Penn Relays Get HD Treatment Courtesy of Windfall Productions, NEP Supershooter 14
This Saturday ESPN2 will air the Penn Relays on tape delay but it is up to Windfall Productions, once again, to make sure the production can keep up with the likes of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Team USA which has dominated the event over the years.
The biggest challenge for Windfall Productions and its staff is working in a venue, historic Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania, that was built in 1895.
The core of the production will be NEP Supershooter HD 14 with eight cameras including a jib, and two robotics cameras, Chyron Duet Hyper-X graphics, Panasonic DVCPro HD videotape mastering, and six-channel EVS [XT]2 and two four-channel EVS RO servers on hand for tapeless replays. “Our technical team has to rig two Fletcher robotic TV camera heads underneath the upper deck of Franklin Field so that our TV viewers can basically see the finish line at home in HD,” says Ralph J. Mole, Windfall Productions, executive producer/director.
The play-by-play robotics camera uses a 21×7.8 Fujinon lens while the second camera is focused on closeups with the help of a 33×11 Fujinon lens. The camera operators execute pan, tit and zoom with the robotics TV control panel from a broadcast command position situated in the Franklin Field lower grandstands behind the press corps.
“Without this intense rigging effort of TV robotics cameras at Franklin Field, Windfall could not broadcast the exciting finish line pictures,” adds Mole.
Mole is working on his 11th Penn Relays as Windfall Productions continues a relationship with ESPN that has included events around the globle, like ESPN’s coverage of the “World Championships of Athletics” from Paris, France in 2003.