By now, I’m sure the entire island of Jersey is very much aware, that there has been a small sporting event taking place in the last week!
The NatWest Island Games, now in their 16th year, were started in 1985 and have remained a proud tradition for many islands ever since. Boasting a fantastic 25 islands as members, the International Island Games Association continues to provide sporting entertainment and introduce us to amazing sporting talent, all around the world.
Lucky for me, a local company had been in touch to invite me along and review the games from a slightly different perspective!
Meet Phil, Pete and Tom, otherwise collectively know as 3C International. This hard working, dynamic trio had been commissioned by NatWest International and the Island Games Organising Committee to film action from the games, throughout the week.
Working out of the super fast and amazingly well equipped Digital Jersey Hub, where the guys had set up camp for the week (a privilege afforded to 3Ci as members of Digital Jersey!) the challenge ahead of them was not going to be a walk in the park!
Consider the fact that there are 16 different disciplines, taking place across an area of 45 square miles around the island, with 24 different islands taking part, oh and many of the sporting events run simultaneously.
Now consider the fact that you have a team of 3 people, to attend these events and film, photograph, interview, edit, narrate and condense the whole day in to a three minute round up, before finally uploading the finished product to the NatWest intranet site on a daily basis, so NatWest employees around the world can keep up to date with the games.
Now you might have some slight insight into the challenge facing the team and the extraordinary pace they would have to work at, in order to deliver such great results!
After a quick briefing and discussion regarding the days strategy, we piled in to the car (affectionately know as ‘the wagon’!) and headed off to our first stop, the men’s singles tennis final, between Jersey’s Scott Clayton and the Isle of Man’s Billy Harris.
Within seconds of parking up, the camera equipment had been set up and the boys were in full swing! It is truly amazing the speed that they work at. We had discussed in the morning, that the plan was to get a few interviews with people attending the games to get their feedback, whilst also covering a range of disciplines throughout the day. This meant working together in some areas, then splitting up to cover other areas of the island later in the day.
As you can see, I wasn’t the only one interested in taking pictures behind the scenes, of the behind the scenes action!
Phil had raced off to find budding interviewees as soon as we arrived, whilst Tom set up the camera equipment and Pete had disappeared to take some snaps around the tennis courts, synchronised working at it’s very best!
Arriving back with his willing participants, Phil proceeded to conduct interviews to get various views on the games. I have to say, his interview technique was very impressive. He hadn’t scripted any of the questions, as he adapted his technique to suit whoever he may be interviewing at the time.
Some participants were nervous so he would offer reassurance and support, whilst others would happily talk for England, so he would adapt his questioning style to make sure he got the short punchy answers he was looking for. Overall there were some great answers and praise for Jersey elicited from the visitors, thanks to Phil’s ultra professional and flexible approach.
Next, we moved on to the main event on the tennis courts. As you can imagine, all the media want to get the very best shot and position on the court. Tom was tasked with setting up to ensure they could deliver the best footage for their clients.
This meant firm but fair negotiation with the games officials, to ensure the quality of the footage was not compromised.
Access to get on to the courts meant you had to be with the official media team and identified by the classic green vests for all media team members. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and I can confirm, I was absolutely lucky enough to get my very own. Fetching, don’t you think?!
Quite possibly the worst wardrobe malfunction ever, but I didn’t care! I was having so much fun stalking the behind the scenes team and enjoying the games, that fashion statements really didn’t matter!
One other thing that hadn’t really entered my mind at the beginning of the day, was that whilst the guys are out running around the island covering the games, they also still have a business to run and other clients to respond to!
This meant sneaking a quick look at emails whenever possible in-between filming. And you can absolutely forget lunch breaks – these do not exist in such a fast paced environment, lunch on the go is the way forward!
Sadly we couldn’t stay for the whole game, as the next sporting event was beckoning! On to the athletics track for us.
This meant another mad rush when we arrived, for more interviews, camera shots and finding the best position to film the track from.
We occasionally stopped to cheer on some of the runners, especially in the 10,000 meters when they looked just about ready to collapse! The youngest runner was just 15 years old, and evidently an awful lot fitter than most of us!
We had an absolutely great chat with the Cayman Islands team, you could instantly tell they were all super competitive and raring to go, and the 3Ci team did their utmost to bring this out of them even more for the interview.
Pete even sacrificed himself to hold the microphone sat on the floor, proving that behind the scenes access isn’t always as glamorous as it’s made out to be. For these guys though, it’s all about getting the very best footage and sound, no matter what the cost!
We moved on to the starting line of the race track for the final event, the hotly anticipated men’s relay race. There was a whole lot of hype around the track for these teams! I’m delighted to say that Jersey eventually came in second place here, which we were of course thrilled with!
What was more impressive though, was the foresight that Tom had when positioning the camera. You see, there were at least another 8 members of the media around the same area, with their cameras poised and ready to film the athletes race of their stating points. However, Tom had managed to cleverly position himself so as to capture the starting shot, then simply turn to catch the final sprint and glorious finishing sequence.
Not ONE other camera person had managed to find themselves such a great position, and within seconds of the starters gun going off, they were all frantically grabbing their equipment and dashing over to the space we were in, where a very cool, calm and collected Tom was already happily in position for the final shot! Just another example of what seasoned professionals the whole team are.
After a final glimpse at a spot of table tennis, it was time for me to leave the boys to get on with the rest of their jam packed day – including the magnificent closing ceremony that evening, one very long day.
I should point out, that all of the above work was carried out in the space of a mere three hours! We crammed so much in and 3Ci got such great quality shots. It really was an eye opening experience, seeing how they work so seamlessly together in such an intense environment where every second counts. Their skill and coordination is second to none and the whole morning played out like a well choreographed dance, absolutely effortless.
What’s more, we had such a great laugh all morning, the team clearly adore their jobs and there wasn’t even a hint of stress in sight. Such a fun and informative day out, thank you for having me team 3Ci, I really enjoyed my behind the scenes glimpse!
If you would like to engage 3C International for one of your own projects, you can get in touch with them through the 3C International Website – I am certain you will be over the moon with the results!
P.S. In case you were wondering – YES, Jersey did top the medal table for the whole week, go #TeamJersey!