When the Extreme E Series runs its first race April 3-4 in Saudi Arabia, it will debut a unique, futuristic command center to keep viewers connected to the event.
Racing specially designed electric SUVs in an off-road, rally-style competition in five locations dotted around the globe that are most at-risk for climate change, the Extreme E Series is minimizing their carbon footprint as much as possible. One way is to race these E Prixs without fans in attendance, which heightens the need for a creative way to showcase the race.
The series has partnered with live-event production specialists ADI to create a wall of monitors that will allow the series and team managers to direct the race.
“Think F1 pit wall unpacked but turned in on itself, and we are filming from the inside,” said Westbury Gillet, Director at Aurora Media Worldwide in a release. “Each team’s principal, driver and engineer will be all together in this one room so they will be interacting.
“With the screens and lighting it will be futuristic, like a spaceship, and this will be complemented by the audio, which will be triggered at key moments. We’ve modified desks by bringing down the three monitors from the high position to a 45 degree angle along with talkback panels. There will be a LED screen wall wrapped all around, which will house different content from the race.
“We will also have LED and strip lights to light up the teams and the architecture of the structure, so for example, if a team is using HyperDrive in the race, that teams desk will light up purple. In addition, there will be multiple remote cameras and microphones capturing the teams reactions, which will be broadcast live to viewers at home.”
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ADI has been responsible for the LED and video assets at many of the UK’s sporting stadiums, including the digital wall that surrounds soccer fields. Last fall, they provided the infrastructure for a live, fully-staged drive in opera in London.
Another challenge faced by the Extreme E Series is the remoteness of the locations in which they race. After Saudi Arabia, the series heads to Senegal in May, Greenland in August, the Amazon in October and Patagonia in December.
The Command Center provides the connectivity and a futuristic look for these races, with LED screens and lighting fixtures surrounding an arc-shaped desk that hosts the five teams as they direct their drivers. Viewers will get an inside look at the strategies that go into successful completion of each team.
“We’ve been able to offer Extreme E an innovative solution to its studio brief,” said Thomas Taylor of ADI. “We’re excited to be involved in this new venture that highlights the climate change challenges we face, and provide technical production concepts for broadcast that help engage global audiences.”