Wednesday
Jul142010

Samsung Women's Champions Trophy. Day 3 & 4

By this point in the week; we are experts in all our production skills. So confident were we in our presentation skills when the bearded master decided that he’d like film of an octopus selecting which team would win the England v Germany clash.. HockeyTV was able to come to the rescue.

Some of you with a limited knowledge of Nottingham will know that despite it’s many attractions (lace market, Robin Hood, pubs, clubs and gangsta’s) a zoo is not one of them. Not to be put off by such minor inconvenience the magic of TV prevailed and “Robbie the HOCKtopus” swam (or dangled) above the flag of St George to signify his prediction of an England victory… Due to luck, the joy of video referral and a huge effort (and some good skills) the girls on the pitch proved Robbie was as accurate as his distant cousin who helped so with the football world cup.

The other key news from Nottingham is that it is bloomin cold. Although we are allowed to swan about the luxury of the officials and VIP zones, the covered stand and media centre (well some of us are; more of this later…) it does not stop it being cold. Jules and George – the attractive faces of HockeyTV – being girls of glamour failed to really pack for the English summer. Both are fine looking girls, who wear skirts, shorts and vest tops with stunning appeal… this is not the gear for 13 degrees and rainy on a Monday evening. Neither have a pair of socks with them. Mascara, yes; sun tan lotion; yes; sock… no need for them! So behind the glamorous smiles (or really below the glamorous smiles) are a pair of really cold feet. As a method of checking if anyone reads this blurb – if you are coming along on any day this week, drop off a pair of socks for the girls from the big screen at the England hockey stand and I’m sure they’ll say a special thank you…

On other matters; Argentina finally cruised into life, comfortably defeating a tiring New Zealand. China looked as if they would pull off the surprise of the tournament by at least holding the Dutch to a draw, but Paumen went “POW” from two penalty corners and that w as that. On a lighter note we almost managed to film the men’s topsy turvy encounter with Japan. Having been banned from filming from the stands, we haggled our way into “THE TOWER”; the hallowed ground of those with bigger cameras than us. We then realised that commentary may be difficult; I was not allowed in the tower and didn’t fancy hanging from a ledge to commentate. So we fiddled with technology, our techies did their stuff and I took my slot in the stand. Having given a faultless commentary on all the stunning ten goals, I returned contented to see the film mashed together. The often wonderful TPN then popped his head out to the light to let me know the terrible news – my grating nasal tone had so offended the microphone that we couldn’t use it. As a true prim donna I then took the young gents lap top and smashed over his head. TPn, being the gent he is took this well and it gave the young man a little something to do, tidying up the mess.

In truth, TPN is far too amiable a chap to bully – I did help him pick up the pieces of his smashed technology. Once again this meant TPN was unable to see daylight; this now being his fifth day in captivity. His diet has advanced though; he has now indulged in strawberry muffins and the odd apple.

I am now off to beg the forgiveness of TPN as I am afraid the next time you hear my voice it may sound quite dull, flat and boring (cue cheap gag). So if you do pop down to Highfields, wrap up warm and bring a sun lamp for TPN.

Tuesday
Jul132010

HockeyTV at the Samsung Womens Champions Trophy 2010.

We at HockeyTV go through many pseudonyms in our attempts to bring the best hockey action from around the world. At present we are in Nottingham working on the coverage of the Samsung Women’s Champions trophy. So what goes on in the all action world of sports broadcasting?

Well Saturday brought fine weather, sunshine and a stressful start to the tournament for all concerned. After much preparation, practice and setting up of various monitors it became clear that the operation was close to overheating in the hot weather. A screaming producer, a faltering sound system and a lack of highlights to keep the crowd happy meant that all concerned almost went into meltdown on Saturday.

Once the hockey action started it all picked up – the only dull moment of England’s encounter being the lack of a national anthem. Luckily the England girls picked up on chaotic spirit of the day and led the crowd in some fine community singing... and then surprised everyone by defeating current  Champions Trophy holders  Argentina.

As the temperatures dropped on Sunday, so did the heat in the kitchen of TV production. Stress was removed; monitors moved and sanity prevailed. Unfortunately for England team, sanity returned to the hockey. The Dutch were a class above a keen England side; 3-0 was a fair reflection of the game. The only moment of adrenalin fuelled action came when the cameraman fought to grab Naomi van As for the post match interview.

(the cameraman initially approached the interview with trepidation, not because of some 20 something crush on the Dutch glamour girl but because it was sister who had floored one of Van As’s teammates with a flying stick to the face)

All this time, the backroom staff kept the world rolling. As we at the front of house admired our handy work on the big screen, purring at Beedon’s confident presentation of the goals poor old TPN stayed in the hut, locked to a PC editing, editing and editing.

TPN is a curious character. He will sit all day in the darkness of the backroom, happy to make myself and the other ego’s look and sound great. If we keep him fed with lager, fruit and cheese rolls he barely needs exercising. Once the sun has disappeared he is finally let out – we show him outside and then put him to bed.

Through the week we’ll update progress from this event; log on to Hockey TV to see if TPN sees daylight and to check whether our producer can manage a day without scratching his reddening face, grabbing tufts of hair in frustration at our errors, endless glitches and failing bloody technology.

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