Fox Sports Turns to CMSI for Editing Systems and Support at Daytona
Tapeless workflow is streamlined for both the Daytona 500 and the Jeff Gordon preshow
Last weekend, Fox Sports surrounded the Daytona 500 with more than 100 hours of race coverage, a bonanza for NASCAR fans but a logistical feat for the broadcaster. This year, Fox tapped Creative Mobile Solutions (CMSI) to provide editing systems and to streamline the tapeless workflow for Sunday’s race as well as the preshow Jeff Gordon Daytona 500 Kickoff Celebration.
For the Daytona 500, CMSI provided both EVS and Adobe tapeless-workflow tools and support to enhance Fox’s live-editing capabilities and make their workflow more efficient. The company supplied the computers that transcoded the ENG and specialty footage to make that footage available to the editing systems in Game Creek Video’s Edit 1 and FX units. In addition, CMSI managed and maintained the Avid ISIS editing storage system, which managed the footage for the editors and producers on board.
“They’re shooting pretty much every flavor of popular digital camera right now, and those memory cards and hard drives come back to Game Creek’s Edit 1, where our equipment is installed,” explains CMSI President Noah Gusdorff. “It runs through our transcoding machines, which are built with high-end video cards, fast processors, and 10Gb connections, and those are used to make the files available to the edit systems.”
This year’s Daytona 500 was the first NASCAR race for the Burbank, CA-based company, which lists the Indy 500, NFC Championship, U.S. Open golf, FIFA Women’s World Cup, and more on its growing résumé.
“Our Fox relationship has been building over the years,” says Gusdorff, “and, in the last year and a half, it’s gotten a lot stronger. I think they’re seeing us as a partner they can rely on to design new solutions to [address] problems they’re having, as opposed to just providing the same rental they can get anywhere.”
CMSI recently introduced remote management for its onsite equipment. Using a VPN connection, the company can monitor and provide support from its Burbank offices, a cost saving for both the company and the network. However, CMSI continues to have limited staff onsite at major events like the Daytona 500.
Before Sunday’s big race, CMSI provided Adobe Premiere editing systems and EVS tapeless-workflow design for Jeff Gordon Daytona 500 Kickoff Celebration. Footage was recorded on EVS servers directly via 10Gb to Avid ISIS storage, where it was edited with Adobe Premiere.
The show was shot on Friday night at the Halifax River Yacht Club in Daytona Beach. After recording the preshow in real time, CMSI and Fox’s producers and editors remained onsite to edit it. The following day, a hard drive containing the final product was driven to Daytona International Speedway, where CMSI transmitted the telecast to Fox Sports’ Los Angeles studios in time to air Saturday night.
Editing was a particular challenge, given the nature of the one-hour special: interviews with Sports Illustrated swimsuit models and Hollywood celebrities were interspersed with in-depth features on the Daytona Rising project and the 2016 NASCAR season.
“The show was shot completely out of order because it’s based on when a celebrity is available,” says Gusdorff. “Of course, nobody’s really on schedule: they show up when they want to, and you might shoot Segment 7 before you shoot Segment 1 because that’s when someone is available to do an interview. The editors were getting bits and pieces, and then they had to put it all together.”
As the 2016 NASCAR schedule revs up, CMSI will continue to provide transcoding systems and file-based workflow tools, editing and equipment support, and networking know-how to Fox Sports throughout the season.