Ross Furio dolly system makes splash in the pool with ISL

Founded in 2019, the International Swimming League (ISL) is an annual professional swimming series that brings international teams together to compete in both individual and relay events across two day matches. The inaugural season (running from October to December 2019) included eight teams across two conferences: four from the United States and four from Europe.

Each team competed in a pair of inter-conference matches involving two teams from each conference, one in America and one in Europe, and a ‘derby’ match involving all four teams from its own conference. The top two teams in each conference then met in a Grand final in Las Vegas. For 2020, another two franchises – one from Tokyo and one from Toronto – are being added to the league and the programme of matches is being significantly increased from three to ten per team.

One of the standout features of the opening season coverage of the ISL’s North American matches was the use of a Ross Furio rail-based camera motion system. Dome Productions (based in Toronto) were appointed by the ISL to manage the US production facilities and identified a requirement for a fast-moving camera dolly to run alongside the various different swimming pools to capture the action.

Having chosen the Furio system from Ross, Dome then partnered with Ross Mobile Productions (RMP), Ross Video’s in-house production arm, and worked with them to modify the Furio to support a Newton Stabilizer Head, helping to add additional stability to the Furio’s already class-leading speed and smoothness.

Stephen Repass, general manager of RMP, enjoyed the challenge of adapting the Furio for a different production environment. “We’re used to seeing Furio dollies in news studios and in the front row at awards ceremonies, entertainment shows and rock concerts, but this was a new application for me.

“The Furio worked incredibly well at these events because it can hold broadcast cameras and lenses but offers cinematic movement – its speed, lift height and smoothness all combined to provide some really dynamic camera moves that conveyed the speed of the swimmers and the physicality of the races. Many dollies can zip quickly back and forth across in a sports environment but usually have smaller rigs.”

Danelle Copps from Dome Productions added, “Top class swimmers can be moving at over 5 mph and the Furio system really helped us capture that sense of power, as well as giving us unique and dynamic shots that enhanced the overall production. It contributed immensely to the show, and we’re looking forward to using it again as soon as possible as part of the 2020 season.”

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