Thursday, 17 May 2012

Media crew share experiences with Miami students

Camper's media crew member Hamish Hooper presenting
to students at the University of Miami
Photo: Mark Covell/Inmarsat
The life of an Inmarsat Media Crew Member demands a wide range of skills as they document life at sea through the many twists and turns of this amazing race.

The skills list looks like this: journalist, documentary film maker, writer, photographer, chef, psychologist, cleaner, communications director and all round media expert.

Well now they can add one more skill and job title to their list: university lecturer.  

Rigours of filming
The students of the University of Miami School of Communication sat transfixed as they had their first insight into the rigours of filming onboard a Volvo Open 70. 

Camper's Hamish Hooper, Team Sanya's Andres Soriano and Groupama’s Yann Riou all took to the lectern and spoke about the role and the media tasks onboard.

The event was hosted by  the university and presenting alongside the MCMs  were Inmarsat's vice-president of external affairs, Chris McLaughlin and Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad. 

Media advances
Chris praised American technology that made so much of what Inmarsat does possible.

He went onto explain how 100 per cent of the footage filmed onboard is transmitted using Inmarsat’'s equipment and satellite network, an essential part of any media delivery in the field.

Knut also spoke about how the technology onboard and how it has advanced throughout the history of the race.

Weight limits
Knut recanted how things were back in the dark ages before good media translated into positive sponsorship return.

"When I first competed in the race you could take camera equipment or 200kg of lead," he said.

"Half the boats took lead. We took the equipment and the first media crew member, Rick Tomlinson. We didn’t win the VOR that year but won the media exposure race by far."

Bringing the events up-to-date, Hamish Hooper, who has a media degree himself, asked the students what their course covered.

The answer was "everything". So Hamish replied: "Oh good then, you know what our job entails too."

It was taken as read that the students knew what the documentary-style workflow was, to film life onboard.

Polished promo
However, the challenge of filming in such a harsh environment was new to the students.

Yann Riou explained how hard it was just to hit the correct key on the laptop key pad when trying to type a blog.

The students enjoyed watching video clips of the MCM’s work both in the raw boat feed as it comes off the boat and the polished promo after the editors at IMG had worked their magic.

Inmarsat capabilities
Most of the MCMs' workflow was somewhat similar to the work the students had experienced.

The students admired their tenacity and coping strategies to film in such uncomfortable environments. 

The real lesson learned was the knowledge and concept of being able to send footage from anywhere in the world using Inmarsat capabilities and connectivity.

Inmarsat looks forward to hosting another similar event in Galway, Ireland, as the race draws to a close.

By then the MCMs' would have been responsible for an amazing body of work and all transmitted with the help of Inmarsat at the heart of the race.

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