Speaking on the eve of the Ryder Cup, Sky Sports Director of Operations Darren Long said Sky and Cameron Pace Group are all set to deliver a thrilling 3D event writes Adrian Pennington
Sky launched its 3D Channel at Celtic Manor for the 2010 Ryder Cup and has tried to implement a similar 3D setup at Medinah Park, this time in-conjunction with CPG in a first major pairing between the broadcaster and the 3D specialist.
“We have worked together with Vince Pace [co-chair of CPG] for a long time on test shoots and we took the 3D coverage of the US Masters 2011 [which CPG co-produced with CBS Sports] but this is our first major production venture. The timescales were pretty tight but we were confident that we had the capability to deliver The Ryder Cup in 3D and so it has proved,” said Long.
The timescales were too tight in fact for CPG to plan its preferred modus operandi, that of pure 5D production where all camera positions, crew and editorial are mirrored for both 2D and 3D productions.
Instead, the 3D production is completely separate from the NBC and the European Tour 2D output and employs a dedicated team of 120 people on-site at Medinah Park working from CPG's Shadow 25 unit and a second facility from Dome Productions.
“For all intents and purposes we are the 3D host broadcaster,” said Long. “Certain feeds will come from the 2D production but the 3D director doesn’t have to rely on them for the majority of the coverage.
“We are trying a number of new things, including a 5D Shadow rig,” says Long. A shadow rig pairs two extra cameras onto an existing 2D camera to deliver an additional 3D picture. “We are also using a super motion camera on the first tee to get the reaction from the crowd and the players. We want to see the excitement and the tension in their faces in slow motion, so we are trying to bring all these elements together to make it a thrilling 3D event. We have three more cameras than we did at Celtic Manor taking us to 27 in total. We’ve positioned these very carefully to make sure they cover both greens and tee shots to get the most and best coverage from every position.”
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Seasoned European Tour producer Mike Crowe is working with Sky to produce the 3D coverage. He is working alongside 3D director Steve Smith.
“The course is amazing and they have taken away about 1000 trees to open it up to the crowds, so we are going to get some really exciting pictures. Our cameras are positioned at just the right height to give the optimum view of the undulations in the greens and fairways, so there are going to be some amazing and vibrant shots of the course. We’ve also got the ‘Virtual Eye’ for 3D course flyovers and 3D on course graphics so we‘ve got some really good tools to convey the excitement and the story at this Ryder Cup.”
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