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Old August 12th, 2009, 02:59 AM   #1
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Broadcast TV at the races

I've been offered some work working with a team broadcasting races. I'm up tommorow on the stewards corner (no idea where that is) and it sounds as boring as bat shit but they're paying so I'm shooting.

Having never touched a broadcast camera before (He said they'd try to hook me up with a canon XL1) and having never shot races - what am I in for? - anyone do this as a regular gig?

I'm assuming they'll get pretty mad if I try out a nice rack focus along the rail while the race is on?
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Old August 12th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #2
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I don't know any OB company that uses Canon XL1 cameras for TV broadcast work although they do use small cameras for locked off shots. They usually use 2/3" cameras, commonly with servo (or cable) focus controls and a servo controlled zoom. You're given direction through the coms system, so it's a matter of just working the system and doing the shot when the little red light comes on in the V/F. Those servo focus controls do take getting used to, there can be lag in system.

This could be coverage for feeds to bookies rather than TV broadcast.

Lots of professional gigs are boring, but they pay the bills and you often have to do them in order to get up the ladder.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #3
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G'day Paul,
This will probably be a bit late.

They are probably using the XL1 for the Stewards viewing. Not all cameras are output to broadcast. In most cases it will only be one camera (the one at the finishing line that is used for broadcasting, sometimes there will be another camera for interviews at hosting events etc.

Steve.

Last edited by Steve Elgar; August 12th, 2009 at 07:26 AM. Reason: typo
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Old August 12th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
Having never touched a broadcast camera before (He said they'd try to hook me up with a canon XL1) and having never shot races - what am I in for?
To answer the other part of your question for completeness:
Moving from a prosumer camera to a broadcast camera is like moving from a Chevy S-10 to a dumptruck: they have a lot of the same controls but they are unlikely to be found in any of the same places and all sorts of new things are thrown into the mix.

Broadcast cameras come in many flavours: there are camcorders which still have a tape (or disc or card) recording section; there are also what we refer to as studio cameras, normally equipped with "box" lenses. These cameras don't have any controls for exposure, gain, white balance or any of the other stuff we normally associate with pro cameras on the camera body itself. They are connected by multistrand, triax or fibrecable back to the control room where a technician called a "shader" operates all aspects of the image while the camera operator operates the pan, zoom, focus and zoom aspects. This frees up the operator to focus (pardon the pun) on getting the image.
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