Porto: A challenge for TV production

Porto: A challenge for TV production

28.06.2013: Eurosport Events put in strong efforts to broadcast WTCC races worldwide, and this

Eurosport Events put in strong efforts to broadcast WTCC races worldwide, and this weekend’s event at Porto is one of those that require further exertion from the TV production team.

“Things are more difficult at all street circuits,” explains Deputy Chief Editor Alessandro Dragosei. “At a permanent track, everything is set up for the activities, including TV production. But at a street circuit we have to start from scratch.

Placing the cameras in positions to get good shots is more difficult, as is laying cables across streets or through private properties: a cable can always break, but here it can break because someone comes home and drives across it.

And on top of this the circuit opens every night to normal traffic. It’s an absolute nightmare for TV production!”

You work with a contractor company to achieve this?

“We work very closely with Visual for the entire European season and they are the very best. They make the task easier because they are very professional and they are used to challenges. Between them and us we have a total of ninety people involved in producing the TV programmes in Porto.”

What facilities do you have for the TV production from Porto?

“We have 29 track cameras, including a Jimmy-jib - a special camera on a crane that can shoot spectacular pictures. We have one helicopter, which is extremely good at this kind of track because the view from above is particularly rewarding and it allows us the opportunity to show the wider pictures of the race in what are very beautiful surroundings.

As usual, we have our two RF cameras for use in the pit lane and 24 onboard cameras in the cars themselves. The big effort here, I have to say, is in terms of the track cameras and the helicopter.”

What are the advantages of a street circuit from a TV point of view?

“The two main problems in motorsport TV production are that all tracks look the same, so only the experts can tell if you are at one track or another, and that virtually every corner looks very similar to the others. As a result, there is a risk of producing a very monotonous series of pictures.

That isn’t an issue with city tracks; you can recognize Monaco, Macau or Porto because the corners look different. You can diversify the way the pictures look, plus the races tend to be quite animated and also you have the opportunity to place cameras quite close to the cars to give a real sense of speed so we always get a good audience when we are at a street circuit.

For us, city tracks are the most challenging technically, but the most rewarding in terms of the quality of the programmes we make.”          


- Fabio Ravaioli, photo FIA WTCC

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28.06.2013 / MaP

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