It’s Onwards and Upwards, Literally, for Fox World Series Coverage
Fox Sports’ coverage of the World Series will once again be a showcase for high-speed and high-resolution camera systems, with six Inertia Unlimited X-Mo camera systems and a Sony 4K camera at the center of the production.
“High-speed photography is taking over the business,” says Jerry Steinberg, SVP of field operations, Fox Sports. “And now, when you watch a game, all of the money shots, even the live ones, are from high–frame-rate devices.”
The biggest change in terms of World Series coverage will be the presence of the young FS1 network, which will provide an additional outlet for both pre- and post-game coverage. And, while it doesn’t mean much more in terms of technology, it does have a ripple effect on the compound because there will be more personnel on-site. Game Creek Video’s Dynasty unit will handle production duties in Boston, and NCP will be tapped for games three, four, and five in St. Louis.
“The MLB Network has grown every year, and MLB International and NHK are much bigger because of the superstar Asian players on the Red Sox,” explains Steinberg. “But, while the size of the show has grown, the compound in Fenway Park is the same size.”
The solution to the tight fit? Fox Sports Production Coordinator Emily Mekesa discovered a European company called Williams Scotsman that provides mobile office space and built a 20-x 24-ft. three-story home for operations offices, executive offices, and the green room.
“This is their first three-story Moduflex unit,” says Mekesa. The unit was assembled in the 48-hour period between the Division Series and the American League Championship Series.
Acceptance of high–frame-rate cameras in the live environment demonstrates just how far the technology has come in the past couple of years. Historically, cameras from more-traditional manufacturers always held the advantage when it came to using shots live.
“The thing that is driving everything now is clarity in replays,” adds Steinberg, “and you do that with either resolution or high frame rates. Both of those are a big part of the show.”
The 4K Sony camera will operate at 60 fps, and it is still to be determined it will be located. Second base continues to be near the top of the list for possible coverage.
“In the ALCS, we had close plays on a stolen base,” notes Steinberg. “You would love to have the ability to zoom in on the hand for the tag.”
Also look for the Dirtcam to be used in front of home plate. The unit stepped up to the plate in games six and seven and captured some great shots of bunts being laid down. And the Chyron Hego Home Run Tracker will also be in use.
“We have two great and fun teams, two great baseball cities,” says Steinberg. “If we get the games we want, we’ll do well.”