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Once a year Team Rampage make our pilgrimage to a foreign land to work at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards. Dubbed by many as the Oscars of sport, Rampage annually attends to set up a pop up post production facility and to shoot a special Behind the Scenes episode of ongoing television series Spirit of Sport. This year saw us make China our home for a large part of April. The team packed a full shooting kit as well as computer servers all safely squeezed on board as hand luggage. Nothing gets the heart racing like taking a small suitcase filled with wires and magnets through check in! It was Ben’s birthday the day we flew so the flight attendants had their work cut out making gin & tonics.
Arriving in Shanghai we had a day to adjust to the time difference and we set about making ourselves comfortable in our hotel. Rampage’s home for the next fortnight was the Hyatt on the Bund, a lovely hotel which afforded us amazing views of the famous Shanghai skyline. The hotel is best known for it’s rooftop bar which offers drinkers the option of dipping their toes in a jacuzzi whilst gazing across to the bright lights of Pudong. We never ventured all the way in but one night did take our shoes off and dipped our feet.
The location of our pop up edit facility was the Shanghai Grand Theatre that was playing host to the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards. Working with the local broadcaster SMG we began to assemble the Chinese version of Rampage Studio! Six iMacs, raided drives and cable trunking saw us create our familiar Holborn home on the other side of the world. The purpose of the facility was to allow journalists and broadcasters the opportunity to access the Laureus footage archive, obtain bespoke edits and for the Laureus team to be able to generate on site VNRs during the show.
Away from the post production set up – company director Ben Campbell and cameraman Terry Ashby were preparing to shoot the Behind the Scenes content which will become Episode 59 of the sports magazine show Spirit of Sport. Batteries charged and with bundles of CF cards the pair got stuck into infiltrating the world of famous names and faces preparing for this years awards. The guys managed to grab interviews with Hollywood superstar Bill Murray and boxing legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler as well as grabbing candid shots of Benedict Cumberbatch, Superman himself Henry Cavill and a whole host of sporting royalty. The Behind the Scenes team shot with a Canon C300 as their main camera, a XF300 was used for timelapses and the Panasonic GH4 was used to achieve beauty shots. It was the first time we had extensively used the GH4 and after a few hours crying for our old 5D back we managed to get some really nice images from our new toy.
In the pop up facility Rampage editors Mar Prieto and Matt Newton-Walters chipped away at a variety of VNRs and Web Edits on Final Cut Pro 7 as Rampage Director Carlos Saiani watched on. The editing team was accompanied by IT manager Keith Pang and DIT Pete Appleyard whose studious dedication to detail enabled smooth sailing throughout. A Chinese language editor called Dawn joined the usual Rampage team, along with receptionist Manjari and we also had the great help of Shoot in China’s Matt Clarke. They would prove invaluable in helping break down the language barrier.
In true Rampage style the team met up every night to savior the delights of Chinese culture. Shunning the world of expensive restaurants, the team ventured into the unknown as we embarked on a nightly culinary adventure.. With only a few Mandarin words mastered we attempted to navigate our way through menus of turtle and eel. Avoiding these questionable delicacies was easy; the hard part was securing plain boiled rice. It took the team four days to be able to get a bowl of plain white rice.
The day of the awards heralded an end to the behind the scenes filming as the Rampage crew made themselves scarce as the famous people began to arrive. In the edit facility the rest of the Rampage team got ready for their main night of cutting. The live show was being broadcast to millions but at the same time the facility was taking the live feed in via EVS so Matt, Mar and Dawn could start chopping the feed into a variety of different edits. The famous faces had long said goodbye to the theatre when the Rampage team finally retired at 4am. A successful effort left all of us looking forward to whatever country we may find ourselves next year as the travelling Rampage Studio packed itself up to return to sunny London.
The Behind the Scenes episode of Spirit of Sport Season 5 Episode 11 will be broadcast around the world in 2 months time. Available on ESPN Star, Dubai TV, Supersport SA, Sky Italia, ORF and many more.