Live from the World Cup: It’s a family affair for World Cup director Straub

In another few hours Wolfgang Straub, one of the directors for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, will sit behind the front bench in the main production area at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador to direct the U.S. vs. Belgium match. We caught up with him to discuss the World Cup, his directing philosophy, and more prior to the match.

Wolfgang Straug (left) will direct today's US.-Belgium match while his son Nicholai will work as an EVS operator.

Wolfgang Straug (left) will direct today’s US.-Belgium match while his son Nicholai will work as an EVS operator.

Straub says that feedback from broadcasters has been good, as elements like more use of super slo-mo cameras help technically. But more importantly he thinks he has had the chance to work some of the best matches of the tournament, including Brazil-Mexico, Netherlands-Spain, and France-Switzerland.

“We have had many goals,” he adds.

In terms of his directing philosophy Straub says he attempts to stay as much as possible on live coverage.

“I consider myself a teacher of the sport so you want to show the match as it is most important,” he says. “And then on the other side there are the emotions.”

The expanded use of more cameras with longer lenses makes both aspects easier. And unlike a typical Bundesliga match, where he may have to manage as many as 14 cameras, he has to keep track of up to 38 cameras. Helping out in that effort are three Bundesliga directors who are stepping out of their directing role and helping manager replays.

“In the Bundesliga we don’t have a slo-mo producer like others so every four years I work this way,” he adds.

As for today’s match he expects it to be exciting but, from his standpoint, the best aspect is that it starts at 5 p.m. local time.

“I am happy that we have a late match because the problems with sun and shadows is immense and working with the camera operators and shading is not easy as sometimes you can only see 50 percent of the match,” he adds.

There will be many memories out of the 2014 World Cup but for Straub it will have less to do with football and more to do with family.

“The most important thing is that I am here working with my son, Nicholai, who is the youngest member of the HBS team at 18 and working as an EVS operator,” he says.

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