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Senna's Ghost

Lights, Camera, Camera, Camera, Camera, Action!

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This is something that's been bugging me for a while now.  It's the television coverage of a race and particularly the director of the coverage.  I don't know who that is, I know in the old days, before Bernie hermogenised everything to do with the circus, the TV coverage was left in the hands of the host country and so you would get different directors and production values.  Now, under FOM they provide the TV coverage and I don't think they have national directors, I don't know but I think it is the same director for all races.  My point is that I sometimes wonder if the director has ever seen a motor race!  How many times do we see cuts away to things that don't matter when we should be watching action on the track.

I think the director has too many cameras to choose from and he/she seems to think that it is best if he shows us his full range of shots that are available to him.  We see a track shot quickly followed by some in car footage, followed by a kerb shot, followed by a shot of the pit wall, followed by a shot of the garage showing us mechanics staring at monitors showing shots of themselves, followed by shots of celebrities on a jolly, followed by a shot of a helicopter in the sky, followed by a on board shot of a wheel and suspension arms!!  Do you get my drift.  Completely unnecessary, doesn't help showing us the race and understanding what is going on, or who is battling with who because the cuts and the jumps from one thing to another makes it difficult to concentrate on what the hell is going on.  I know what Christian Horner, Totto Wolf, Niki Lauda, Paddy Lowe look like and there might be people out there who can't get enough of them but I prefer watching cars race on a track.

Another thing that bothers me is the graphic information saturation we are exposed to.  We have the drivers position ribbon at the bottom of the screen (and anytime you look at that to see the gap between a couple of drivers you're interested in it's never on them, so you have to wait and your eyes dance between on race and the ribbon until the information you want appears.  Keep doing that long enough and you'll end up looking like Marty Feldman).  We might also have on screen at the same time a DRS gap bar chart showing the last few laps gap between two cars, or a pit stop stopwatch for a pit stop your not seeing at the time, or available tyre information for a couple of drivers, or side to side telemetry traces of two cars battling.  All of this whilst the image is still flicking from one thing to another.

In the old days (1980's) you would have the circuit covered by a number of static camera positions, maybe 10 to 12.  And these cameras would be able to follow the action all around the circuit, one shot leading onto the next.  And the director would follow the race leaders normally throughout the afternoon.  If the lead wasn't battling with anyone we would drop down the field until we found a battle that was interesting and that would be followed for a number of laps.  Every 10 or so laps we would get the Olivetti timing screen showing the top 6 and their gaps.  When a fastest lap was set that information would pop up so you would see that and take it in and absorb the info.  You might be lucky enough to have a car with a camera on it and you would get some footage of that before it inevitably crashed or had a reliability issue.

The thing that really got me was when watching qualifying at the weekend.  In Q2 we saw Hamilton's first flying lap, we then saw Rosberg exit the last corner and cross the line.  The rest of the session was watching them on their in laps, the McLaren mechanics standing around doing nothing, Jean Alesi walking in the paddock area with girlfriend/wife and shots of the pit wall.  All this whilst there's action happening on the track.

Bit of a rant but it does boil my p**s.  Less is more particularly with cameras covering F1 and the on screen graphics.

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Bet they don't go to commercials when a car is glued to the one infront and has Drs open and is about to make a move? That's the norm here it's like "to be continued"

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5 minutes ago, Emmcee said:

Bet they don't go to commercials when a car is glued to the one infront and has Drs open and is about to make a move? That's the norm here it's like "to be continued"

Yes we don't have ad breaks on the live races that they televise but I think the product as a whole has to be improved by cutting back on some of the features that they think are adding value.

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