newsWinter X Games production plans - Feb. 4-8

January 26, 2000

During the fourth annual Winter X Games, ESPN will continue to build upon the award-winning innovations and cutting-edge approach developed during the previous five summer X Games and three Winter X Games. Throughout coverage on ESPN/ESPN2/ABC Sports (February 4-8), the networks will complement point-of-view cameras with interactive elements and more. A total of more than 75 camera positions will be used.

"Our Winter X Games coverage will reflect the evolution of these sports using the latest technology available," said Winter X Games coordinating producer Jamie Reynolds, who works closely with Rich Feinberg, X Games coordinating producer, and Donald Colantonio, Winter X Games technical project manager. "The combination of a fresh graphics look, modern music, innovative camera angles and online convergence will result in creative and energetic telecasts."

Winter X Games production elements
  • Interactive Elements: Television and online networks will converge again during the Winter X Games. Coverage plans include live streaming video, uploading of viewer photos for playback in telecasts, a Winter X Games fantasy challenge, a 360-degree, user-controlled camera attached to athletes' helmets and more.
  • "X Zone:" This host set will offer viewers a "backstage pass" to Winter X. During the telecasts, the set will be a live environment featuring an active restaurant - hosting athletes, celebrity guests and friends. It will feature an interactive area for guests to can chat online, play video games and more. The "X Zone" will be developed in partnership with House of Blues, who will provide food and memorabilia to create a more entertaining atmosphere.
  • FollowCam: ESPN will utilize five FollowCams on Winter X. Events will include all the "X" racing competitions (Snowboarder X, Skier X and Biker X), as well as superpipe, big air and slopestyle events. A hand-held camera operator on skis follows the competitors as they complete a run, providing an ideal profile tracking shot of the athletes. The camera is mounted on a rack system carried at waist level by the operator, who can see the image in a reflective "visor viewfinder."
  • HelmetCam: ESPN will utilize miniature HelmetCams in all sports, including "X" racing events. Each unit, the same technology first introduced on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball MaskCam, includes a transmitter, camera, battery pack and more. It weighs only 11.5 ounces.
  • CableCam: This robotic tracking camera moves along a 1,200-foot span of cable to provide coverage of nearly the entire run of "X" racing events.
  • Other Specialty Cameras: lipstick-sized cameras on snowmobiles to provide forward and rear-facing angles; an 82-foot crane with a camera attached to the end which can move from ground level to 82 feet in the air in less than 10 seconds; and jimmy jib "boom" cameras which provide overhead views at all venues.

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