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Career Opportunities In Extreme Sport Photography

To celebrate the end of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race which finishes in Galway on 3 July, Inmarsat , the race technology partner, and the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway will present a major lecture on the successful delivery of ‘extreme sailing brought to life 24/7’ by the cameraman onboard each boat.
The lecture will take place on Thursday, 5 July in the Galway Race Village, at 12-2.30pm.
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race will open the lecture with a discussion of the technology involved to report on the world’s most connected yacht race. He will reveal that broadcasters had initially wanted to embed their own journalists, but first contact with the harsh sailing conditions had quickly ruled that out.
Frostad admits that Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband technology has been “truly transformational” and he is looking forward to the arrival of Global Xpress, Inmarsat’s 50mbps new Boeing Satellite fleet in time for the 2014 Race.
Knut Frostad will talk about the 1996 race when he was onboard Intrum Justicia and how there was a heated debate on whether competitors should have to carry broadcast equipment. Says Frostad: “In the 1996 race the compromise was equipment - or 200kg of lead. The race winner, Toshiba skippered by Chris Dickson chose lead and limited media engagement. On Intrum Justicia, we took the media kit and renowned yachting photographer, Rick Tomlinson. We won the media battle with Sony sponsored kit delivering the first ever media picture from a Whitbread boat as we rounded Cape Horn. It was global front-page news with just 9.6 kbps connectivity, via Inmarsat C. Today its half a megabit from Inmarsat FleetBroadband and it has changed our sport.”
Also presenting will be one of the world’s leading extreme sports photographers Rick Deppe. Rick’s previous work includes the Emmy award-winning series ‘Deadliest Catch’ and he was the winner of the overall Inmarsat Media Crew Member prize for the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race. He will explain the different areas of the media crew member and their extreme media-gathering role. “A successful Media Crew Member” Rick says, “must be editor, producer, journalist, photographer and diplomat to get the stories off the boat. It is business as usual very day, wind or windless, 24/7 news demands feeding”. One vital aspect of the job is building trust with the professional sailors on board for the successful delivery of materials for all sponsors.
The lecture will give those present a unique sense of what is required of an extreme sports reporter onboard a multi-million dollar round the world racing yacht to deliver high quality, dramatic and gripping material that brings the race alive for fans, sponsors and the media during the nine months of the event. Broadcast quality reality TV/reporting is a business critical to the future of sport sponsorship and in particular to this race. The opportunities for a career in extreme sport videography/reporting are exciting and growing within sailing as a result of innovative technology like Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband.
Inmarsat FleetBroadband allows audiences around to world to get about as close as one can get to the race action (with HDTV clarity) without being on a competing yacht, as those who have been following the race coverage on TG4 will be aware. TG4’s Sports Editor Rónán Ó Coisdealbha will also be contributing to the session and will outline the importance of sport and the Volvo Ocean Race to the broadcaster.
The event is co-hosted by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, one of Ireland’s leading film schools offering a range of innovative programmes, including in Film Studies, Production & Direction, Screenwriting and Digital Media.
Director of the MA in Film Studies Programme at the Huston School, Seán Crosson, says: “This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in film and television, and particularly the filming of sport, to learn more about the processes involved in capturing one of world’s major sporting events from those directly involved. The lecture will expose young film-makers, media students, and interested members of the general public to the dynamic and exciting career of the Media Crew Member aboard the yachts participating in the Volvo Ocean Race as well as the endless opportunities that Inmarsat presents traveling media crews and film-makers in capturing and relaying footage and information in the most extreme conditions.”
NUI Galway, as education partners to Volvo Ocean Race Galway, will also bring considerable experience to the end of race events in the field of volunteering. Working with non-profit event organiser Let’s Do It Global, NUI Galway will help recruit and train over 1,200 volunteers required to run the nine-day festival.
While admission is free to the lecture, places are limited at this event so anyone interested in attending should contact Dee Quinn in advance at [email protected] or 091 495076 to book a place.

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