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30 April 2016

Bart Slijkerman’s work: ‘Always a solution’

Unusual job? Chances are that project manager Bart Slijkerman will take it on. ‘The biggest challenge is finding opportunities so we don’t have to turn down a job. That makes my work so varied: there’s always a solution.’

Multi-media spectacles like Serious Request or the Holland Heineken House (HHH) combine almost all services offered by United. HHH in particular is an extremely complex production, Bart says. ‘It starts with a multi-camera environment for the screens in HHH proper. And then there are the images transmitted via an ftp server to the Netherlands, where they can be downloaded by several broadcasters for their own use. Live sports images come in that we adapt to the HHH format, using a narrowcast solution of United Livegraphics. Those images are shown to the public on over 50 local screens via four internal narrowcast channels. ENG is used, for instance, to capture an interview with a brand-new medallist, while Cam-Joe is perfect for social media messages.

No problem goes unsolved

In Bart’s work, there are no controlled environments. ‘The point is that every single project is different and calls for a different approach. Sometimes a production unit is just fine, but in other cases there might be no room for such a unit or is it logistically impossible. In those cases, we build a set in an existing room, or in Serious Request’s case, in a Portakabin. For Moltalk we use small production vans. We like to help our customers explore the options for a lower budget. One such example is Moltalk; it started as an online registration, but this year it turned into a TV show. A small production set won’t do anymore, but because the budget wasn’t increased ten-fold at the same time, we had to find out how we could facilitate United quality for TV in the most economical way. We will solve every issue, whether in terms of budget or technical.

All around the world

Bart’s flexibility helps him hugely in doing his job. While he was on his way to Eindhoven airport to assess the best way of recording the landing of the plane carrying the first bodies of flight MH-17, this production was upscaled within one hour from an SNG truck with just a few cameras to a complete production unit featuring twelve cameras, several SNG’s and even helicopter shots. ‘Our images went around the world within 24 hours. Everything we had planned, succeeded. That gave us such a boost! And everyone at United helped out.  Resource planning, for instance, did not get my wish list until 1 am, while the truck had to leave at six the following morning. They gave it their all to make it work. That’s United for you.’

overview Cameraman Niels van Brak...

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