(8K Solutions is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
For football coaches and administrators, filming practice is a necessity in order to help their team improve. For many years, however, this was not the easiest or safest process.
In those days, a video coordinator or student intern would be positioned at the top of a scissor lift, or some other high structure, with a camera. This put the camera operator at risk of serious injury or death should they fall off or have an encounter with the elements, such as high wind, extreme heat or cold, or lightning.
— 8K Solutions (@8Ksolutions) January 19, 2019
Thankfully, 8K Solutions presented an answer to this problem with the introduction of the mastRcam four years ago. The mastRcam is 8K Solutions’ line of cameras that are able to film from tall heights while being operated by a person safely on the ground. Twenty-six of the NFL’s 32 teams (as well as 27 NCAA programs) utilize some version of the mastRcam, including both teams playing in this Sunday’s Super Bowl: the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots.
Now in their fourth year of regularly using the mastRcam, the Patriots have seen firsthand the benefits that this technology provides. The New England region regularly gets hit with microbursts, which are small, but very strong windstorms. Since head coach Bill Belichick prefers to practice outside whenever possible, the Patriots’ video team would film from the top of a scissor lift. After a particularly strong microburst, that resulted in the loss of a camera, however, the team needed a better, safer option to film practices from high angles.
As Patriots’ video director Jimmy Dee explains, this is when the team made the switch to the mastRcam.
“You can’t be up on a lift with more than 20-mph winds,” Dee says. “But with the mastRcam, you’re not going to miss a practice. When the weather was bad, we still would try to find another way to film by going up in a nearby building or something like that, but it wasn’t the same as being in our designated location for shooting practice. With the mastRcam, we can shoot in high winds and it’s safe.”
Multiple versions of the mastRcam exist, including the mastRcam mobile, mastRcam SC, and mastRcam Tower. All of these enable the user to safely position a camera high above a practice field. On top of providing teams like the Patriots with a safer way to film, the mastRcam is also more maneuverable than a traditional lift or a stationary structure.
“Sometimes you would have trouble getting multiple good camera angles with a lift compared to what you can get with a mastRcam,” Dee adds. “It has tremendous range and great flexibility. You can move it really quickly if you have to instead of bringing a lift down, starting it up, and driving it to a new location while practice is going on. If you have to bring the mastRcam down, you can just push it. It’s a great product for us.”
ICYMI: @8KSolutions was on the sidelines with our #mastRcam last week as @WVUFootball prepped for the @CWBowl in Orlando! #sportsvideo #WVUfootball #CampingWorldBowl #collegefootball pic.twitter.com/SsTppbbDvB
— 8K Solutions (@8Ksolutions) January 3, 2019
8K Solutions was contracted by the NFL to supply mastRcams for the practices leading up to the game in Atlanta this week. With the mobility of the company’s cameras and the ease of operation, preparing for the biggest game of the season became a bit simpler. This is the kind of service that championship video professionals like Dee have come to expect from the Florida-based company.
“8K Solutions are great. They’re always willing to give us as much help as we need. They’re the best.”
For more information on the mastRcam and the 8K Solutions’ family of products, visit 8KSolutions.com.