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Wimbledon - The Championships

EditShare Goes Courtside at Wimbledon

The Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon is one of the premier Grand Slam events on the professional tennis circuit. Over 13 days in late June and early July, more than 250 players compete in the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles matches. During the same fortnight, 176 Doubles teams compete.

There are also more than 200 highly competitive matches for boys, girls and seniors. The high level of play attracts a world-wide audience and a host of international broadcasters. The 2007 matches crowned Men’s Singles winner Roger Federer in an awesome fifth consecutive title. Venus Williams snagged her fourth Ladies’ Singles trophy, making history as the lowest seeded player (23rd) to capture that prize.

The Challenge

Editor Andrew Burrows specialises in sports coverage and his Wimbledon responsibilities for a major sports network kept his bouncing from court to court. Burrows was responsible for producing the highlight and wrap-up material for a Singapore-based, cable and satellite venture that broadcasts throughout Asia. Many matches were covered live. Burrows produced a daily roundup of the action, next day previews, show teasers as well as a weekly hour-long magazine show. His small team also produced several short features and sidebars. Once the matches began, there was full-stop activity on at least 3 courts at the same time, generating large volumes of video.

“Dealing with all that content at the same time presents a major challenge,” says Burrows. “We needed to sort though each day’s material quickly to find the best shots. Even for a short tease we often feature 4 or 5 players. The 3-minute wrap-ups allow for longer play shots, but it’s still a lot to pour through.”

The Solution

Burrows decided to use three, 3TB EditShare Field™ units, (supplied by EditHeaven in London) to simplify his workflow. The EditShare Field™ is the world’s first portable shared storage solution. It’s compact and ruggedised, perfect for field work. Like all EditShare media sharing and storage products, EditShare Field™ supports a wide range of editing and compositing applications including products from Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Canopus and Media100. EditShare Field™ stores audio and video files in a central networked location and connects to laptops and desktops over standard Gigabit Ethernet. The EditShare Field™ supports all SD and compressed HD resolutions (including DNxHD). Its rules-driven workflow ensures no data is accidentally overwritten or destroyed, enabling small editing groups to work with maximum efficiency and creativity.

The Workflow

For Wimbledon coverage, four separate feeds were ingested each day. Three “dedicated” feeds – one from each of the three principal courts - were recorded and digitalised into an EditShare Field™ unit designated for that court’s action. The fourth feed was switchable and might include after-match news conferences, taped interviews or video from other sources that were also digitised into the EditShares. Two Avid editing units connected to the EditShare Field unit were used to edit and produce the teases, wrap-ups and features. The DV50 finished work was played-out to the broadcast center at Wimbledon for inclusion in the broadcasts.

The Benefits

The EditShare Field™ provided a much more streamlined workflow compared to Burrows’s experiences at several prior Championships. The centralised EditShare storage structure eliminated the need to swap around drives and to re-ingest the video. “With all the material immediately available, it was easier to find the shot you needed and to collaborate with the other editors,” he says. Burrows found the system easy to understand and easy to set-up. “There was no complicated maintenance or anything like that. It was straight-forward, ” says Burrows. “We organised our Avid Project folders for each day’s matches to it savetime, and being able to see how other people were working on their Avid projects really helped.” Impressed with the flexibility and reliability of the EditShare Field™, Burrows is keen to add graphics applications to the EditShare workflow for next year’s production. It was point, set, match for EditShare at Wimbledon.

Specifications

  • 3 EditShare Field™ units – each with 3TB of storage
  • 2 Avid edit units