Every four years another Winter Olympics rolls around where we get to see athletes from all over the world compete for their dream of winning Gold. To capture the event’s award winning moments as well as the Korean culture, NBC selected many camera operators, making sure not one moment was missed during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games held in PyeongChang. We had the pleasure of knowing a few talented camera operators relying on our battery packs to power their gear.
Corey Koniniec from production company Motion State was one of the only RED Digital Cinema camera operators and only MoVI operator selected. He filmed an array of events from halfpipe skiing, to aerials, and freestyle, but his primary focus was documenting snowboarding, composing a story of the history of snowboarding in the Olympics, in celebration of it’s 20th anniversary at the Games. To make sure he had the best spot to film each event, he would arrive to the venue hours before to scope out the locations. He had to also leave extra time to carry all of his gear up the mountain. Every morning, scaling the mountain and hauling both of his RED camera packages took him 2-3 hours! He employed HC9Mini’s and HCSlim8’s to power his DSMC2 with a Fujinon 25-300 lens to get long lens coverage. His second rig was another DSMC2 on a MoVI Pro to get the stabilized, steady-cam style shots. In the negative degree temperatures, Corey was blown away by how well the Hypercore packs held up for a day of shooting without needing to go back to base to charge up. He had told us that “the Hypercore’s truly saved my ass.” After a day of shooting, he would go back to charge up the batteries for the next day, and take his media cards to the dedicated media ingest facility at the venue. There, the crews would transcode and feed all of their footage to the main broadcasting facility at the Games. From there, it would be shared with the NBC editors to use for daily highlights and the documentary project.
Other Core Driven camera operators include Zach Trinca, using a Sony FS7 powered by HC9 Mini, and his colleague Brett Carlsen who was using a Canon C100 rig powered by HC9 Mini as well. Before the games started, Zach and Brett shot a number of cultural features in Seoul, from cafes where you could pet sheep, to exploring old traditional villages. Once the events started, they shot a lot of fan centric content, slow-motion shots of people’s reactions, interviews, and specific athletes in action for feature pieces, focusing on slope style skiing, women’s half pipe, and hockey. Since their job was to focus both on the Korean culture and the sporting events, everyday was different, mentioning “Some days we would be going from event to event, other days we were getting up at 4am to go shoot a sunrise or going off the beaten path to shoot at a coffee factory.”
While they were all over PyeongChang filming, the weather conditions varied greatly, at times down by the beach, and then alongside a snowy mountain, but no matter what the conditions, the battery packs performed just the same. Brett couldn’t find enough words to say how impressed he was with the HC9 Minis, but one of his favorite features was the runtime LCD, stating “The readout is so awesome; being able to check your battery life with the touch of a button and know your percentage and run time was priceless.” Zach also added that the lightweight and long camera runtimes using the HC9 Mini batteries made a difference when needing to lug his gear around all day. He said “The Core SWX batteries played a huge role in maintaining a reliable camera rig throughout the Olympic Games.”