Experiences inside the big white truck...

Experiences inside the big white truck...

talented Chris Demeulemeester inside the vehicle. dh photos by dinesh s K

Metrolife got an exclusive peek into it, only to be introduced to a whole new world of broadcasting.

Famously called the OB truck, it shuttles between Bangalore and Chennai for the exclusive coverage of the IPL matches.

So what’s so great about the truck? Production Manager Lesley Mc Crae, who has been broadcasting the three seasons of IPL says, “The truck has come all the way from Belgium. It has all the technical facility that a production company needs, to broadcast any match. In the last two seasons we had to set up the various equipment at each venue, which took nearly three to four hours, but now with the truck all we need to do is plug in and we are ready for the show.”

Divided into three main sections, the truck looks after the sound mixing, editing and the replay actions. “When a match is on we have to give our full concentration. Because we can’t really miss out on any action on and off the field,” says Chris Demeulemeester, the operations manager.

 With over 32 cameras capturing every moment, Scott Walker-Nicholson, the cameraman says that it is the Indian crowd that’s most enthusiastic,” and adds, “in fact, the West is a bit conservative.”

When the truck travels from one city to another, there are two people from the crew who travel with the drivers. “We can only travel at night due to traffic and space and the truck can run a maximum speed of 35 kms due to the equipment,” says Chris. Apart from the game it is the travelling on the road that intrigued him as well. “The cities in India have a peculiar road culture. From shifting lanes to phantom riders, I can’t get over the number of monkeys we saw on the roads,” he says.

With a team of 75 from various countries, the Bangalore-Chennai production crew says that India has an infectious energy when it comes to the game but at the same time it isn’t an easy place to get things done.

Lesley says that this profession demands a lot of dedication and commitment. Interestingly for the past few seasons Lesley has been the only woman in the crew, “We are all one when it comes to team work. But boy will be boys and one does get to hear some nasty jokes but as a woman one has to make sure your are thick-skinned,” she laughs. She says that the crew talks, walks and breathes cricket.

David, another cameraman, has covered cricket for more than 15 years. And he says that his passion has only grown. “The craze for cricket is this pronounced only in India. There are days and nights we don’t sleep a wink.”   

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