Phantom Title

The 2010 NHL Winter Classic is finally over. Time to thaw out. Strike was just under three hours, not that bad.

The Bruins beat the Flyers in overtime at Fenway Park today 2-1. Not the best hockey, but a storybook ending for the Bruins and all the hockey fans that packed the ballpark.

me
me
me

I had a great day shooting for the CBC (Canada). The weather was perfect, just below freezing. My camera was a Sony HDC-1500 with a great viewfinder and nice 21x lens. I had a nice little spot on the right side at ice level with a clean piece of glass and a chair to sit on. My utilities worked hard and helped to manage my cable when I was asked to move around to get different shots. I followed the Bruins off and on the ice and shot interviews ice side. The video guys and truck engineers were very helpful and worked hard to make my job easier!

stuck on cap

One problem I had was a frozen cap on a SMPTE fiber cable. I unplugged my camera and ran to grab a shot of the Dropkick Murphy’s on stage, but my stage cable was useless. I had a separate cable run for the performance because the set was far away from the rink. I could not get the protective metal cap off the thing to save my life. Quick thinking and with the help of two utilities, I was able to get my ice cable (game position) run out and just managed to reach the stage as the band turned toward me. This adaptation only delayed me about two minutes…live television can be stressful when an issue like this pops up.

I then shot the Canadian and US national anthem as James Taylor delivered a great rendition. If you watched the game in Canada, you saw my neck breaking tilting twist as I tracked the bomber jet as it ripped through the Boston sky as James left the stage.

During the game, I got a few replays and the director liked to cut in the low camera, so I was very busy.

I was distracted all night by the thoughts that other camera guys where capturing the action in 3D and at very high frames rates. I was only shooting 1080i HDTV!

3d cam

The 3ality Digital folks where shooting for NHL Network with a single over/under (pictured above) rig from four different locations. They positioned a O’Connor film tripod at the right back corner at ice level, at the blue line right side, at the bench for player shots, and right near the crowd. They also had a second 3D camera at the high first baseball position. Not sure if they had a third 3D setup somewhere else, I was too busy with my own stuff.

phantom
phantom
phantom

As I shot the action at 30 frames per second, just a few feet away from me the NHL Network was also capturing the game at very high frames rates. They were using this super sick Phantom HD GOLD camera with a Angenieux Optimo 21x 24mm-290mm f2.8 film zoom lens. The operator had a follow focus and a servo zoom demand mounted to a rear pan handle. The viewfinder was a Sony color hi res. They were using a drive mounted on the top of the camera body to capture the data. The entire thing was powered by Anton Bauer lunch box brick batteries.

NHL Network also had a RED ONE on the other side of the rink. The footage from these cameras will be used in high-end projects like commercials and promos for the NHL. But this is also just an experiment and I look forward to working with the NHL as they begin to implement this exciting digital technology into the sport of hockey. Real nice people over at the NHL Network.

Patrick and I wandered out onto the ice at the end of the game. I pulled out my Panasonic Lumix camera and shot a quick video while standing on the Fenway Park ice with my broadcast camera on my shoulder. Wish I had brought my skates!

Sorry this blog was rushed, I can’t stop to take pictures when other people are working for me! This was a wild sports broadcast.

You can read more about the set day for this production and a video blog I shot early in the process by clicking here.