A wonderful time at BT Sport work experience!
On 21st and 22nd July 2015, myself and one other person from college got the opportunity to complete a two day course with BT Sport as part of their Vanarama National Football League coverage and broadcasts this season. Beginning on Sunday 30th August 2015, BT Sport will be begin broadcasting a weekly highlights show from the weeks matches as part of the National League.
On Tuesday 21st, I made my way to The Hive, the homeground for Barnet Football Club, who were playing hosts for day 1 of the BTS course. The day began with an introduction to the initiative, and to BT Sport. After lunch, it was revealed that BTS had spent over £100,000 on kit for this new show, and each football club would have use of £4000 of equipment; including a state-of-the-art camera, microphone and a £180 tripod!!
For a few hours, we experimented with the camera tech and got used to using it - it was a lot different to using a DSLR for filming! After a few exercises and practice sessions, it was time for dinner! Following dinner, we went out into the stadium and began the mammoth setup of 25 cameras along the gantry set up at the top of the seating...
As kick-off approached, everybody assumed their positions at the cameras and prepared to film the match. The whistle blew and the match was underway - 25 cameras all moving in the same direction simultaneously was a sight I will never forget! Half time provided a short break from the immense concentration needed to film a match of football. Filming commenced for the second half, before the massive derig of all the equipment occured... After a busy day at The Hive, a coach awaited for transfer to our hotel for the night.
The morning was nye, and it was time to make our way to BT Sport headquarters in Stratford, London. The new BTS studios are based in the Queen Elizabeth II park, which was used to host the London 2012 Olympics only a few years ago. It is clear to see that the redevelopment of the building is underway - with some elements of the HQ looking much like a building site! The second day would be dedicated to reviewing the footage and learning how to edit and submit the content to BT for broadcast. The morning was dedicated to looking through the footage and seeing what was done well, and what could be improved!
Before lunch, we were very privaliged to get a tour of the BT Sport setup, including the studios, gallery, edit suites and other technical rooms - including the server room which contacts 1.5 petabytes of storage!!! It was amazing to look around the studio, and see what is behind the amazing footage and shows that BT Sport broadcast.
The afternoon was spent learning the editing software, and identifying how to upload our edits for BT Sport to put into their programmes. The codecs that the files have to be saved in are amazing quality, and are typically around 1GB per minute of video - its lucky BTS has over 1.5 petabytes of storage on site!! That was the end of the course with BT Sport, and now it is on to preparing to film the Aldershot Town FC matches from the start of the season.
I am very much looking forward to filming the matches and seeing my work broadcast on the BT Sport channels every Sunday - be sure to check back on my website, Facebook page or Twitter for information about when the work will be shown on TV! Big thanks go to the team at BT Sport who organised the whole course, and who will work with us over the coming months!