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Ancillary F1 - RTV // A closer look at production house RTV and their Formula One coverage

Published by Christine

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Welcome to the last episode in the mini series Ancillary F1, where we take a look at the supportive companies involved with the sport, those not directly competing. Today we’re looking at television production house RTV.

RTV GmbH was founded in 1995 by Oliver Bauss in Stuttgart. He had been working for the German TV company RTL, who had the F1 rights at the time, and Bauss was a motorsport fan in his own right. With an interest in racing, he soon realised there was a gap in the market for behind the scenes broadcast footage, and he setup RTV.

The company’s first partner was Allianz, who sponsor Williams, and their first commission was to produce a series of programmes about how F1 has helped to improve passenger safety in road cars.

Their clientele, and capabilities improved over the years and now they broadcast a wide range of Formula 1 related packages. They are probably best known for Inside Grand Prix, which is a half hour programme, covering technical information, historical pieces, behind the scenes footage and personnel profiles. The programme has been running since 2001 and is currently broadcast in 55 countries across the world.

There’s a lot more to RTV than a thirty minute television show though. No doubt you’ve seen those promotional films that teams make when they’re launching a new car or driver lineup. It usually involves a lot of chasing around a track, and can include slow motion and close ups and other special effects. RTV make a lot of these, and have invested heavily in the equipment to do this. They have access to specialist helicopters for overhead shots, tracking vehicles for smooth filming, customised rigs for those hard to reach places and super-slow-mo cameras for… super-slo-mo filming. RTV plan the entire production, from storyboarding, through video capture and the editorial process, and the end results can be stunning.

One of the most interesting things RTV can offer is what is known as the bullet-time effect, or as you and I know it - that cool thing they did in The Matrix. A long line of photographic cameras, over 30 sometimes, capture images within split seconds of each other, and the resulting pictures can be used to capture many angles of the same shot enabling a director to pan around a seemingly frozen image.

The company use their many talents to cover press-conferences, car launches, testing, breaking news, sponsor films, as well as branching out to other series like DTM and Le Mans. The reason we like them so much is for their forward looking internet presence. Rights free material in various formats, and multiple languages, covering different motorsports and topics, available to download. This is something Bernie Ecclestone could only dream about.

That’s it for this episode and this series. I’d love to know if you’ve seen any of RTV’s coverage and what you think of it, please leave your comments on Sidepodcast.com, or on the voicemail 0121 28 87225. Look forward to hearing from you.

Theme music: Porter Block, Second Wind.

All content in the series Ancillary F1