First held in 2014, Coventry’s annual MotoFest event has grown with each passing year, now a firm fixture on the calendar for those that live in the city, including myself.
From 2014 to 2017, organisers held parade laps using a portion of the city’s Ring Road. With a change in law last year bringing motor sport back to the UK’s towns and cities, organisers took advantage of this, adding a sprint time trial event to the Moto Fest bill.
But, what would the city, which is also UK City of Culture for 2021, look like from a broadcasting point of view if it ever aired on television? Where would you place the cameras? I had a bit of fun across the two-day event, filming the machinery from various vantage points around the Ring Road based course.
I should note that the organisers did not ask me to write this, I have had no contact with them, just thought that this would make for an interesting piece of the site, and it falls into the broadcasting bracket very nicely.
So, how did I get on? Pleasingly, the result is a 90 second ‘directors cut’ lap of the 2018 Coventry MotoFest course! 30 minutes of footage from 18 different angles cut into a short edit. It is not intended to be perfect.
A few years ago, during University, I did gain an Adobe Premiere Pro certificate, but for this I jumped into DaVinci Resolve, which in terms of look and feel in my view is easier to use than Premiere Pro.
I filmed this on my Nexus 6P, no specialist camera, just me and my (un)steady hands. Resolve’s stabiliser function was my best friend for most of the clips! I had a good idea of where to get the best angles, but sometimes I used my instinct if an opportunity presented itself.
Some areas were restricted, such as the tunnel, whilst viewing areas down at the far end of the circuit were also limited, preventing me from poking my Nexus through the railings! Maybe I should have done my own recce…
Once I had narrowed the clips down to the chosen ones, it was a matter of making sure they cut in and out at the right moment, road markings as well as my own knowledge guiding the process.
The cars in each clip were different, which resulted in different tones, so it was vital to correct that and attempt to equalise the audio in the editing process. Some of the sound is also taken from the preceding or following clip, as portions of it turned out to be unusable.
Being an event on public roads in a city centre, some cars were not taking break neck speeds around the course, so one or two clipsp may look slightly slower than those around them, but that is the luck of the draw.
Whilst I have corrected the key things in the first version, one thing caught me out and that was the sun, which eagle-eyed watchers will notice suddenly re-appear at around 28 seconds in. I want to do colour correction, across the whole film but that is a longer task for the future.
Currently, Coventry MotoFest does not look like UK’s version of Monte Carlo, but a bit of colour enhancements will change that. Maybe…