Fox Sports NASCAR Coverage Offers Faster EVS Workflow

Revving up a new season of NASCAR coverage this week, Fox Sports is launching a new EVS workflow based on DVCPRO100, and Game Creek Video’s Fox mobile unit once again sits at the center of the production of Sunday’s big race at Daytona Speedway.

“The move to DVCPRO100 really opens the floodgates to file-based workflows,” says Mike Davies, VP of technical operations for Fox Sports. “We now have interoperability for editing and can stream files directly to a 32-TB storage array and keep all the assets on-site.”

The EVS network comprises 13 servers, 11 in the Game Creek truck and two located in the Broadcast Sports International (BSI) truck that handles in-car cameras. The use of EVS XTAccess also allows files to be ingested in any format and transcoded to any other file format and makes it easier for content to be pushed and pulled via a local area network to the “Hollywood Hotel,” the production trailer that is home to the on-site studio show from track infields. A card reader that can handle P2 cards, SD cards, and other media can load in content and then dump it straight into editing timelines.

“Nothing goes to baseband video,” notes Davies.

Also new to this year’s coverage is use of a Q Ball remote SD/HD pan-and-tilt head from Camera Corps. “It looks like a Magic 8 Ball,” says Davies. “We’ll be using it for some lower-tier shots, but I can envision it being used as a camera in the booth or replacing some POV cameras.”

Fans can also look for the return of Gophercam in all four corners of the track.

Another addition is a move to Lite Panels for all booth lighting. “We’re now using all-LED lighting,” says Davies. “We’ve had 100% support from the people who light the booths as they don’t have to worry about power, the talent doesn’t complain about the heat, and they are very light in terms of weight. We’ve had nothing but positive things to say about Lite Panels.”

Also new is Hurst USA’s satellite services. “We have worked with them at other marquee events, like the MLB All-Star game, and they’re a top performer, so we’re looking forward to working with them on more events.”

The challenge week in and week out for NASCAR races is simply to make sure the sheer volume of equipment and personnel can keep up with the sheer volume of events. Daytona, for example, has a full slate of races that begin earlier in the week, and, in fact, the on-track coverage team already has a bunch of laps under their belts.

And even before the racing began, Fox Sports worked with drivers for promo shots for the entire season. Production company Go To Team Director of Photography Skip Clark and his team took over an airplane hanger and rotated drivers through different promo stations to ready video for everything from driver lineups to race promos.

“We’ve truly established a formula with ESPN and Speed with the NASCAR Media Group being the hub,” says Davies. “We have our standard circus of 20-odd production trucks on hand, but it’s all come together, and we’re able to test out some new things.”

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