NFL Films, HBO Tap Panasonic, Sony For ‘Hard Knocks’

By Andrew Lippe
NFL training camp has been a hot topic as NFL fans anxiously wait to see if Brett Favre returns to the NFL. But his story isn’t the only drama at NFL camps as every team and hundreds of players look to make the cut and build towards a championship. HBO, once again, will take fans behind the scenes at NFL training camp beginning next Wednesday when “Hard Knocks” returns to TV and turns its attention to the Dallas Cowboys. Sony HDW-F900 HD cameras, Panasonic HDX-900 DVCPRO HD camcorders, a Steadicam and Polecam will capture the action.

“The Polecam gives the show an extra wrinkle,” says Mike Greenwood, NFL Films, remote operations producer.

Greenwood and his team will deliver 200 hours of video every week to NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, NJ, where the material will be cut down for each episode. Cross-conversion is done on site at the training camp in Oxnard, CA, transferring 24p material to 30i. “We’re using a mix of formats but we’ve learned to streamline the production process,” says Greenwood.

Four Sony HDW-F900 HD cameras capture practices while Sony BRC-H700 robotic cameras are in coaching staff meeting rooms, head coach Wade Phillips office, and the offices of Jerry and Steven Jones. The Panasonic HDX cameras are used to capture time lapse shots. And film, as always, will play a part as NFL Films will shoot close to four rolls of 16mm film a day.

Once the material is in Mt. Laurel it is ingested into Avid servers and editing systems for quick turnaround.