Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two Extraordinary Weeks In The Sun

Well, even this cynical correspondent can say nothing but good about the London 2012 Olympics.

We even played a small part at TV Everywhere- our digital asset management system, VidStorer, is being used by our friends at 1080Media to store and distribute video and images from all the cultural events organised by the Mayor of London's office: a massive enterprise involving an army of photographers and video crews which has resulted in an extraordinary archive.

The results from this are no less impressive than some of those from the main sporting events, and has espcially captured a slice in time of this wonderful city from perhaps the best two weeks it has ever experienced in a long and often troubled history.It seems that everyone stepped up to the plate.

Even more gladening has been the many, many messages from colleagues all over the world congratulating Britain on such a wonderful event.

The TV coverage has been an overwhelming success and the BBC has done an utterly brilliant job. I'd even say faultless, especially since they had no control over many of the images. The online coverage was nothing short of fantastic. I even sat in a train carriage on my way home from the equestrian events watching Andy Murray get his revenge at Wimbledon on my mobile. And there were many others doing the same. My colleague Alex tells the story of watching a rowing final with random strangers on the escalators in a subway station (broadband was introduced underground for the Games).

After a bad start where the stats for the road race depleted the coverage of that event, the Olympic Broadcast Service pretty much played a blinder. The comprehensive coverage, the camera angles and the technology deployed took my breath away as a former TV technician. Perhaps most impressive of all was the skycam above the equestrian centre at Greenwhich that extended from the Royal Observatory, along the meridien and over the equestrian arena and all the way over the Royal Naval College to the river. Unfortunately, I never saw the resulting image, but even as a piece of rigging it was impressive.

But so much for the technology. It's so easy to forget that what made this the event of a lifetime were the people behind and in front of the cameras, from the extraordinary crowds from every nation, through the incredible volunteers and the Olympians themselves. What an incredible two weeks. It showed the best of television, but more than that it showed the best of people.