Monday, March 7, 2011
TV Police: Sprint Cup Series From Las Vegas On FOX
What did you expect, it's Las Vegas! Lt. Dangle is on the case and investigating the NASCAR on FOX telecast just like another domestic in a Reno trailer park.
Once again, the pre-race show started from the new portable stage positioned on pit road. Unfortunately, that meant no one in the background except security guards and John Force signing autographs. The Neon Garage was packed with fans, but unused. The TV team transitioned to the Hollywood Hotel when Darrell Waltrip made his move to the broadcast booth.
Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond continued in the infield for the rest of the race. Several times, they came back on camera to offer recaps of the field and highlights of the race. FOX confirmed that the Ford cutaway car is back, showing it on-camera outside the HH.
Mike Joy called the action with Larry McReynolds and Waltrip. On pit road were Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda, Matt Yocum and Dick Berggren.
Tracks like Las Vegas bring a certain type of racing that requires the TV team to look for stories and continually update information for viewers. Passing is not the top priority as fuel, tires and strategy make this type of racing very different.
FOX has developed a style of presenting NASCAR that includes what we call "hyper-tight" camera framing. Instead of sweeping vistas, aerial shots and long views down the straights, FOX uses incredibly tight shots of cars mixed with in-car cameras. The bumper-cams are favored by the director.
Mixing that type of coverage with a track like Las Vegas has a predictable result. Most of the incidents and key moments of the race were presented to viewers via replay. Often, the entire incident would need to be replayed in order to show TV viewers what had happened.
Mike Joy was very forceful in the TV booth with his calling out of what corner an incident had occurred because that would alert the director to change cameras. Unfortunately, with so much effort put into the "hyper-tight" presentation even Joy's direct approach resulted in delays to see what was happening.
FOX continues to have the top pit reporters in the sport, but they are used much more for basic information and the description of pitstops than for updates and opinion. Integrating more of the pit reporters and less of the commentary from the TV booth has always been a topic of discussion.
Tires were an issue, with replays capturing the failures and subsequent eliminations from the race. Interviews were conducted with the drivers out of the race. No Goodyear interviews were done and it was never followed-up if the failures were debris, wear or tire trouble.
A diverse group of drivers appeared in the top ten throughout the day. The director was consistent in his selection of tight shots of single cars, so viewers had to refer to the scoring ticker at the top of the screen for updates. Distance between cars was not shown in terms of understanding the relative positions on the track.
FOX has every right to present these races in the style that the network chooses. The network owns the rights, sells the ads and has been actively involved in NASCAR for ten years. The results of this style of overall production should be apparent from the TV Police comments below.
We invite you to offer your race wrap-up comments on the FOX coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race from Las Vegas. To add your opinion, just click on the comments section below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.