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Paris 2024: France Tlvisions Head of Production in Charge of Olympic and Paralympic Games Frdric Gaillard Talks Innovations and Logistics

13/06/2024

Paris 2024: France T l visions head of production in charge of Olympic and Paralympic Games Fr d ric Gaillard talks innovations and logistics By Heather McLean

Monday, June 10, 2024 - 10:30

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France T l visions is working with three physical studios. Pictured is a mock up of Club France, in the Grande Halle de la Villette, in the east of Paris. This is the home of Team France and its 900 athletes competing in the Games, and the studio located out the front of the building will be dedicated to TV channel, France 3

Ahead of Paris 2024, we caught up with France T l visions' Fr d ric Gaillard, head of production in charge of Olympics and Paralympics Games, to find out how the French rights holder for the Games is tackling this epic event's coverage on its home ground.

Hi Fr d ric. I've heard you've worked on a lot of Games. How many Olympics have you worked on so far?

I've been covering the Olympics since Barcelona 1992. Paris will be my eleventh Olympics.

How have you seen Olympic coverage evolve over that period?

We were on SD in Barcelona in 1992, HD in Beijing in 2008, and to remote production (the sets in Beijing and the control rooms in Paris), and this year UHD.

Are you throwing everything at this production because it's in your home country?

We are using 90% of the resources of the France T l visions group La Fabrique and we will be more than 1,000 people mobilised on these Olympics and Paralympics. We can say that we are doing everything possible to ensure that the coverage is total.

What are your major challenges overall on this one?

The multiplication of live locations and therefore of technical means forces us to be more demanding in terms of implementation and processes.

The main challenge lies in the fact that there are three simultaneous aerials 24 hours a day on three remote sites where our studios are located.

As with any event of this scale, logistics are paramount. We have to manage the movements of 42 pairs of commentators spread across the country. And that there are more than 1,000 technical and editorial staff involved, to whom we will have to provide technical and above all logistical answers.

Are you producing blanket coverage of this event?

For the Olympic Games, OBS is in charge of the international signals at all the venues. For the Paralympics Games, OBS is also in charge of the venues, but we will be covering power lifting, badminton, taekwondo, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair tennis.

What's the live output for France T l visions?

For the Olympics, we will be on air 24 hours a day on our two premium channels, France 2 and France 3 in linear, and France.tv Paris 2024 in digital. This represents over 1,000 hours of live coverage.

For the Paralympics Games, we will be on air 24 hours a day alternately on our France 2 and France 3 channels in linear and offering all the competitions on France.tv Paris 2024 in digital format. This represents more than 300 hours of linear coverage and 1,500 hours of digital coverage.

Who else are you working closely with on this?

With Gilles Silard, who is my director. We're working in close collaboration because the project is complicated. We use all the technical resources of our group La Fabrique and these resources are coordinated by Laurence Beyssac. We also work with technical partners such as Vid lio, Magnum, Dushow, microFilm and Absys, and Impact.

What workflow innovations are you working with?

We decided not to set up at the IBC Le Bourget as is usually the case for the Olympics, but at France T l visions' headquarters. We're recreating a little FTV IBC'.

We're going to do everything from our headquarters. We decided to transport all the competitions and all the private cameras present on the IBC sites to France T l visions. This represents a bandwidth of 700Gbit, all transported on ST2110.

We have created an traffic/MCR specific to send all feeds embedded with commentary and world audio to the various control rooms to produce the three programmes for our two linear and one digital channels.

What is your camera set up?

We've kept the model used at the previous Olympics and we'll be using remote cameras, with three control rooms and an OB van (UM1) at headquarters and the sets elsewhere in Paris.

The France 2 set will be at the Trocad ro with its 13 UHD cameras (remote Sony, crane, aerial camera, camera on rail, etc), our France 3 set will be at La Villette at Club France with its 15 cameras (remote Sony, crane, aerial camera, camera on rail, radio camera, etc,) and our digital set will be in the France Televisions hall with its five cameras (remote Sony, cinematic, etc).

How many trucks does it take to work the Olympics?

Two OB vans, both our own: UM1 at our headquarters for France 2's UHD broadcast, and UM3 at the Stade de France for athletics.

Are there any particular challenges around cabling at for the Olympics?

At head office, the first cabling work has started because connecting the control rooms to our nodal/traffic system is a long and complicated job, because during this time the control rooms are running on a daily basis.

On a site like the Stade de France, we are subject to OBS rules and the cabling windows are only a few days wide, so you don't want to have forgotten a cable

What's the studio set up?

Our two main sets are remote, so we have wired our two studios at Trocad ro and La Villette to bring the cameras directly back to headquarters. These are temporary studios in Lahyer structures that will be dismantled afterwards, one after the Games and the other after the Paralympic events.

Who are the presenters?

They are the emblematic figures from the sports department, such as Laurent Luyat, Matthieu Lartot, C cile Gr s, Claire Voquier Ficot, and from the news programmes, such as
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