A lot of work for TV crews on slopes

Jan 17 2010 - 5:14am

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(ROBERT JOHNSON/Standard-Examiner) Skier Tucker Perkins is followed during a practice run by a video camera on a pole during second day Dew Tour action at Snowbasin on Thursday.
(ROBERT JOHNSON/Standard-Examiner) Skier Tucker Perkins is followed during a practice run by a video camera on a pole during second day Dew Tour action at Snowbasin on Thursday.

SNOWBASIN -- While snowboarders and skiers flip, twist, and trick their way down the halfpipe and a tricked-out slope, NBC and FUEL TV are performing a few tricks of their own to capture the essence of the 2010 Winter Dew Tour's stop at Snowbasin.

Eleven manned cameras are dotted down the superpipe and freeslope and 60-plus staff coordinated the NBC live coverage of the men's and women's freeski superpipe, which occurred Saturday, and the snowboard slopestyle competition for both men and women as well as men's slopestyle freeski today.

Today's coverage begins at 1 p.m. MST on NBC and will be repeated on USA at midnight. It will also run on MTV2 at 7 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Jan. 30.

"One of the things we obviously want to do is show these sports live," said Chris Prybylo, the Dew Tour general manager. "Showing the sports live is a big differentiation of the Dew Tour versus a lot of winter events out there. That's a critical piece to what we do. Live coverage is important. We want to show great competition and show the great runs that these guys take."

Billy Matthews, the NBC producer of the Winter Dew Tour, said his crews work to present the dignity and reality of the sport and bring understanding to the viewer.

Matthews said the Dew Tour athletes are similar to athletes in mainstream sports --they want to win and they'll work hard to do it.

"We cover it and make it as basic as we can. If the casual viewer were to stumble on the Winter Dew Tour, we try to make it as easy as possible to watch, like any other sport."

FUEL TV, a cable action sports network, covers the nightlife and social action at the Dew Tour, with its program, Dew Underground. They have a crew of six, including one talent coordinator and five filmers, that have been here for the past week, filming hot spots, interviewing athletes and talking with local residents

"NBC and those guys cover the more standard part of event, the runs and the podium," said Kier Dillon, a professional snowboarder who hosts Dew Underground.

"What we're bringing to the table is the behind-the-scenes stuff, to try and bring the viewer in to see what the parties are like, what the village is like, what the local spots are like.

"We went to the Salomon Center and did iFLY and Flowrider. We're showing people at home, 'Hey if you come be part of the Dew Tour, there are some other things you can do.' It's all the elements that surround our sport."

A full hour-long program will air on FUEL at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 and will include the best segments from all three Dew Tour stops. In the meantime, they've posted web previews of the Ogden segments, which include features on top Dew Tour athletes, local artists and the scene at Snowbasin on www.Dewunderground.com.

Erik Hemas, FUEL TV producer, said they shoot and edit while on the mountain and then head to their offices between Dew Tour stops for further editing.

"It takes about 150 hours of work by multiple people to put on that hour show," said Hemas.

"Ogden's been a great town. Everyone has been very welcoming, especially on 25th Street where we show some of the ins and outs. Everyone at the mountain has been great, and we've shot a lot of different segments. The town is beautiful."

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