X Games Live: Sony Ollies Into Year 2 of ESPN 3D Sponsorship

X Games 17 marks the first event that ESPN 3D has produced under its new sponsorship agreement with Sony, which renewed its deal with the 3D network (for selected events) for another year earlier this month. Accordingly, Sony has a substantial presence this week at L.A. Live, ranging from its professional gear for ESPN 3D’s sprawling production to consumer camcorders for the production of a X Games-themed documentary project “Your Life in Sony 3D.”

“We have a larger variety of 3D cameras and capability [at X Games] than we’ve ever had before,” says Sony Director of 3D Business Development Rob Willox. “Sony Consumer and Sony Professional both have a huge presence at X Games, and ‘Your Life in 3D’ is a nice bridge between those two. I’m very proud of this relationship, and I’m happy that we can carry it on for another year.”

ESPN 3D, Sony All Over L.A. Live
Sony cameras are scattered throughout ESPN 3D’s X Games production, as the network’s Cameron-Pace Group (CPG) rigs feature a variety of HDC1500Rs and HDCP1s, as well as PMW10MD camera systems for CPG shoulder-mount rigs.

“They are doing a lot more in 3D this year and sharing a lot more resources with 2D,” says Willox. “To be able to do [a unilateral 2D/3D production] bodes well for the future, and we’re doing everything we can to help that [effort]. I know it’s worked well for basketball and boxing, so, hopefully, X Games will also work well.

“The good thing with X Games is that ESPN controls it,” he adds. “So they can make the event fit the TV rather than the TV fit the event.”

Sony’s Latest 3D Camcorder Debuts
In addition, Sony has a total of eight HXR-NX3D1U NXCAM compact 3D camcorders on hand in Los Angeles. The camcorder, which was announced at NAB in April, is making its North American debut at X Games.

Five are being used by ESPN for its 3D production and for a series of ESPN 3D behind-the-scenes vignettes that will be featured on Sony’s VideON online network. The additional three HXR-NX3D1U are part of the “Your Life in Sony 3D” production.

“I’m thrilled that the North American debut of these camcorders is with X Games, because that type of camera and that type of event go very well together,” says Willox. “The camcorder represents a very accessible 3D experience. It’s a $3400 camera that ESPN has found a use for and fits the [X Games] community perfectly.”

The HXR-NX3D1U has double Sony G lenses and double Exmor R COMS sensors with recording in 1920×1080 full left and right images. Recording is done using H.264 MVC and is packaged into a single file, so that, when the file is imported into an editing suite, images are treated as synced images and do not need to be imported twice.

Your Life in Sony 3D
“Your Life in Sony 3D” was a contest held by Sony on its Facebook page earlier this summer looking for the best idea for a 3D documentary. The winning idea, loosely titled “Skater Girl,” beat out more than 600 other submissions and is being produced by 3net (the recently launched 3D network from Sony, Discovery, and Imax) using Sony professional equipment. The final product will air nationally on 3net later this year.

“Skater Girl” revolves around Sierra, a 16-year-old skateboarder from Mesa, AZ, born with cerebral palsy. Sony flew Sierra and her family out to Los Angeles to participate in a skateboarding video with Sony-sponsored pro skateboarder Andy Macdonald, who is currently competing at the X Games. The video is being shot and produced by 3Net using HXR-NX3D1U camcorders.

Check out more of SVG’s comprehensive live X Games 17 coverage from Los Angeles by CLICKING HERE.

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