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GoPro BTS: On the Ice with the NHL

August 23, 2019


“You kind of get an idea of what we’re looking
at and the pace that we’re trying to play at.” Did you get that? What’s up everyone? Welcome to Behind the
Adventure of On the Ice with the NHL. I’m Davis Paul, I’m the creative lead for team
sports here at GoPro. I’m Whitney McGraw and I produced this shoot. We’re about to give
you a behind the scenes look at what it took to make this video. You know the objective of the shoot really
was to show hockey in a perspective that it’s never been seen before and for us, hockey
has been covered for decades upon decades, so we really wanted to try to show different
angles where only this camera is going to be able to go. We didn’t really have control over what players
we were going to work with. It was kind of a ‘who wants to take this opportunity and
who wants to work with us.’ Defense men, we had goalies, we had forwards, so designing
how we were shooting with each person was really unique to that person. We went out and location scouted a few weeks
before and kind of saw this stadium and tested camera settings and worked with the NHL to
really define what they wanted to see, whether it was a one-timer, stick handling, spin-a-ramas. “Bottle?”
“Hit the Gatorade bottle, yeah” So when we showed up on site, we really got
detailed with exactly how we were going to do that – how that drill was going to be set
up, where our dummy skaters needed to be placed, where the pucks needed to be placed because
we really only had 45 minutes with each player from when they showed up on the ice for the
first time to when they had to go to their other engagements. Looking at the skill sets of the players,
it really helped us kind of define how we wanted to mount them up. We were looking at
like a Patrick Kane who is just infamous for his stick handling. Using basically our QRs
to configure these side rigs so it could sit off his helmet so you had a direct visualization
of his hands. If you had a Taylor Hall who is known for kind of his skating and we wanted
to illustrate that, like working with the guys to put these cameras in different positions,
whether it be on the ice or follow cams or some of our customized mounts. Really we just
wanted to try to put fans as close to the player as possible. “We want to show reaction time, we want to
show your glove save, at some point they might lift something up, you can kind of do your
famous headbutt.” “Smoke the camera.”
“If you want smoke the camera, smoke the camera, you know?” Henrik Lundqvist is one of the goalies we
shot with and he’s famous for heading the puck when he saves it, like he hits it right
off his helmet which is just crazy. We were able to actually put, using just kind of like
our standard Gooseneck of Jaws to mount up onto his helmet to literally give you a visualization
of what his eyes are doing and how he’s tracking. Traditionally you can’t achieve that with
a standard broadcast camera so to be able to just put a GoPro right there in front of
him and let him do his sport as he normally does is pretty unique and pretty all-time
for the most part. When we got inside in our testing and kind
of going through modes, we realized really quickly that Protune was kind of going to
be our savior for the most part. You know, in Protune we were able to control the white
balance. We locked it at 5500 to make sure that skin tones came out really well and we
figured that we could kind of cool the footage if need-be. We did shoot with our EV stop
up half a step because we were shooting at a locked off ISO of 400 so it allowed us a little
more brightness than what 400 stops the camera at, and we just had sharpening on at medium. I love
that setting and I think that that’s the best one for how you can either customize it a
little further in post or soften it if need-be. Anything that was mounted to a player we shot
in 1440-48. I think the challenge in hockey and most sports
in general is every helmet is kind of different. I mean, I specifically remember Jonathan Toews’
helmet. I’m looking at it and he had, for some reason he had two different grooves on
the top that kind of a sticky wouldn’t have fit right down the middle, so we actually
offset a J-Hook just slightly off-center, but because the lens is on the left side of
the camera, offsetting it to the right, the lens still remained center. With all the challenges we had at the shoot,
you know, indoor lighting, different modes, different players, one of the biggest challenges
we had, or I would say one of the biggest challenges that Davis had, was doing follow
cam and actually being on ice and on skates. “Oh my bad, my bad, my bad.” So something we did for this shoot that was
kind of fun was figuring out how to do our standard drop cam, but making it really authentic
to hockey and kind of incognito, so we used pucks instead of our base plate. And this
one was super fun, we did a double puck. “Get crazy with this for a second.”
“Two pucks?” “Two pucks, but they’re connected so the camera
is filming like right here.” “So here it goes.” The footage of that looked awesome because
you’re seeing the puck in the angle and that was a never before seen shot from hockey. A mount like this to us, just we really just
wanted to be down on the ice looking back up at the player and to be able to kind of see
half of the puck and see a guy at speed taking it behind the goal and going a full sheet
of ice was really unique. Because players like you really want to see
a specific moment, and really kind of break down what they’re doing, the array seemed
like a great option. To have 40 GoPros, to be able to freeze time and rotate in space
was going to be incredible. “If you’re worried about me hitting it, I
won’t hit it.” “I like that. That’s alright.”
“I’d like it if, can you shift it this way a little bit more?”
“Yeah.” “Yeah, I don’t want to take one of those.” Thanks so much for joining us in Behind the
Adventure of On the Ice with the NHL. I’m Whitney McGraw, this is Davis Paul, we hope
you enjoyed this behind the scenes look of our shoot. Yeah. Don’t forget to check back frequently
for more behind the scenes episodes. Thanks again.

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