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ESPN gets in bullring with Iconix

25 October 2007

ESPN has used the Iconix HD-RH1 camera to capture bullfighting footage for its new multi-themed primetime newsmagazine show, E:60. The HD-RH1 was employed by veteran cameraman Bob Sloan to capture high definition footage of a bull charging the camera for a segment entitled Baby Bullfighters. The segment follows a 14-year-old matador too young to fight in his native Spain who treks to Latin America to go up against bulls 10 times his size.

The E:60 production initially required Sloan to provide HD footage from a camera mounted to the support bar of a matador’s cape.

“The Iconix really allowed us to take things a step further,” commented Sloan, who runs San Diego’s Sloan Productions. “Instead of just seeing the bull rush the camera and then having it pass over the bull’s head, we were able to get a shot of the bull charging the camera and actually running right through it. No other high-def camera would have allowed us to do that.”

To cushion the camera head from the shock of being hit by the charging bull, Sloan constructed a special housing made from flexible plastic with varying densities of foam rubber, and suspended it over the side of the bullring with a boom assembly. “The Iconix is a very rugged camera by itself, but we definitely wanted to err on the side of caution,” Sloan said. “I’d never shot a charging bull before.”

As ESPN moves more and more of its productions over to HD, Sloan predicts that the HD-RH1 will become one of his key players. “The Iconix is the go-to POV camera for high-quality HD work,” Sloan explained. “There really is no second-runner at this point.”

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