Following a number of site-surveys and planning meetings during 2009, a 44-strong Camera Corps team heads to British Columbia in February to provide point-of-view cameras for the duration of the Winter Games. Two 40 metre tracking systems, nine sports dollies, over 60 robotic heads, 118 HD cameras, and a large inventory of lenses, controllers, interfaces and support equipment are being installed to cover events from Vancouver as well as the winter sports resorts of Whistler and Cypress Mountain.
“We will be fielding four teams in Vancouver plus another four in Whistler and one at Cypress Mountain, as well as installing beauty cameras at various sites between the three main venues,” states Camera Corps’ founder and Managing Director Laurie Frost. “This will be the first Winter Games to be televised fully in 1080i HD. Twelve complete Q-Ball robotic camera systems will be in operation following successful trials at a major sports event in Africa during the summer. Our particular speciality is delivering images from positions very close into the action.
“We have 16 cameras mounted in the roof of the bobsleigh track to follow the passage of each bob down the course. There are also two special pop-up cameras mounted in the ice which can be remotely lowered flush with the ice surface if a bob has turned on its side. That removes any risk of the competitors coming into direct contact with either pop-up camera. The pop-up cameras can also be lowered during ice-grooming operations.
“For the speed skating, we have installed a camera inside one of the marker cones to capture ice level shots as the skaters flash by. We have also placed cameras at the end of the ski jump to capture the each contestant’s actual ‘takeoff’. Camera Corps beauty cameras have been installed in the prow and stern of the SeaBus ferry which connects the cities of Vancouver and North Vancouver. Both cameras will be fully controlled from the IBC along with five other beauty cameras around Vancouver and Whistler.”
“Our Winter Games installations are thoroughly tested to ensure efficient operation at sub-zero temperatures,” adds Camera Corps’ Technical Director, Jim Daniels. “Tolerance of high ambient temperature is often an important factor at summer sports events but in Vancouver our concern will be to ensure protection against snow and ice, including the common-sense element of keeping the camera powered overnight to maintain a moderate level of internal heating. All our sports POV cameras are designed to ensure maximum weather resistance. Q-Ball achieves this by being housed in a 115 mm diameter sphere machined from solid aluminium. A major part of our activity at this event will be providing RF links in close co-operation with the Kent-based company Broadcast RF. These range from relatively straightforward links with handheld and Steadicam systems to the complex requirements of receiving camera feeds from the SeaBus ferry without any signal breakup even while docked at each side of the river.”
Camera Corps specialises in providing high-volume support services for reality television programmes as well as very large-scale sports events. The company has achieved a pre-eminent reputation for its ability to acquire exciting and unusual television content from exceptionally challenging environments. Its ever-growing arsenal includes high-level cranes, HD and SD motorised tracking cameras, underwater cameras, bullseye-mounted archery target cameras and fire-proofed high-temperature cameras. The Camera Corps team expands during large-scale events from 10 full-time staff based at Shepperton Studios to as many as 200 specialists, including highly-skilled rock climbers able to establish camera positions in almost any location. For additional information see www.cameracorps.co.uk