Sunday, July 25, 2010

From the notebook

Random quotes and thoughts from people associated with the America’s Cup television production trials this weekend in Valencia, Spain, which produced more than 150 hours of video and required 10 terrabytes of memory.

Brad Webb, BMW ORACLE Racing bowman
My impressions are that the courses need to be short. There’s lots of work still to be done on course configuration, do we have a short upwind before going downwind, or even start downwind? Also, how do we integrate spectator viewing?

It was a big one to try all the different angles and 3D format. It’s good to be pushing the television aspect beyond anything done before. It’s always been reactive in the past, but now TV is leading the way. It’s a great idea to have the cameras integrated into the design of the yachts. The networks will know what they’re getting when they sign up for rights.

The monohull vs. multihull debate rages on. I’m on the fence about it. Before the 33rd Cup I was keen to go back to monohulls. Then I saw how cool the boats were and it was pretty exciting. Let’s face it, multihulls are cool to watch and that’s what it will boil down to, what’s coolest to watch.

Every camera angle that was different was good. There’s still refinement to go but it’s all food for thought. The surround sound and 3D were cool. Are people going to sit on their living room couch and wear special glasses to watch it? Maybe. People laughed five years ago about what the Internet could offer and look at it now. So maybe in three or four years 3D will be the standard. The important thing is we’re ahead of the curve rather than playing catch up.

Peter Reggio, esteemed Principal Race Officer
We tried some unrefined things. For the purpose of these trials the trick was to construct the racing in such a manner that the boats engaged each other. The more the boats are engaged, the more compelling the viewing.

We weren’t looking for pure open water sailing. If you have open water sailing you end up with speed tests. We were willing to try things to be sure they didn’t work. The trick is to construct the racing in such a manner than engagement happens.

This isn’t just for the 34th America’s Cup, it’s for the future of the event. We’re all trying to make things better for the future. We all want to create a legacy that carries the America’s Cup well into the future.

No idea was deemed too small. We might’ve been looking for a needle in a haystack, but if we don’t look we’ll never know if it’s there.

Alberto Accettulli, 25, of Genoa, Italy, whose video “Ride It” was one of three early entrant finalists in the America’s Cup Video Production Competition 
I’ve never been sailing or seen a regatta. I’m totally shocked because of the massive effort going on here. I’ve never seen so many professionals working so closely together three to four years before competition.

I was a pro mountain biker for a few years, but then I started to work in video production because I had no sponsor and needed to make some money to eat and live. So I asked a friend to take film of me riding my bike, and then I found my new passion, filming and editing.

My video (click “Ride It” to view the video) is the result of three years of video. It’s all real riders, there’s no duplicating in it.

I see the goal is to capture a young audience. I see you have to be open to change to get that audience. My new goal is to help capture young audiences with sailing videos. I will make a video of this weekend and put my touch on it.