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and know exactly the kind of shot they’d be getting at that moment. “Another interesting element with the drones: last year was the first time they had permission to fly on the Thames Tideway,” adds Sibson. “That predominantly came about due to the race taking place in Ely during lockdown, so they saw them in action there. From that, they satisfied authorities and demonstrated how they could be used.” SEAMLESS DELIVERY The broadcast was a decided success, backed up by both the soaring viewership numbers as well as the crisp and unbroken overall broadcast delivered to our screens. A hugely experienced presentation line-up included Clare Balding and Andrew Cotter, and the programme was additionally streamed by the BBC website and The Boat Race YouTube channel – meaning an international feed output – with help from the BT Tower. FilmNova has expressed its thanks to The Boat Race Company and BBC Sport for trusting in the UK-based production company to deliver coverage of the event for another year.

board or in the air, we could still cover the race from those fixed cameras.” There were two drones: one for racing and one for the warm-up. In the past, crews would row past Putney Bridge and away from cameras pre-race for their warm-ups. This year, FilmNova had them covered on a drone – as part of an enhanced plan. “We draw up a plan for helicopter and drone, so they have a flight path that tells them which position of the river they need to be at in certain points,” Coliandris adds. “The helicopter doesn’t just go straight down the middle of the river. It’ll be at the Middlesex bank, Surrey bank – at the centre, to the side – just constantly moving around to make the coverage that bit more dynamic, while supplementing it on the ground.” This preset route meant that, for Coliandris and his team of operators, it was easy to cut to them

SAFE PAIR OF HANDS Top broadcasters like Clare Balding helped the race go off without a hitch


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