needed. Technically, this was a challenging project but a rewarding one also. We were happy that DRI was working with you on it, and I doubt we would have made it to that high standard without you.

Dr. André Sleiman

Country representative, DRI



Project Overview

Since 2016, Democracy Reporting International (DRI) has been active in Lebanon, strengthening democracy by bringing it closer to people through effective local governance, improved transparency, and citizen participation. DRI Lebanon sought to build an aesthetically outstanding political online show. Despite the stiff competition, The Media Booth was chosen to put it together in a month.


With limited resources and in times of Covid, DRI Lebanon wanted to create an eye-opening social media talk show in a month, visually superior to any other in the industry.


We had to deal with limited resources and power outages due to the country’s economic crisis. The country and Covid made it more challenging to create the talk show, but we could make it work thanks to a dedicated crew, good communication skills, and adaptability. We know that online content is now mainstream; the market is saturated with content for those who want it; with this in mind, we were challenged to create a visually superior talk show that would stand out in content, lighting, and framing. We advised on all project components like location, equipment, guests, workflow, and topics.

The Vibe

We chose the location and we suggested it to DRI Lebanon based on criteria (set decoration, logistics, location, facilities, electricity) Regarding the decorations, we suggested a Home Office style. A red brick wall gave a cozy feeling and was visually relaxing, along with books, posters, decorative accessories, and practical and neon lights.


A unique project needs a unique approach. The project was a hybrid of traditional and digital media. Zaven, who pioneered for decades in conventional media, was now hosting a fully digital show for the first time. Instead of using the traditional media production workflow, we used the process commonly used for producing YouTube shows. We tried to bring the experience of producing an online show to a TV production as much as possible.

How we roll

Each step of the process required a different approach. Our shooting angles were on edge between traditional and digital framing. We used tight frames and low headspace to focus on the host and give a YouTube vibe. We shot a pilot, or episode zero, and got confirmation from DRI to proceed accordingly. That episode was also published.

We used multiple camera setups, a switcher, and shot the episodes live on set. The presenter and DRI Lebanon each received a copy, and the episodes were edited based on their feedback. We chose this procedure since it made the process simpler and faster for us.

The A-Team

Our crew, which comprised of six persons, was modest but quite effective.

Iman Al-Abed, our production manager, coordinated with Zaven and DRI. She was in charge of the teleprompter, the storage of equipment, and ensuring that everyone arrived on time.

Ali Ghader, responsible for the image quality and lighting with minimal resources. As the project progressed, Ali Dakdouk, originally a videographer, became our go-to guy; he fixed things and filled gaps as needed.

Mazen Mekdad, our visual animator and editor, and Fadel Jaber, our sound man.

Finally, Adeeb Farhat served as director, producer, and project manager for the talk show. We worked hard hours and weekends on Nafas Jdeed, our first one-year project, to deliver timely top-notch episodes barely four days after shooting.

The Extra Mile

We pitched in some of our equipment due to a lack of resources. We used some of our lights because the budget only allowed for two. We used our own sound equipment because we needed to be flexible and find solutions quickly when three microphones were running, and sometimes five people were talking. The presenter insisted on using a teleprompter because it makes his job easier; however, it was not budgeted; nonetheless, we made it work and provided it for him.

The program was supposed to be 30 minutes long, but we added 15 minutes to each episode to include young men and women discussing the episode’s content. Each extra was filmed after its respective episode; it was shot in reality show format with similar décor, using handheld cameras with various framing, which were edited and distributed.

Conflicts are inevitable in any project; however, everything can be resolved with good communication skills and flexibility. At the end of the show, we made sure that those who played a part in the project received a gesture for their hard work.