Television cameras will be focused on this year’s Nicky Grist Stages (9-10 July), as the event will enjoy an unprecedented amount of broadcast time on Channel 4, BT Sport and Motors TV – plus a dedicated 30-minute special on S4C’s Ralïo programme.
Hayfisher Productions will send a team of nine people to film the event for the MSA British Rally Championship. It has already completed a full route recce to determine the most suitable filming locations. Come the event, up to seven Panasonic 3100 cameras will take up these positions, ready to capture the on-stage action, while six cars will also carry two on-board cameras each. All the footage, including the pieces to camera by presenter Colin Clark and driver interviews, will be captured on solid-state cards (large data cards, about the size of a credit card). These will be taken back for post-production at Hayfisher’s studios in Droitwich, where Jon Desborough will do a voice over and the footage will be collated in four editing suites – all overseen by Chief Editor, Martin Rowe and Producer Mark James.
Three days after the event, a 48-minute programme for BT Sport and a 23-minute programme for Channel 4 (standard industry programme times for a 1 hour and a 30-minute programme, with room for ad breaks) will be transmitted by high-speed data connection to the two stations, for broadcast that coming weekend.
Ian Carver, who worked for Hayfisher Productions for 25 years on motorsport projects and who is now employed as a freelance rally co-ordinator, is responsible for all the logistics.
“Filming a rally has its challenges,” says Ian. “It’s vital to do a full recce, because a map doesn’t show you any obstructions like trees that will ruin a shot. On a multiple stage event like the Nicky Grist Stages, it’s also important to work out how you’re going to get cameramen into locations on time, how and if they can move between stages and all the time never compromising on safety. You also have to think differently about gravel and Tarmac stages – with gravel there is often dust, and you never know what the wind direction is going to be until the day of the event, and on Tarmac the cars don’t slide as much, so you have to pick a camera position where there is a jump or something spectacular. And unlike racing, where cars pass you multiple times, you only get one chance in rallying!”
It’s not just Hayfisher Productions who’ll be filming on the Nicky Grist Stages this year. Special Stage will also have its own dedicated camera crew filming the event, following competitors in the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series and Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship. Produced by Wayne Goldring, the programmes are broadcast on Motors TV and presented by Paul Woodford.
Meanwhile, the new series of Ralïo, now in its 13th year on S4C, is currently on air and broadcasting reports from the FIA World Rally Championship. Produced by Llanelli-based Tinopolis Wales and presented by Emyr Penlan and Lowri Morgan, a 30-minute Nicky Grist Stages special will be broadcast at 21.30 on Thursday 1 September. A Christmas special, following Elfyn Evans’ 2016 season, is planned, which is likely to include the Nicky Grist Stages as well.
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “TV exposure for the event, Nicky and the various championships is very important to the organising team and we are extremely pleased with the coverage this year’s event will receive. Following our TV planning recce, during which we drove through all the gravel and Tarmac stages with Hayfisher Productions and experienced rally photographer Mark Writtle, I’m confident we have identified the very best and safest camera positions along the one hundred mile route. We’re looking forward to welcoming the film crews and all media to the event next month, and continuing to help them capture fantastic images of the Nicky Grist Stages.”
Nicky Grist said: “I’m really looking forward to this year’s Nicky Grist Stages, because the combination of hosting a round of both the BRC and BTRDA, and running gravel and Tarmac stages, has created even more interest and excitement than we’d ever imagined. Quinton Motor Club is making a tremendous effort to make sure this is the best Nicky Grist Stages ever, and testament to that is the amazing response the organisers have received from competitors, film crews and broadcasters. I’m personally looking forward to welcoming everyone to the event in July, and enjoying what is guaranteed to be a fantastic rally festival up on Epynt.”
The use of drones, by accredited media or spectators, is strictly forbidden on the Epynt military ranges, and no filming by drones will be allowed on any of the gravel or Tarmac stages.
Regulations and entry forms are available in the Competitors’ section of www.nickygriststages.co.uk