The Latest in Technology is Watching Over the Chiefs Practice Fields
The Chiefs are using new practice cameras this season that don’t require a traditional manned lift
There’s countless things that go on behind the scenes for the Kansas City Chiefs that help position the team to win on the field. Every victory is a culmination of numerous people working together to prepare for the upcoming opponent.
A critical component of that weekly preparation is the work done by the Chiefs video operations team, which film practice so that the coaching staff can adequately evaluate and game plan.
That process got a facelift this offseason, as the Chiefs moved on from the traditional manned scissor-lifts in favor of a new camera system that can be operated from the ground.
“They’re called mastRcam mobiles,” said Pat Brazil, the Chiefs’ Director of Video Operations. “Basically, they’re similar to a boat trailer with a moulded canopy and Bimini on top, with a 55-foot tall telescoping mast that’s rated for 50 miles per hour. They also have electronic leveling jacks to keep it completely level and firm to the ground. The operator sits at the bottom of it with a pan zoom tilt control, and just shoots practice from there.”
The Chiefs currently have three of the units, which are produced by a company called 8K Solutions, in what’s considered the latest in the industry.
The new system’s primary advantage is safety, as it doesn’t require an individual to actually ascend in the air with the camera.
“We used to have three 45-foot platform scissor-lifts and we would just load our camera gear in there and go up,” Brazil said. “It takes a while to get down if lightning hits or there’s wind, so this is definitely much safer.”
The increased safety of the staff made the decision to move forward with the new technology an easy one for Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt.
“We did our research to make sure that the quality of the video was as good as the old platforms with the handheld cameras and ultimately made the decision that it was a great addition,” Hunt said. “It adds to the safety of our video crew, and that was really what it was about, the safety of those guys.”