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For television crews, a logistical challenge

By Don Aucoin, Globe Staff, 7/12/2000

s he took a rare break yesterday from the task of producing the coverage of Sail Boston 2000 for WCVB-TV (Channel 5) and the History Channel, Mark Mills declared it ''the most complicated day of television production in the history of Boston TV.''

TALL SHIPS COVERAGE

FROM BOSTON.COM
07/18/00
Blown transmission strands English Tall Ship in Boston

07/17/00
Captains of smaller ships grumble about treatment
More tall ships arriving
Tall ships leave Boston Harbor

07/14/00
* Tall Ships become Party Boats
* Getting aboard a tall order

07/13/00
* Canadian students learn the seafaring life

07/12/00
* A floating hospital for sailors
* Sailors cavort around town
* Irish sailors find second home
* Tall Ships add bustle to harbor

07/11/00
* After Parade, the party begins
* A picture perfect day for Parade
* Crowd gathers at Fan Pier

FROM THE GLOBE
07/17/00
* Hostility left in Tall Ships' wake
* Visiting sailors transform city
* USS Kennedy stood the tallest

07/16/00
* Before the mast

07/15/00
* Millions enjoy the fun

07/14/00
* Much ado over ribald show

07/13/00
* Visits running ahead of '92

07/12/00
* Boston lays out hearty welcome
* Weather lends a hand at Logan
* Front-row seats for Winthrop
* For TV a logistical challenge
* Waterfront companies mix pleasure, business

07/11/00
* A sea change in the harbor
* A struggle for the sea's bounty
* An urban festival in a box
* Just off downtown, a treasure
* Top brass agree Sail Boston is city's best blast

NECN REAL VIDEO

07/16/00
Crowds say goodbye
Tall Ships leave Boston
USS Constitution saluted

07/14/00
* Battle of Barges preview

07/13/00
* Sail Boston's parade of tourists
* The long lines at the JFK

07/12/00
* Britain's Lord Nelson

07/11/00
* Celluci on Sail Boston
* The Japanese ship Akogare
* The Parade Route
*Spectators turn out early
* Sail Boston weather
* Managing outer harbor traffic
* Parade of Sail route for Tues.
* Aboard USS John F. Kennedy


   

Charles Kravetz, news director of New England Cable News, voiced a similar opinion later in the day. ''This may be the biggest technological challenge we've ever faced,'' said Kravetz.

The challenges ranged from the relatively minor, such as broadcasting through wind-whipped microphones, to the massive: transmitting signals from ship and shore via microwave, fiber-optic line, and satellite on a hectic day. There were also the tasks of finding the right ship for camera setups in the predawn darkness, transporting tons of equipment, and coordinating pool shots among several TV stations, not to mention familiarizing anchors and reporters with maritime lingo.

The parade of Tall Ships into Boston Harbor presented local broadcasters with opportunities for eye-catching footage, and - after planning for up to eight months - they made the most of it. However, there was also, perhaps inevitably, a certain sameness to the images of one impressive vessel after another over the course of eight hours.

To combat that sameness, the stations that devoted the most time to live coverage - Channel 5, Channel 4, and NECN - interspersed scores of pretaped pieces on everything from the history of shipbuilding to the activities of pirates.

WHDH-TV (Channel 7) devoted less than half the airtime to live coverage that its rivals did, prompting criticism from some who saw an inconsistency in the station that bills itself as ''the news station.'' Channel 7 general manager Michael Carson defended the station's coverage, saying it broadcast ''the heart of the event'' from midmorning to early afternoon, in addition to coverage on newscasts.

This story ran on page A20 of the Boston Globe on 7/12/2000.

 


 


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