Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NBC 2014 Olympic Women's Downhill Features Poor Camera Positioning.

(update Feb. 16, 2014), Was watching the next female downhill race, the Giant Slalom and noticed the announcer raving over the moving overhead wide shot. Sure, it's a cool, DISTANT shot, how about a split screen where we see that shot and also see a close-up shot of THE LEANS. What a shame, these women were shortchanged first by a course that still had some way too tight turns, 7 of the first 8 skiers did not finish the course, then they were shortchanged by lack of closer, eye level shots of them making their leans as they come towards camera from above eye level to eye level. The below eye level shots towards us SUCK.)

I was just now watching the NBC 2014 Olympics women's downhill race and within seconds realized something was wrong.

I Had no expectation of finding something wrong nor looking to find something wrong, but having well over 20 years of camera and editing experience, I did find something.

Capturing the drama of downhill racing is less likely when the camera lingers too long on high and wide camera angles that linger too long on the backside of the downhill racers. 

Capturing downhill drama means seeing the downhill action come towards us. We need to see the dramatic angle defying racer leans that keep both the racer upright while gaining speed at the same time, and we need to see it coming towards us. Whether we see the leans or not, downhill racers are doing them, so why not see them?

Dare I ask "If a downhill racer does gravity defying leans but the camera does not show them, did they make a sound?" 

But the camera coverage was wanting in other ways as well. Even when we did see the women skiers coming towards us, the camera angles were almost always higher than the downhill action they were capturing, and this is claustrophobically unacceptable.

I understand the difficulty in posting cameras along a downhill mountain race course that is 1.69 mile long, however, the skiers are giving it there all, why isn't the camera coverage?

Was the poor camera coverage caused by the last minute manipulation of the course because it was discovered to be too fast and too dangerous by the first skiers to try the course?

No matter how hard an athlete tries, or how well they perform, if the camera is not fairly capturing their efforts, it does tend to mute the sound of their performance.

If it had been for a first ever first place tie, the buzz surrounding the downhill would most likely have been minimal specifically because of the questionable camera positioning along the course.

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