Covering the Winter Games for Broadcast


Mel Noonan TV-Bay Magazine
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by Mel Noonan
Issue 86 - February 2014
This was written a few days before the opening ceremony so news arriving from the front line is of last minute angst for some of the tech teams who go out and perform daily miracles in such unuser-friendly locations year after year. Camera platforms erected in the wrong place, cables lost under a recent snowfall, cables eventually found but now destroyed by an avalanche...you know the kind of thing. All this and more just in the last few days. There needs to be medals for the tech teams.

Steffan Hewitt, the designer of Polecam, who did his time as a skiing (sometimes backwards!) and other extreme sports cameraman remembers flying the Cablecam system at Lillehammer 26 years ago, where he turned up and found that the anchor points for the cable towers were buried under 6 feet of snow. This sort of crisis is not unusual when you have to turn up and set up in these conditions. The only thing thats different now is that with better communications you find out about all the problems quicker.

Companies like Camera Corps keep winning contracts to supply and operate the range of special cameras and other equipment now used to great advantage at these events. They arrive, and invariably find problems, and they quickly find a solution or workaround, and on the day the pictures go out on time.

There will be a large flurry of Polecams on site, more than ever before, supplied by different organisations and feeding different feeds. Such is the all round suitability of the lightweight one man camera jib to so many different disciplines.

tpc (Technology and Production Centre), Switzerland is just one of the companies. They are the technical services providers for Swiss Radio and Television (SRG), and thus responsible for all their production and all technical aspects of their television and radio broadcasting. There are four language regions in Switzerland, so they must broadcast in French, German, Italian and Roman, which apparently is spoken up in the mountains. This is a big organisation, and they already have around 200 people in place preparing for the event. They will use four Polecams to cover the Alpine skiing events such as Downhill, Slalom and Giant Slalom, which will route via their OB truck. They will supply all games feeds for SRG, and also the main feed.
UK company Camera Corps have a huge inventory of specially developed cameras and systems and will be supplying six of their Polecams to cover Speed Skating, Short Track Skating, Figure Skating, Curling and Ski Jump, also for the main feed.

ANO Sports Broadcasting (Panorama) is a Russian television production company that has long experience in broadcasting sports, political and cultural events both in Russia and abroad. They own 24 rigs, and will supply six Polecams for Russian broadcaster NTV+ sports coverage, and up to 11 Polecams to be located at NTV+ commentary positions.

They will be heavily involved in the Winter Paralympics coverage too, starting 7th March, where they will be host broadcasters. They will be using Polecams for the Opening and closing ceremonies, as well as all those used for the various disciplines.

At the Winter Games there will inevitably be other Polecams on site that we have yet to discover last time they also provided great coverage for the Cross Country, Biathlon, Bobsled, Skeleton and Luge, where all worked extremely well and added immensely to the viewer experience.

Polecam Systems will be present at NAB 2014 in Las Vegas starting 7th April, booth #C9908, and will be showing all current systems including the Polecam -mounted LMC Antelope Pico high speed camera. The Polecam Starter Pack has been hugely successful in bringing new Polecam owner operators into the industry, along with the wide range of cameras that can now be operated on Polecam because of the new heads and the wire strut system, including large format sensor cameras like RED. Come along and see what youre missing!

www.polecam.com


Tags: iss086 | Mel Noonan | Polecam | Steffan Hewitt | Camera Corps | Technology and Production Centre | ANO Sports Broafcasting | Winter Olympics | Winter Paralympics | NAB 2014 | Polecam mounted LMC Antelope Pico high speed camera | RED | Mel Noonan
Contributing Author Mel Noonan

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