2/6/13 Winter X Games
What a rush… at least after I caught my breath. Working at 7000+ feet above sea level will take your breath away. So will my office views from working at Winter X.
I was fortunate to be called in to use the Polecam for the X Games. Yup, that means 9 days in Aspen, CO. Could be worse I guess.
Anyway, the views were amazing and the courses were ridiculous. I was stationed at Snowboard Street and all Snowmobile events, but spent the most time at the Top of Big Air. It was like looking straight down. The Slope Style jumps were absolutely huge and the Super Pipe was just… wow. The gear was impressive too. The X Games are broadcast in 3D and the cameras are provided by the Cameron Pace Group. They use their production truck (one of 8 semis in the broadcast compound) to adjust the 3D convergence on the fly before the signal goes out to you at home. In plain speak… the 3D effect is adjusted as the athlete moves closer to the camera’s position. This maintains the effect even though the certain of attention is constantly reducing the distance to the camera as they move down the hill.
The hard cameras (Tripod Mounted) were massive when in a 3D configuration and also had a certain degree of control delivered from the production trucks. I’ve got a picture below showing how they are built and used in the field. When not on the Polecam I was operating a handheld 3D set up. CPG calls these the Nano Rigs. They are 3D set up using smaller Sony camera heads and back packs housing the CCUs. This works thanks to a beam splitter so the cameras are 90 degrees apart and not side by side. One camera is on my shoulder, the other is in front of it pointing toward the sky. It gets it’s image off the beam splitter between the two lenses. The Convergence guys still have control over the cameras in the truck but I control the focus and iris on both cameras at one time. This works thanks to synched motors.
I have more pics to share from Winter X Games so check back soon.