Live from the World Cup: Belo Horizonte Team Ready for Semi-Final

Today’s 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final match between Brazil and Germany will be held at Belo Horizonta’’s  Mineirão Stadium and while it will be taking place faraway from Germany the production will have a bit of a German flair as the way the production team rotation worked out much of the team, from Director Knut Fleischmann on down, is German. In addition this is one of the three venues for which Studio Berlin is providing technical services.

Robin Broomfield, venue technical manager in Belo Horizonte, also was VTM during last year's Confederations Cup.

Robin Broomfield, venue technical manager in Belo Horizonte, also was VTM during last year’s Confederations Cup.

The match also offers a bit of Déjà vu for Robin Broomfield, venue technical manager the stadium as last year he also served as venue technical manager at the same stadium for Brazi’s semi-final faceoff against Uruguay in the Confederations Cup.

“Last year’s Confederations Cup was a much smaller event to start with but it was the core venue with an IBC,” says Broomfield. “And the challenges are different in getting ready for a World Cup. For example, the venue was still tied to Brazilian League football so there were some big competitions here and two matches a week. So it was difficult to get in and do the work that we needed to do as the venue was in use.”

The big advantage in having worked here last year was that Broomfield was able to establish contacts within the local venue team and the local organizing committee.

“Those paid off,” he adds. “And I knew many of the people at fiber connectivity provider Telebrás and Oi so I had a rapport with them.”

Anna Berg, Belo Horizonte broadcast venue manager, also worked on last year’s Confederations Cup but as venue manager for Rio’s Maracana Stadium.

Anna Berg, broadcast venue manager in Belo Horizonte, is finishing up her fifth World Cup today.

Anna Berg, broadcast venue manager in Belo Horizonte, is finishing up her fifth World Cup today.

“This is another one of those cultural experiences as this is my fifth World Cup and 11th Olympics so you always learn how to do business and operate differently. But this is not a tourist town and the people here are very welcoming.”

Regardless of the culture Berg says the challenges typically are the same. Berg says the challenge in working with such different approaches is to establish relationships before getting down to business, something that can be difficult when everyone is in a rush.

“But we have the advantage that we have been here long enough so they know our intentions and we understand what they need and want to accomplish,” says Berg. “There are certain things in the projects like camera platforms and cable paths that are normal issues but in the end you have a beautiful stadium.”

Also like last year NHK is on site for an 8K production.

“They are back with a slightly better production and have been integrated with our cable plan and we gave them some decent camera positions,” adds Broomfield. “They use standard SMPTE cabling so when they turned up we were ready to go.”

The big difference for today’s match for the entire team is that all of the previous matches here had a 1 p.m. kickoff. Today’s match kicks off at 5 p.m.

“We have a period here of not knowing what to do because we still came in early,” says Broomfield. “But it’s obviously a big match for Brazil and our core crew is German so there is a little bit of excitement here as well.”

There is, however, enough of an international presence beyond the Germans to give the compound a classic World Cup field. Broomfield is English and Anna Berg, broadcast venue manager, is American and then Presteigne Charter gives a dash of Belgium flair. And then there are the Brazilians.

“We work as a team as everyone’s aims are the same and I will have some good memories professionally as the pictures told the story,” adds Broomfield. “And you learn to work with people from different backgrounds, nationalities, ideals, and ways of working and being patient with that. But that is the richness of working on international events.”

Adds Berg: “You never know who you will work with on the team but I’ve been extraordinarily lucky and HBS, FIFA, and the local organizing committee have been great.”

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