Euroscena deploys 12-camera OB van for boxing tournament

Highly regarded on both national and international levels, Italian TV production company Euroscena owns 15 vehicles with circulation permits in historic centres and has been involved in the coverage of major sporting events since it was established back in 1985.

Richard Petrucci is the technical manager of some events and was recently at the helm for boxing matches within the Italian Boxing Championship.

“[The event] airs on Italian TV network Sport Italia,” he says, “and for such events that we consider of average complexity we usually move a 12 cameras in SD OB van, even if something simpler could be used, but we like to propose a [larger] “manoeuvring space”. The shots are made in SD even though we have HD cameras, Grass Valley LDK 6000 and 8000, with 72x lenses, 82X and even 101X.”

Italian Championship events were held in various towns and cities such as Celano, Avezzano, Frosinone and Rome. The setup on the field is held the same day and starts at 14.00. The preparation commences immediately and the event is aired live at 20.30 with the shooting of several matches in a row. The main match usually goes on air at 22.45 and at about 23:30 the event draws to a close.

Petrucci remarks: “Of all the cameras available two are placed directly on the main seated area at the top, centre. The first shoots long focal images by 72x or 82x. The second camera records wider perspective shots. On the right of the ring at 90°, sometimes to the left instead, another camera, also with long focal optics, joins two other handheld cameras that usually operate in a ‘dangerous’ position, ie at the corners of the ring where the cameramen also are likely to be punched (!). Here shots are rather narrow to describe the fatigue of the boxers. Another camera called a ‘beauty shot’ is installed in the upper right on the lighting rig just above the ring and can make shots of the whole set, the so-called ‘establishing shots’.”

The audio is extremely important in boxing matches with microphones placed on the main camera and an additional stereo setup XY positioned just below the ring. Some radio microphones on special rods capture the boxers in the most challenging corners, while a journalist on the sidelines employs a handheld microphone for interviews.

The OB mobile unit features two EVS replay systems, operated by two professionals, with each machine featuring four inputs. The crew comprises a total of seven people: the director, the coordinator of the journalistic area, the video mixer, the two operators devoted to slow motion, a control camera person and a technical manager.

With this mobile unit Euroscena produces the international signal and the custom TV feed thanks to a journalist handling Sport Italia requirements and a dedicated graphics workstation positioned just below the ring. The interviews are also part of the customisation. All camera cables are triaxial, while the graphics workstation is connected to the fiber connection to the OB van, using one link which also handles intercom signals.

All camera signals are recorded together with the clean feed and the programme, facilitating the production of highlights and some small clip inserts of a few seconds’ duration, used for indenting from advertising.

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