Live from the O2: Sky Sports tests Batcam Wire on Haye Bellew 2
A high-wire camera system piloted by the aerial filming company Batcam was among the production tools being used at the O2 last weekend as Sky Sports Boxing delivered live pay-per-view coverage of David Haye versus Tony Bellew.
Operated by company founder Alastair Soutar, Batcam Wire provided director Sara Chenery and her team with pictures from above the boxing ring during both the undercard fights and the main event, billed as Haye Bellew 2, won by Liverpudlian Bellew.
Although the system has been used by its manufacturer, DynamiCam, for boxing coverage in the US, this marked the first time that the system had been used in the UK.
“If we can capture the boxer looking up at the ceiling from the canvas, that is the money shot.”
Sky Sports Boxing production manager Jennie Blackmore told SVG Europe ahead of the fight that Batcam Wire was chosen as it was able to fit underneath the lighting truss in the O2 arena.
“We’ve used Alan Wells’ Eaglecam before, which flies all the way across the arena, but because of the lighting truss it can’t go under the ring or through the truss so we’ve only ever been able to run it along the side the ring,” she said. “Batcam Wire gives us a bit more movement right above the ring.”
As the system was making its debut, director Chenery used the undercard fights to work out what worked and what didn’t, in readiness for the main event.
“You have to be careful how and when you use it because it can get into the background of other shots,” she said. “But if there is a knockdown, all bets are off. If we can capture the boxer looking up at the ceiling from the canvas, that is the money shot.”
The Batcam Wire was fitted with a Blackmagic Design 4K camera and a custom gimble for covering Saturday night’s action.
The Batcam Hold, a handheld gimble device fitted with a Sony camera head, was also used. This captured live footage of the ringwalks, from eye level, for both Haye and Bellew.
OB facilities at the O2 were provided by Telegenic. Broadcast RF supplied the wireless camera systems. Read more about the production set-up for Haye Bellew 2.
Haye Bellew 2 was broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office on 5 May 2018.