Wimbledon 2012 on ESPN: The Fortnight before The Fortnight
The all-new, all-live and all-ESPN Wimbledon begins Monday, June 25, but for ESPN’s Joalin Goff, remote operations producer, by then Wimbledon will already be a fortnight old. She and technical manager Chris Strong arrived in London SW 19 on June 11 to get everything in place. In this conversation from Wimbledon, she explains what’s new for 2012, and just how wide ranging her role can be.
With ESPN’s expanded role, what is new or different behind the scenes at Wimbledon?
We have nearly doubled our footprint in the broadcast center. We have a second control room, a second audio room, a third edit suite and more. We also have a new studio, and totally redesigned our old one. The previous set was wonderful, but now the look is lighter and fresh, with a better view out the window to Court 18. We’ll have a third location too. The BBC is going to share its rooftop garden set with the skyline of London in the distance.
What can you tell folks about cameras out on the grounds?
We will enhance the world feed to a much greater extent than in the past. We have added four robotic cameras; two are at the players’ entrance, where we used to send a crew to shoot arrivals. One is on top of Court 1, for scenic shots, and one is at the court-level Centre Court announce booth to shoot into the booth or the crowd. We also have added cameras at Centre Court, including an Extra Slo-Motion cam on the baseline.
What has occupied your time in this fortnight before the fortnight?
We worked with the Club to re-outfit our offices and facilities. Everything from equipment to furniture to power. Mark Kwok, associate technical manager, works with vendors and the BBC on all technical issues, from soup to nuts. Personally, I’ve already been to the local IKEA six times! We have “furniture building parties!” Now that we know we’re going to be here awhile, the set-up will be more permanent and won’t be removed after the tournament.
Your area is also tasked with “hosting” the ESPN personnel, which has increased about 25 percent to nearly 280. There has to be some unusual requests. Do tell.
The most common requests, for people’s flats or here in the office, are alarm clocks, hair dryers, hangers and ice. There is very little ice in England. It’s not just beer they drink warm.