Global Production team makes the difference in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.
The Alpine Ski World Cup returns to Sestriere with the Female Giant Slalom on January 18th and the Special Parallel Women's Slalom on January 19th.
Infront, Italian tv rights holder, choose Turin Global Production, the Euro Media Group operating team in Italy, as a host broadcaster to follow the television production of these events, especially for the strong specialisation it has excellently shown in Winter sports events.
On this occasion, the OB6 mobile vehicle was deployed, which had already been assigned to the production of the Ski World Cup in the most technologically important stages, such as Val Gardena and Val di Fiemme.
It is a 16.5m long vehicle with a Grass Valley Kayak HD300 - 4.5ME video mixer heart and AV matrices by Imagine Communications. Then it is equipped with 6 Multi-viewers, Audio & Video Glue from Imagine Communications, Digico SD7 Audio Mixer, Intercom systems by Riedel Artist 128, LG LCD 55" monitors for production, 32" LG for Slomo Area and SONY PVM-1741 for the engineering.
OB6 manages up to 30 GrassValley LDK86N cameras ready for 4K HDR shooting, and up to 10 K2 Dyno Replay System from Grass Valley for the Live Slow-motion system.
On the frozen slope
The double competition sees 21 cameras dedicated to the giant race and 15 for the parallel slalom.
The famous Giovannino Agnelli slope, which also hosted the 1992 World Ski Championships, is unique for both races and ends at the historic parterre of Sestriere; the parallel skiing race uses only a portion of that same slope used for the giant.
Two Hyper-motion 6X cameras and two super Slow-motion 3x cameras, clevely placed in strategic positions, are used in filming to add "show to the show".
Luca Manfredi, production manager of the event, says: "To make decisions regarding the "camera layout", director Sandro De Manicor and assistant director Franco Scotton carry out an inspection on skis, before "tracciatura" official tracing, in order to find a first position for the positioning of the cameras.
The cameras are positioned on scaffolding and take pictures, thanks to long lenses, to make the descriptive technical story possible by giving continuity to the athletes race.
Each camera follows a portion of the track so as to facilitate the narration of the commentators who see the line of the descent.
After this fundamental tracing, the director expresses his "authorial flair" by choosing the positions of the shoulder cameras, but also considering the stringent safety requirements with great attention.
The safety aspect is very important if we consider that the athletes in the descents of the giant reach speeds of around 80/100 km per hour.
The most spectacular points are often also the most dangerous ones and the International Winter Sports Federation, (FIS), must give the approval from the "safety point of view".
All cameras are wired with fibre optics, while two radio cameras take pictures on the starting line and in the arriving parterre.
The area behind the starting gate is populated by athletes and skiers who create a real very lively folkloric village.
Also captured are images of great impact and the engaging reactions of the public, teams, and captains.
Global Production at Sestriere deploys GrassValley LDX 86 cameras on the track and the two radio cameras with Vislink radio links.
Luca Manfredi resumes: "The peculiarity of an Alpine ski production is the need to employ highly specialised shooting staff not only from the technical point of view of the images, but also able to move on skis with heavy and expensive materials along the same slopes that athletes use.
These black slopes are typically very frozen and not covered with simple snow; in fact, two days before the races, these tracks are injected with water at a depth of about 30 cm to create a stable ice bed.
This allows creation of "homogeneous" conditions on the track that can remain constant for all athletes and throughout the duration of the races.
The TV production team is therefore made up of staff with great experience in shooting, but also deep experience of the mountains, abilities required for working with very low temperatures and to tackle the great difficulties in moving.
The strength of Global Production and Euro Media Group is precisely this; the ability, demonstrated over the years, to create and grow a team of professionals specialised in snow sports".
The setup at Sestriere
The setup of an event like Sestriere requires the use of new technologies that have made the pre-existing wiring on Triax obsolete.
Not by chance the cabling system is built from scratch in four days, with a dedicated team, to lay the necessary fibres: about six thousand meters of dark fibre and as many with SMPTE fibre cable affect the cameras, the signals that reach the tv compound and connect the graphics section, the commentators, and the big screens.
The system consists of 4 hubs, or under interconnected fibre stations, where all the signals of the cameras arrive and from there continue to the respective CCUs on the mobile vehicle.
A further three days are required for the transport of the cameras to each of the stations along the slope; transport which is carried out in part with snowmobiles and in part by helicopter.
The subsequent setup or "fine tuning" of the cameras takes a whole day and from here you get to the "official training" of the teams and then to the two days of live races broadcast on Eurosport and on RAI.
Sestriere is a complex location involving many optical fibres, 96 dark fibres, and many Riedel MediorNet devices for the distribution of all audio, video, data, and communications signals, from tv compound to MCR.
Overall, the event and the two races employ 48 people between resources and production team and for about ten days.
The tv compound is quite far, about 500 metres from the parterre and the small building housing the timing, the Swiss Timing graphic team, the commentator stations and the Master Control Room. Also here are the team of 4 race judges operating remotely on a K2 live slow motion Grass Valley Dyno within the mobile vehicle, to review in detail the technical correctness of each athlete in the race.
© & Media Contact Roberto Landini Presspool.it