TV-BAY Issue 79 July 13

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Photo 1 is a close-up of the Skquattro pedestal itself which supports a camera and viewfinder combination weighing up to 100 kilogrammes and allows up to 99 centimetres of ‘on-shot’ elevation adjustment. Originated in 2010 for operation in the restricted area of a theatre, the Skquattro is now used on some of the largest productions in British television. Photo 2 shows the left-hand side of the auditorium (from a production perspective) including the MovieBird crane just right of centre. With its telescopic capabilities, this gave the director the option of capturing shots from a very wide range of distances and angles. Photo 3 1988, Valery Gergiev has served as the theatre’s general director. The new building, opened in May, is located opposite the 19th century original. Production configuration Many seats in the theatre were moved to make room for eight large 3D camera rigs. Two of the Skquattro pedestals were mounted on tracks at the far left and right and three more were positioned in the body of the stalls. These were augmented by a MovieBird crane to capture movement of the Mariinsky dancers from very high angles. Photo 1 “We used three static and two tracking TCS Skquattro pedestals for the live relay,” David Gopsall details. “They enabled us to achieve the stable imaging essential for 3D cinema audiences while retaining the freedom to vary camera height and lateral position throughout the live performance. Each pedestal was fitted with stereo-paired Sony HDC-P1 cameras operating in 1920 x 1080 high definition. We were initially asked to source the grip equipment locally but nothing was available that could match the versatility of the Skquattro. We also brought in from TCS a Vinten OB Quattro, eight Vinten Vector 750 pan and tilt heads, plus a Vector 430. These supported cameras delivering video from various angles.” Photo 3 is a close-up illustrating one of the track-mounted Skquattro pedestals at the front of the auditorium, perfectly positioned for operation across the entire width of the stage. Combined with the inherently smooth height adjustment made possible by the pressurised-gas central column, the Skquattro is about as near perfection as any camera mounting system in the television production armoury. A floor-mounted Quattro in mid-aisle can be seen in Photo 4. Another camera rig was located in the orchestra pit, trained on the conductor and artistic director Valery Gergiev. Breathtaking performance Only a minority of the cinemas which participated in the live link are currently equipped for 3D but even in 2D the performance was breathtaking. The relay was also screened in the newly opened Mariinsky 2 auditorium adjacent to the company’s home theatre in St Petersburg. One of the project’s organisers was Ross MacGibbon, a former Royal Ballet dancer who has danced in Swan Lake himself. MacGibbon described the 3D version of the ballet as an exciting adventure: “The shapes made in classical ballet can only be fully appreciated on screen in three dimensions as dance is all about movement through space. 3D transforms the cinema experience.” The entire 6 June live performance was recorded for subsequent processing by Nevafilm  Studios (also based in St Petersburg) before going on general release throughout Russia from 18 June. TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 79 JULY 2013 | 75 TV-BAY079JUL13.indd 75 09/07/2013 16:52