For Fifth Straight Year, Filmwerks Powers the Masters

By Carolyn Braff

Augusta National is the nation’s most prestigious golf course, and, thanks to Filmwerks International, the world will continue to enjoy its beauty throughout this weekend’s Masters Tournament. Filmwerks provides all the primary and backup generator power for CBS’s broadcast as well as for the world feed, an enormous undertaking that Filmwerks owner Michael Satrazemis is proud to have been part of for 15 years.

“The Masters is probably the largest golf event and one of the largest sporting events that anybody does,” says Satrazemis, who worked with the Masters for more than a decade before joining Filmwerks. “The challenge is the logistics of getting everything down here and setting it up in a very tight compound. We’ve got a little more than 3 MW of power here, which is exceptional. That’s a very large power grid.”

It takes Satrazemis’s team about a week to set up the 24-hour power network that supports the Masters production from the opening of last Wednesday’s Par 3 Tournament until the last putt sinks on Sunday.

“The setup and the preparation take about a week, and we have six or seven people dedicated to just pulling this package,” Satrazemis says. “There are literally hundreds of line-item material pieces of gear and transfer switches that are unique to this job.”

To keep up with CBS’s increased online presence and expanded DirecTV offerings at this year’s event, Filmwerks added 650 KW to help power the production compound, bringing a twin 500-KW and a twin 260-KW generator in addition to an additional complement of electrical-switch equipment.

Filmwerks equips Augusta National with a triply redundant system of primary generators, twin-pack secondary generators, and additional backup capability to the local utility, Georgia Power. “Because there is existing power at the facility from the power company, we actually establish a link to that as our third backup,” Satrazemis says. “Georgia Power has had failures in the past where the entire grid has gone down, but we have never had a failure.”

Earlier this week, rain and wind produced brownout conditions that threatened the Georgia Power grid, but, because Filmwerks’ system is independent from utility power, the Masters production was not affected.

“Augusta is in the woods, where the power grid is really susceptible to nature,” Satrazemis explains. “That’s one of the reasons why this event is particularly important to us, because we are not able to rely on the power here.”