IMS Productions’ Killer Frost Caters to Pac-12 Networks’ Slate of ‘Multicam’ Events
Looking to break into Pac-12 Networks’ expansive sports schedule, IMS Productions rolled out a revamped truck dedicated to live productions of Olympic sports. The customized mobile production unit, dubbed Killer Frost, hit the road for Pac-12 Networks in late August.
Killer Frost, which follows Pac-12 Networks’ trend of naming trucks after superheroes and comic-book characters, supports the network’s successful “at-home” model by enhancing live productions for nearly 100 Pac-12 Olympic-sports events.
“We are very pleased to welcome IMS Productions to the Pac-12 Networks’ extraordinary family of high-quality mobile-facilities providers,” said Jonathan Leess, EVP, operations, Pac-12 Networks, in a press release. “With IMS Productions’ remote-broadcast expertise and their commitment to building a unique, West Coast-based IP-transmission mobile unit for our network, we are well-positioned to continue our innovative, efficient broadcast methods for years to come.”
The 30-ft. straight truck originally hit the road in 2013, serving as the second truck on Time Warner Cable Sports’ Los Angeles Lakers package and supporting that network’s Deportes feed during home games. However, as the needs for that package evolved and the truck was no longer needed, IMS Productions looked for a way to repurpose it while keeping it on the West Coast. The company set its sights on Pac-12 Networks.
“We’ve been working aggressively trying to crack that nut, if you will, to get into the Pac-12 business,” says IMS Productions President Robby Greene. “We do things on the West Coast with the Lakers; we do other shows out there for IndyCar, PBR … So the West Coast is where we’re trying to get a better foothold.”
IMS Productions completely gutted the three-year-old truck and rebuilt it with Pac-12 Networks’ technological specifications in mind. Pac-12 required a truck that could support its at-home production — which the network refers to as “multicam” — via IP transmission. An Evertz Xenon 64×64 router was installed, and the truck was wired for five Sony cameras; in addition, the company installed an IP transmission infrastructure that Pac-12 Networks keeps under wraps.
For each Olympic-sports event, Killer Frost transmits the clean feed from the site to Pac-12 Networks’ studio in San Francisco, where talent can provide voiceover, graphics can be added, and more.
IMS leveraged its existing assets to custom-build the unit for Pac-12, providing the network with a state-of-the-art and cost-effective method of broadcasting such sports as baseball, softball, lacrosse, water polo, and track and field. According to IMS, multicam productions out of Killer Frost require a production crew comprising only an engineer, an A1, and five camera operators, but the crew still has access to the amenities of a larger production truck.
Greene hopes to continue to grow the relationship between IMS Productions and Pac-12 Networks in the future, providing services for Pac-12’s hundreds of events, no matter how big or small.
“IMS Productions is proud to partner with Pac-12 Networks to provide an efficient solution to deliver the technological tools necessary to connect Pac-12 fans with their favorite athletic events,” says Greene. “Our team’s years of experience and hands-on approach have allowed us to create a purpose-built unit that will seamlessly transition from one event to the next.”