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PROFILE Televising Swan Lake in live
3D from St Petersburg
by Tim Highmoor, Head of Rentals, The Camera Store
S tereoscopic television may still be in its infancy as a home
entertainment medium but it is thriving in the cinema world.
Freed from domestic distractions, cinema audiences are ideally
placed to give their full attention to the images on the big screen.
On Thursday 6 June 2013, the Mariinsky Ballet company in Russia
performed Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake live to 1,200 cinema screens located in 55
countries. The performance was conducted by Valery Gergiev with Yekaterina
Kondaurova, Timur Askerov and Andrei Yermakov in the lead roles.
The Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg is where this version of Swan Lake had its
premiere in 1895, with choreography by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa. This venue
was also the first Russian theatre to experiment with live stereoscopic production,
transmitting an experimental closed-circuit live relay to a cinema audience in Paris.
The June 2013 project was managed by London-based Glass Slipper Live Events.
We were asked by Glass Slipper to supply five Skquattro pedestals and a wide
range of additional support equipment as part of a total system to be used for the
TCS was chosen as an equipment provider by the project’s camera supervisor,
David Gopsill. Having worked on large-scale television productions over many
years, David knows from personal experience that Vinten pedestals deliver precise
pan and tilt movement together with smooth on-air control of camera height. The
Skquattro adds to this the freedom to move the camera equally smoothly along a
track. Innovating beyond the catalog
Established in 1996 and based in West London, The Camera Store (a Vitec Group
company), draws on many years of experience as television cameramen to guide
clients in their choice of equipment. We hold a large stock of standard equipment,
including pedestals, tripods, heads, crane arms, lighting, fibre-optic cable and
camera-support accessories. Our service includes rapid-response delivery and
collection of large or small items.
Unlike many other equipment hire
companies, we are always ready to
think outside the box, or beyond the
catalog, by improving existing kit or
developing new production tools that
will meet unusual challenges. This ability
to provide bespoke solutions has won
TCS a lot of friends in the television
production community where the
need to deliver innovative programmes
sometimes generate demand for new
The Skquattro pedestal is proof of this
ability to innovate. Developed by TCS
from the Vinten Quattro pedestal and
therefore unique to us, the Skquattro
gives camera operators the creative
freedom to deliver low and high angle
shots, plus the ability to shift the camera
laterally as a separate or simultaneous
action. The set
Opened in 1860, the Mariinsky Theatre
became the pre-eminent music theatre
of late 19th century Russia, where
many of the stage masterpieces of
Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-
Korsakov were first performed. Through
most of the Soviet era, it was known as
the Kirov Theatre. Today, the theatre is
home to the Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky
Opera and Mariinsky Orchestra.
Since Yuri Temirkanov’s retirement in
74 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 79 JULY 2013