“I Prevented, sky!”, lance the voice of the filmmaker that is heard through a walkie-talkie at the top of the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, home of Getafe CF, in the south of Madrid. While about 17,000 fans enjoy the team’s victory mallard before the RCD Mallorca, in one of the booths of the press, over the last amphitheater of the grandstand, three technicians are responsible for controlling all the operations of the camera that flies over the field at great speed. Paco Rodriguez, Victor, Forester, and Daniel Zanón make up one of the six teams of experts from Mediapro that are piloting the skycam (aerial cameras) already installed in 11 fields of LaLiga Santander. It is the only competition in the world with such amount. Are on the alert, because the next plane that will see millions of viewers around the world will come out of the lens that they manage.

Victor Forester and Daniel Zanón mounted to the air chamber before the Getafe CF – RCD Mallorca last week. Quique Oñate

“they’re Going to leave already. Let us go with you, Paco!”, instructs the director, again by the wireless device. Rodriguez is the pilot of the camera, the person in charge of the position on the field, wide, long and high.” Forester is the person who operates: frame, focus and move the lens. Zanón, technical assistant, is responsible for ensuring that the tool will work perfectly: turn on the four motors that move the pulleys on which subject the structure, placed the camera in each match, replace the batteries and confirm that the signal is sent to the mobile unit of execution, where you decide when and what they are used for the planes that his two other colleagues made up to partner.

Rodriguez, operator of cameras almost 20 years ago, leads a team that depends on the department of Special Cameras that Mediapro rode in Valencia to train and develop this type of equipment. “To install this structure in a stadium you only need to have four lighting towers or with a cover that can withstand the weight,” he explains. The system, provided by the company Omnicam4sky, is composed by four pulleys with cables driven by four engines of 160 kilograms , cables, fiber-optic connection to send the signal to the performer, and a control station has two consoles and their respective softwares to pilot the camera. Each of the cables across the sky of the stadium can withstand a load of 980 kilograms while an air chamber does not exceed 40 (less than five between the device and its optical and the rest is of the structure that holds it up and carries it to fly). Flying at a maximum speed of 10 meters per second (36 km/h). No player is going faster. Last year, Portu (then in the Girona FC) and Wicket (who is still in the Levante UD) reached 35 km/h.

The camera operators to see the planes in a screen from the cockpit while the pilot makes it ‘fly’. Quique Oñate

back To back Rodriguez and Forester look like kids playing video games. From the top you see the match and move the camera, each one with their console to go changing the plans. The work must be meticulously coordinated. Rodriguez has to position itself in a place that allows your companion to get the image you are looking for. “Now top-down, is it, sky?”, indicates the director. Then the pilot put the camera above the center of the field and the operator is pointing down to show from above the kick start after the starting whistle. The same thing is repeated after each goal. “Okay, there’s a change,” someone says through the walkie talkie. “It’s going Cucurella, looking at the mane,” says Rodriguez Forester. Between the two are at the steering wheel of Getafe. And follow mode drone to accompany him towards the bench. “But this camera is not a drone because it is subject to a structure. By law, you can not fly over a large number of people,” says Rodriguez.

Replays of goals, preparation of roll out of lack or a corner, changes, out from the center of the field tend to be the times that the more you use this camera which allows, for example, to display the same image that you are seeing the pitcher of a lack. It is also used a lot during the warming-up of the teams before the start of the games.

Daniel Zanón, technical assistant of Mediapro, turn on one of the four motors that move the pulleys of the air chamber. Quique Oñate

The air chamber began to be installed three years ago. It is now present in the stadiums of Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, CD Leganés, Getafe CF, Sevilla FC, Real Betis, Valencia CF, RCD Espanyol, Athletic Club and Granada CF. The next one will be the of the Royal Society, after the completion of his reform. The camera is mounted and dismounted in each match. The structure remains. “It is common that you install the eve to have time to test,” Rodriguez says.

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