Softimage/DS up to par at U.S. Open

Softimage/DS up to par at U.S. Open

Cody Holt

The drama on the back nine during the final round of the U.S. Open was tangible — even on television. The second of golf’s four major championships, which was played June 17-20 in Pinehurst, NC, would be decided by the day’s final pairing.

Phil Michelson, one of the game’s most promising young players, was in search of his first major championship knowing that at any minute he could be called away to be with his wife, who was back home in Arizona just hours away from going into labor with the couple’s first child. Payne Stewart, who had lost the same tournament the previous year in a similar, two-man showdown, was looking to exorcise the demons of U.S. Opens past, several of which he had been in contention for, but only one of which he had won, in 1991.

Every stroke, grimace, and pumped fist was captured by several ENG cameras following the players. To match the footage shot on the course with the pristine images shot from the well-equipped NBC truck, Joe Brown, the head editor for the event, chose Avid’s Softimage|DS nonlinear production system running on Intergraph’s Studio Z GT platform. The system featured version 2.1 software, 144GB of storage, dual-monitor editing support, unlimited levels of undo/redo, and full-screen editing and playback using separate source and record viewers.

Brown, who is founder of Mad Dog Televison and was asked by NBC Sports to edit the network’s coverage of the event, says the Softimage system was his first choice for an editing system. “There were a lot of creative possibilities that allowed us to tweak things and make them look much better,” he says.

Brown also used the system to cut openings for the daily broadcasts, as well as for audio work on the network’s popular “Dick Enberg Moment” video segments.

Billy Matthews, senior associate producer for NBC Sports, says he was so impressed with the Softimage system that he plans to use it again for the network’s coverage of the Ryder Cup this fall in Boston. “It was just incredible to see all of the things we could do with Softimage|DS,” he says. “The quality was spectacular.”

And so was the quality of play. Stewart became the first player in the 99-year history of the tournament to win on the 72nd hole with a substantial putt. He buried a 15-foot par putt to defeat Michelson by one stroke.

One day later, Amy Michelson gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Amanda Brynn.

COPYRIGHT 1999 PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. All rights reserved.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group