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Videocraft Shoots Ironman and Ironwoman

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March 15, 2013 5:00:00 PM PDT March 15, 2013 5:00:00 PM PDTth, March 15, 2013 5:00:00 PM PDT
It takes a particular type of individual to take part in an ironman or ironwoman race and the same can be said for the production company and OB providers responsible for broadcasting the intensely competitive events. Recently Videocraft provided a full production setup for Castle Media, the event specialists responsible for broadcasting the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Surf Ironman and Ironwoman Series. Videocraft NSW State Manager Andy Liell explained, “We have a long relationship with Castle Media so we know the level of professionalism and reliability they expect. The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Surf Ironman Series was no exception. John Palmer, Castle Media’s MD approached us with their requirements and a very tight timeframe so we immediately sat down to work out the best production solution for their requirements.” Palmer felt that the Ironman series was better suited to Videocraft’s unique FlyPack mobile production solution than a traditional OB truck set up. The system chosen for the series was Videocraft’s mid-range FlyPack that included six Sony HDC1500 cameras, a Sony MVS6000 switcher, two EVS servers, two CCU positions, a Yamaha M7 console providing full audio facilities and all outboard equipment, radio mics and links. Palmer said, “We’ve worked with Videocraft on OBs before so we were confident they would come up with the best solution. They researched previous Ironman events and presented us with a range of options. Their mid-range FlyPack was clearly the way to go. To be honest they didn’t have a lot of time to pull the system together and prep it in Sydney before shipping it over to the first race in Perth so it was all systems go at that point.” The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Surf Ironman Series features the country’s elite athletes competing in the most gruelling ocean-based competition on the planet. The 2012/13 series was fought out over six rounds at iconic Australian beaches including Perth, Newcastle, Portsea, Surfers Paradise, Coolum and Noosa Heads with all six races broadcast nationally on Network Ten. Palmer continued, “There was no room for error as getting spare equipment in Perth wasn’t an option. The Videocraft team really went the extra mile and all the kit turned up for the first race working perfectly. Each race broadcast also had the added challenge of keeping all the sand and salt water at bay so the logistics were quite tricky too.” The Ironman series ran from December 2012 to February 2013, a very busy period for Videocraft as Liell explained, “In addition to Ironman we were also working on the Australian Tennis Open and The Tour Down Under at the same time. The only way to manage three huge events like these simultaneously is to have an experienced team, proven systems and good, reliable equipment.” Videocraft’s additional challenges for the Ironman series included ensuring all of the equipment worked to its maximum capacity with significant redundancy as each race was shot as a live event, irrespective of any delayed broadcast times. Slow motion capture also proved a potential sticking point. John Palmer concluded, “We asked Videocraft for a more cost effective slow-mo solution, something that would be a good alternative to using traditional super slow-mo cameras. In typical Videocraft fashion they came up with a new Sony NEXFS700 camera using a Canon 30-300mm cine lens. This enabled our camera operators to capture slow-mo action content for play on/off packages at more than 200 frames per second. Very clever, very cost effective. All in all it was a great series and all credit to Andy Liell and the entire Videocraft team including Rentals Manager Nick Gleeson and Systems Technician Glen Beaumont without who we simply wouldn’t have achieved such an excellent result.” For more information on Castle Media Group go to: www.castlemedia.com.au