RF Wireless Teams Deploys 13 Live Player Cams for Axe Project Wild Paintball on Twitch
Produced in cooperation with Dome Productions, the live stream offered multiple POV perspectives
On Thursday, Sept. 24, RF Wireless Systems raised the production bar for Axe Project Wild, a seven-hour paintball competition live-streamed to Twitch. To present an authentic, videogame feel, the event called for live cameras and microphones on all participating players.
“We knew it would be a challenge,” says Rob Bunn, president, RF Wireless Systems, “but we also knew it would be fun and really make a difference to our clients. We invested significant engineering time getting the player rigs right; we knew they needed to be strong and durable.”
Pulling off this feat in any setting would be difficult, but to accomplish it for a high-mobility sport like paintball in the dense terrain outside Barrie, ON, RF Wireless developed a rock-solid plan of attack with Dome Productions for this “esports turned reality” venture. Out of the 18 total cameras, RF Wireless supplied 15, including 13 worn by the players.
“I’m not sure if this many live wearable elements have ever been done before, but 15 standard RF cameras is a big project for anyone, not to mention 13 of them mounted on players running through forests and hiding under cars in a videogame-like setting,” says Ben Boriss, VP, operations and production, RF Wireless Systems. “We had to show up with everything tested, rigged, and ready to go.”
In addition to the 13 wearable devices controlled by RF Wireless, the production also deployed two Sony HDC-4300 hard cameras, two Sony HDC-4300 RF handheld cameras, and a Sony HDC-4300 host camera. All feeds were sent to Dome Productions’ Vista 4K mobile production unit.
The venue had three areas of play, which meant that the production required a large receive infrastructure. In addition, providing two handheld RF cameras within a very narrow setup window necessitated a solid plan and the right onsite team.
“We had concerns about securing enough spectrum,” Boriss explains. “As we dug in to figure out what the client’s vision was, it became clear that [active planning] was the only way to go. The venue was remote, so that certainly played a role in our success.”
Dome Productions was familiar with the capabilities of the RF cameras, given its extensive collaboration with RF Wireless on productions in the past.
“Providing extensive coverage and staying true to an engaging and intimate perspective for the audience was a massive undertaking,” says Chris Mitchell, senior account manager, client solutions, Dome Productions. “We’ve had a strong relationship with RF Wireless over several years, and this project was a perfect example of that.”
RF Wireless has provided wearable cameras in hockey and other sports, but this was its first event of this scale with this many live elements. Though presenting many logistical and technological hurdles, the production was a major steppingstone.
“Much of our strength and success lies in the time spent to treat every project as a custom build, and this one was no exception,” says Boriss, adding, “Working with Dome on something like this makes a huge difference because they were committed and incredibly supportive throughout the process.