The final details of the agreements for TV production at WOC 2006 are now falling into place, and we can look forward to a wealth of high-quality output from a creative and experienced production team.
The Danish national TV company DR, the host broadcaster for WOC 2006, will be collaborating with Film House, a Swedish company with extensive experience of filming orienteering at WOC 2004 and annually at Tio Mila and O-Ringen. Film House will use 6 cameras out in the forest and in the arena at each Final, and these will be supplemented by up to 4 additional cameras from DR together with their slow-motion editing facilities and, where needed, a camera ‘cherry-picker’ (crane).
All the camera sites have now been chosen, and by using 2 or even 3 cameras in certain locations it will be possible to follow the action for long sequences in some of the most interesting areas of terrain. Each camera operator will have an elite runner alongside to help identify approaching competitors.
The pictures from all the cameras in use will be edited in normal sports-transmission fashion to produce a continuous programme which will be shown on the big video screen in the arena and be the basis of the event commentary. The screen-show and commentary will also feed to the live webcast output on the WOC website.
As each Final progresses, editors will be at work producing two summary programmes. The first, 20 minutes long, will be available to other countries’ TV networks; it is likely that all the other Nordic countries plus Switzerland will take this programme. In addition it is anticipated that some countries’ TV companies will send their own camera teams to supplement the output available from DR.
The second summary programme will be for home use: all the best moments from WOC 2006 will be shown on the main Danish TV channel DR1 in four 45-minute programmes to be transmitted in the evening after each Final. The DR commentator will be supported by at least one orienteering ‘expert’ to ensure that the home viewer will be able to appreciate as never before what it is that makes orienteering deep in the forest such a fascinating sport.
The Danish tracking system TracTrac has now been approved for use by the IOF and is expected to be used in all the Finals. Because some of TracTrac’s Directors are closely connected with the Danish elite squad, a ‘watertight’ arrangement preventing access to secret data has been put in place, and a separate team of people is being trained to operate TracTrac during WOC.
All runners in a race using TracTrac will carry an identical unit, but only a proportion of the runners will have one which is ‘live’. In all, 60 ‘live’ units will be available for use. As each race progresses, an editorial group will pull out the most interesting TracTrac sequences and speed them up for possible transmission on the big screen and in the TV programmes and for a nightly summary presentation in the WOC Tour event centre in Aarhus.
Masterminding the overall event presentation arena experience at WOC 2006 is the responsibility of the professional Swedish sports commentator Per Forsberg. He will be ensuring just the right blend of pictures, commentary, interviews and where appropriate TracTrac sequences to complement the action in the arena visible to the spectators. Pre-recorded interviews along with music, the WOC 2006 theme jingle and other sound effects will contribute to creating an exciting atmosphere in all the arenas, something which without doubt will come over in the TV output too.