Notes on a job in China by top-end corporate specialist Sparky Media
Sparky Media Productions recently went out to Hong Kong and mainland China to work on the WGC HSBC Champions golf event which took place at Mission Hills. There was some promotional work in Hong Kong in the run up to the event, but the majority of our time was spent at the Mission Hills golf resort which is around an hour and a half drive north of Hong Kong. You have to leave Hong Kong and pass over the border to get there. Being in China this can take time, but I was lucky to get through the border pretty quickly the two times I went through. But when you are carrying camera equipment over the border in China it can always be fun and you really don't want to get stopped!
The main purpose of my role was to direct, shoot and edit a number of special 'behind the scenes' clips around the golf event for upload to the HSBC Face Book channel. Our target was to produce four clips a day but I am happy to say we exceeded this. I was working throughout the week with the popular TV presenter and commentator (often seen on the BBC) Andrew Cotter who fronted all the clips, interviewing players etc and he was just great to work with, very professional and very quick on his feet.
We created an opening sting in advance, an animated aston bar and 3D animation using the events logo with the help of Timothy Watts, MD of TJW Design Studios (a great guy to work with) to give all the clips a consistant look and professional.
When quick turnaround times are required, and there is very little time to set up and literally no time for retakes, you need a camera which shoots amazing images and really is 'run and gun'. The PDW-700 performed perfectly and we were delighted with the results. As much as I would have loved to have used the Sony F3 (as I love the image!) it just wouldn't have worked for this job.
For sound we purchased a set of Sennheiser G3 radio mics and a Sennheiser MD 46 presented mic. We had some flags produced for the mic as well to maintain branding where possible. The MD 46 performed flawlessly throughout the week and the quality of audio was fantastic - there was a lovely rich bassey tone to the sounds. We were delighted with the results.
As there was a very tight turnaround time to get the clips uploaded to the cloud, I brought along a local producer Dan Keeble to help me out in the field and for editing assistance as well. He was a great asset to have along on the trip. When I was out filming, Dan put together the first cut for each edit, and we went through the final changes together when I returned. It was the first time Dan had worked in this type of environment and I think Dan enjoyed the experience. It would be good to work with him again. I have to thank Dan for some of the behind the scenes pictures he took of me in action which I have used in this blog. It is always nice to have something like this as it's not something we usually get!
It's interesting to see which clips get more hits than others, but we were certainly helped by certain golfers like Luke Donald and Ian Poulter tweeting links of their clips to their followers. Within a week some of the clips enjoyed an audience of over 30,000 which isn't bad considering the nature of the content. And I expect these to continue to increase as the clips are not time specific and should always be fun to watch.
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