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PRODUCTION PROFILE Televising Swan Lake in live 3D from St Petersburg by Tim Highmoor, Head of Rentals, The Camera Store S tereoscopic television may still be in its infancy as a home entertainment medium but it is thriving in the cinema world. Freed from domestic distractions, cinema audiences are ideally placed to give their full attention to the images on the big screen. On Thursday 6 June 2013, the Mariinsky Ballet company in Russia performed Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake live to 1,200 cinema screens located in 55 countries. The performance was conducted by Valery Gergiev with Yekaterina Kondaurova, Timur Askerov and Andrei Yermakov in the lead roles. The Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg is where this version of Swan Lake had its premiere in 1895, with choreography by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa. This venue was also the first Russian theatre to experiment with live stereoscopic production, transmitting an experimental closed-circuit live relay to a cinema audience in Paris. The June 2013 project was managed by London-based Glass Slipper Live Events. We were asked by Glass Slipper to supply five Skquattro pedestals and a wide range of additional support equipment as part of a total system to be used for the 3D relay. TCS was chosen as an equipment provider by the project’s camera supervisor, David Gopsill. Having worked on large-scale television productions over many years, David knows from personal experience that Vinten pedestals deliver precise pan and tilt movement together with smooth on-air control of camera height. The Skquattro adds to this the freedom to move the camera equally smoothly along a track. Innovating beyond the catalog Established in 1996 and based in West London, The Camera Store (a Vitec Group company), draws on many years of experience as television cameramen to guide clients in their choice of equipment. We hold a large stock of standard equipment, including pedestals, tripods, heads, crane arms, lighting, fibre-optic cable and camera-support accessories. Our service includes rapid-response delivery and collection of large or small items. Photo 4 Unlike many other equipment hire companies, we are always ready to think outside the box, or beyond the catalog, by improving existing kit or developing new production tools that will meet unusual challenges. This ability to provide bespoke solutions has won TCS a lot of friends in the television production community where the need to deliver innovative programmes sometimes generate demand for new technical resources. The Skquattro pedestal is proof of this ability to innovate. Developed by TCS from the Vinten Quattro pedestal and therefore unique to us, the Skquattro gives camera operators the creative freedom to deliver low and high angle shots, plus the ability to shift the camera laterally as a separate or simultaneous action. The set Photo 2 Opened in 1860, the Mariinsky Theatre became the pre-eminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky- Korsakov were first performed. Through most of the Soviet era, it was known as the Kirov Theatre. Today, the theatre is home to the Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky Opera and Mariinsky Orchestra. Since Yuri Temirkanov’s retirement in 74 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 79 JULY 2013 TV-BAY079JUL13.indd 74 09/07/2013 16:52