DEFINITION May 2022 - Web


CULTURE CLUB How Jay Rozanski’s crew captured a series of alfresco performances, showcasing Coventry as the UK’s city of culture

UNFULFILLED BY THE monotony of corporate work, Jay Rozanski shifted the direction of his company oXyFire Media Creative. It had been predominantly focused on creating eLearning content for the likes of British Airways, Unilever and Ikea, towards live broadcast and multicam shoots. Ready to take on major sporting events and concerts, Rozanski’s move was unfortunately thwarted by the pandemic. “We had no work,” he explains. “But then something great happened: clients began transitioning to streaming online and our company was able to support that. The first big project that we livestreamed during lockdown was for Manchester International Festival. Typically held over 18 days in venues throughout

the city, it is an artist-led extravaganza, presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing and visual arts and popular culture – and we were able to bring those artists, who came from across the world, together remotely.” Rozanski’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed – he was quickly snapped up to showcase the UK City of Culture 2021 in Coventry. Held every four years, it is an event designed to promote arts and creativity as a means of celebration and regeneration in one successful location. However, because it coincided with one of the UK lockdowns, it required an astute digital strategy to ensure all the events got the exposure they deserved. “We basically needed to do a load of online streams, and my brief for the

first event – the opening ceremony – was to have a crew of four camera operators capturing footage in and around the city, to be vision mixed back at the control room with graphics, BSL, captions and audio description. This went smoothly, it was the second event we worked on. But getting coverage for Faith , that was most taxing,” Rozanski explains. WALK THIS WAY Faith – a set of promenade-style performances co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company – demanded a lot from the crew technically, but also physically, as they followed the actors through the streets with equipment in tow. “It was probably the most challenging event I’ve ever worked on,” says Rozanski. “The crew walked for 12 hours, capturing footage of the play, and a 600-person audience that walked with them through the city. The kit had to be lightweight, and we made sure that each operator had an Easyrig and camera assistant, so they weren’t also having to carry batteries and accessories.” The brief was like the opening ceremony: the event needed to be broadcast to various online streams and vision mixed in a similar way, but there was one rather large issue. Four camera operators captured footage


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