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Mastering control for MotoGP Italian Grand Prix

Case study: Forward Racing revealed a special race livery during the Italian Moto2 World Championship race with a dedicated live stream produced by Artistica Music & Show SCpA (AMS), with Blackmagic's ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO, with production switcher and control panel, at the heart of the streaming workflow

The MotoGP and Moto2 World Championships consists of 20 road races, with the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello circuit set in the rolling Tuscan hills, which hosted this year’s Italian leg of the MotoGP. Over the weekend, more than 130,000 spectators enjoyed the adrenaline-filled action.

Founded in 2009, Forward Racing is an Italian-Swiss company dedicated to designing and building the world’s most advanced motorbikes, remaining faithful to the values of craftsmanship, innovation and excellence. The Moto2 team has also renewed its partnership with Turin-based live event specialists AMS, entrusting them with a brief to support it with creating branded content for web and social media while also delivering live streaming services. 

“Although the races on Sunday are the most anticipated moment, the MotoGP Oakley Italian Grand Prix experience doesn’t start and end there for teams like Forward Racing,” reveals Gabriele Lusco, head of AMS’ sports events business unit, The Black Studio Live. “It’s certainly not our first time at the Mugello circuit, but our hearts are always in our throats every time we do return. It’s a special place, and our job was to create content that captured the anticipation and excitement ahead of the race.” 

A touch of gold

Amongst the deliverables produced by AMS was a 30-minute magazine format, live-streamed ahead of the race. At the centre of the action in the pit box were the mechanics with their radio headsets on, the special livery with heat pads on the wheels, and the driver ready to line up on the grid with his helmet on.

One of the most eagerly awaited moments in the live streamed show was the unveiling of Forward’s special livery for the teams home grand prix, which had been kept under tight wraps during the weekend’s build up. “With only minutes to go before the riders took their starting positions on the grid, we revealed the team’s new racing colours,” says Lusco.

At the centre of that streaming workflow was an ATEM Television Studio HD8 ISO, incorporating a production switcher and control panel in the one device, alongside multiple Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pros and a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro.

“We only had a 30-minute window, so with limited time and space, the ATEM’s all-in-one design, along with its support for tally and camera control, offered us an impressive ease of workflow,” notes Lusco. “It’s a versatile bit of kit and allows us to do things other devices can’t. The ability to record camera ISOs to the internal m.2 storage and automatically sync that media using Dropbox or Google Drive is game-changing. Likewise, you only require an Ethernet connection to stream directly to YouTube using the hardware’s presets.”

The ATEM’s built-in audio mixer with its 6 band EQ, compressors and limiters provides increased flexibility on smaller live production setups like this, according to Sergio Sasso, technical coordinator for The Black Studio Live. “Whether it’s the compressor levels or noise gate, we can control every aspect of the audio mix with live metering from the front panel,” he notes “It’s just insane value for money and unparalleled versatility when space is at a premium!” 

The unfolding drama

Alongside the live format on race day, AMS was also tasked with producing creative assets for the Forward Team socials, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as its content archives. Those assets were shot on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro, rigged with a Small Rig cage and mounted on a Ronin 3 gimbal. “We employed this setup to capture a wide range of moments from Friday and Saturday morning practice sessions as well as qualifying,” he continues. 

Image quality in a light weight package was essential. “The paddock and team garages spanned more than 40,000 square meters, which is a lot of ground to cover, so a recce ahead of the race weekend helped with our preparations,” he notes. “Mobility is key when covering large sprawling events like this. As such, I had to keep the camera rig as light and as simple as possible,” notes Lusco. “We paired the Pocket Cinema Camera with Canon’s 24-70mm and 70-200mm L series lenses to give us a reportage feel, allowing us to shoot a mix of horizontal and vertical video formats natively in camera for the various social platforms thanks to a recent update from Blackmagic.”  

Editing and colour correction relied on DaVinci Resolve Studio, with AMS producing content reels on site, immediately after the shoot, and posting to the team social media platforms. 

“We are now also working on a documentary bringing together highlights from the season which we will deliver to Forward Team once the 2023 championship has wrapped up,” concludes Lusco. “We are very proud and honoured to count on Forward Team’s absolute confidence in our creative and technical expertise.”