Ski Jumping Coverage Soars with Specialty Cameras, Enhanced Audio

Ski jumping coverage at the Winter Olympics has been a veritable specialty camera feast with 28 cameras that include a mini-blimp camera, a largere tethered blimp camera, a Towercam, a Railcam, and a helicopter feed. Three super slo mo systems and a high-speed camera system are also part of the camer complement.

For Liu Rong, Olympic Broadcast Services, coordinating technical manager, and his team the biggest challenge has been moving all of the equipment onto and off of the mountain after every event.

“There is a really narrow window to move equipment down and we need to use special equipment like snow cats and snow mobiles,” he says.

Slovenia SLV is the production team that shoots the event and ARD/ZDF is also on hand to ensure that German viewers don’t miss a single minute of the action.

Audio, as always, is a big part of the production and 35 microphones are located along the competition venue.

Ski jumping coverage this weekend also benefitted from some tricks like frequency banding. The challenge involved letting the viewer hear the sound of the skier hurtling down the track over the din of the Railcam which is prone to being noisy but grabs stellar images of the long jumper.

“Right now we have the skis sounding like a jet because we equalized the Railcam to be an octave lower than the crispy sounds of the skis and then blended them together,” says Dennis Baxter, sound designer for Olympic Broadcast Services. “It makes for a nice effect.”