Transforming Motorsport Coverage
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a renowned celebration of motorsport and car culture, set against the backdrop of the picturesque parklands surrounding Goodwood House. Gravity Media, a leading player in the broadcast and production industry, has been actively participating since 2022.
For the 2023 event, Gravity Media chose to use the MRMC AFC-180+ robotic heads to elevate the quality of the broadcast and deliver outstanding camera angles that would otherwise have been difficult or dangerous to capture.
Gravity Media, as an integral technical partner of this motorsport event, leveraged the opportunity to provide dual-purpose innovation: to showcase their capabilities as an events production specialist, and a leader in innovative content capture.
Gravity Media’s experience working with MRMC’s AFC-180+ robotic heads played a pivotal role in choosing them for the 2023 event. These robotic heads were seamlessly integrated into the production setup, supporting the delivery of over 40 hours of content over four action-packed days. The AFC-180+ heads were strategically positioned to capture the high-speed action. Four AFCs were used in total. Three deployed along the track and one was stationed at the rally stage to capture the motion of the cars with speed and precision.
All heads were operated remotely from the compound, where a single operator managed the heads over an IP connection. The AFC-180+ heads were integrated with Sony P43 box cameras and Canon CJ14 lenses, ensuring the delivery of high-quality content.
Gravity Media’s decision to employ AFC-180+ robotic heads stemmed from their commitment to safety and the desire to capture shots in locations where human operators could face risks. These robotic heads tracked the cars sequentially as they sped around the track. With one lead operator equipped with joystick panels for precise control, they could capture the cars at the start line and follow the action to the finish line, even in hazardous locations.
The AFC-180+ were chosen for its powerful capabilities and payload options. We can mount a choice of full-sized cameras and lenses and remain confident that the AFC head can easily handle them. The software used with the AFCs ensures that we could capture the high-speed cars with incredible agility. Our operator could easily capture sequential footage from three cameras mounted on the AFC heads in different locations.
Gravity Media’s camera operator found that setting parameters on the motion and speed of the head was instrumental in enhancing the production. Initially focused on stability and consistency, they gradually pushed the boundaries to achieve shots that added a new dimension to the coverage. The joystick operation was precise and intuitive, making it easier to capture dynamic shots. This together with the incredible power of the MHC software enable a new level of software-assisted operation. This allowed the operator to tune the system to capture the style of shot desired by the director, for example, the use of configurable soft limits meant the operator never overshot the shot boundaries and ensured the shots were easily repeated for a consistent output. Meanwhile, software pre-sets allowed quick reset to camera start positions, and individual axis speed configurations allowed for consistent accurate fast-pan and slow-tilt operation.
Gravity Media’s strategic use of MRMC’s AFC-180+ robotic heads and the technical expertise of their team allowed them to capture the essence of motorsport from new angles that wouldn’t have been possible before. The successful integration of cutting-edge technology helped to elevate the event’s broadcast and provided viewers with a unique experience.
Through the Lens Footage
The below footage is available to watch on the Goodwood Youtube channel. Through the video, you can see the MRMC AFC-180+ robotic heads placed around the course, with through the lens footage shown at 00.33 seconds.