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Thread: Watching on a screen vs live

  1. #1
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Watching on a screen vs live

    I've never :( watched a skating event live, and am wondering what the major differences are. I often hear comments such as "xxx is so much more expressive live" or "xxx is really slow live". Offhand I can think of three but am wondering if there are more differences I should look out for.

    I think I can understand how speed doesn't come across well on the screen. Live, you get to see the skater's actual speed, whereas on a screen what you get is the skater's speed relative to the camera's speed, so even a slow skater can appear fast, and a fast skater slow.

    Same thing with ice coverage, live you get to see the entire rink at a glance and on a screen just the part that the cameraman chooses to show ( I sometimes wish they would show a birds eye view of the action).

    Expression wise, I would assume facial expressiveness is way less important live whereas on screen it can mask a lack of bodily expression?

  2. #2
    More or less: more is more sequinsgalore's Avatar
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    The only FS comps I've seen live is the Danish Championships, so I can't tell much. I do feel like ice coverage, speed and jump height was easier to differentiate. Facial expressions were harder to see, though I could see some - but then again, I sat front row...

  3. #3
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    I often feel that the director of the cameras doesn't know much about figure skating. I really don't want to see a close-up of the person's head - I want to see their feet and what they're doing with them. In some ways figure skating is like hockey and basketball. a camera really can't keep up with the flow of the program. But I would much rather watch figure skating on a television set than on a computer.

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    Especially when they show skaters' jumps from the front. I mean, come on.

    They should really zoom out a bit with a camera on the side when a skater jump so that jump's trajectory is viewed clearer and more epic.

  5. #5
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    I've only watched live international skating at Skate Down Under, and that was mindblowingly amazing. I would love to go to a big international one day.

    I always remember reading a story of someone who'd hated Plushy and thought he was overrated, and then saw him live and loved him.

  6. #6
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    I've seen several worlds and many nationals and there is absolutely no comparison between TV and live. Live viewing is amazing, you feel the power of the jumps, you hear the art of the footwork and you feel the emotion of the performance and the excitement or raptness of the crowd. It also makes a difference where you sit. The experience is richer and more intense the closer you sit to the ice.

  7. #7
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    Eurosport broadcasts sometimes show good camera angles where speed comes through but the American ones are way too zoomed in. I usually can't notice speed in these unless someone is really moving like a snail.

  8. #8
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    Yes, all those things, composer.

    trains mentioned hearing the art of the footwork.

    Hearing the blade sounds in general can tell you a lot. Growling sounds from deep edges carving into the ice are usually good. Scraping and scratching sounds are usually bad. No sound at all while flying across the ice is often magical.

  9. #9
    Custom Title BlackPack's Avatar
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    I'd like to attend a Worlds at some point. I had the tickets to the '99 Helsinki Worlds but I didn't go Olympic crowds are too partisan and don't appreciate skating as much as World audiences. Maybe TEB in Paris.

    If I go to a live show, it'd have to be front (or close) row seats. If they're back seats, I might as well stay in the comfort of my own home. I don't want a bird's eye view. I can't see the choreography. If I wanted to see just ice coverage and speed, I'd stick to speed-skating.

    About camera angles - yes, the camera techs are frequently drunk and/or high. They focus on skaters' feet and shadows. They often miss the best choreographic bits that way.

  10. #10
    Spiral Lover tulosai's Avatar
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    Yeah, basically what others have said. You get a much better grasp of speed live, both across the ice and in other elements like spins and death spirals. Until you've seen death spirals live I feel like you have no idea how much 80-90% of even the top teams slow down at the end, it makes ones that maintain speed throughout seem very impressive. Same with spins, on TV you can kind of tell some slow down but not really how much.

    Ice coverage is much clearer in person too, for the reasons stated above.

    Finally, some performers do draw you in in person more than on TV. For instance, Chock/Bates never did anything for me on TV and I greatly preferred Hubble/Donahue and Shibs. When I saw them live that changed 100%- they are super dynamic and engaging performers who really capture and engage you live.

  11. #11
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    Ditto to speed, ice coverage, and how much more dynamic the jumps feel live. I try to get seating below the tenth row, because I have crappy eyes and because I absolutely love the sound of deep edges on the ice. The most memorable moments from this season's Skate America, for example, were a) V/T's insane triple twist--witnessing her flying horizontal at the height of the 7th row was mind-boggling b) V/T's triple throw, which they executed right in front of us--it honestly looked like she was going to fly straight into the stands! c) watching Daisuke's effortless footwork. I could watch him for hours even if he didn't do a single jump d) the speed, precision, and intensity of Meryl & Charlie.

    Another priceless part in going to live competitions is that you get to watch practices. I can't even explain why I like watching practices so much (I do it at my home rink all the time too), but probably because you get to see a different side of the skaters--they are not performing as they are in competitions (even full run-throughs tend to focus on the technical side). You get to see them honing a particular jump or jumps, and practice stuff they may not even include in the program. Gala and show practices are pure fun, because you get to see the skaters goofing around with one another.

  12. #12
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Another feature of being at a live event is that you are part of the performance. When the entire audience is particularly engaged with a performance, it becomes a single creature, clapping to the rhythm, gasping at a particularly fine trick, groaning at any slight error, and rising and wildly applauding at the last note of the music. Not all events have even one performance that gripping, but many do. They are some of the treasured memories of a lifetime.

  13. #13
    One does not simply skate into Sochi MaiKatze's Avatar
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    While watching live is great and should be experienced at least once by a skating fan, I also found it exhausting. Your head/eyes follow the skater so you're constantly changing position. The jumps are great live MUCH better than on TV, but it is less stressful to cuddle into your couch with your favourite snack instead of getting cramps in your neck and cold feet at a live event. But then maybe I'm just lazy, haha.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Another feature of being at a live event is that you are part of the performance. When the entire audience is particularly engaged with a performance, it becomes a single creature, clapping to the rhythm, gasping at a particularly fine trick, groaning at any slight error, and rising and wildly applauding at the last note of the music. Not all events have even one performance that gripping, but many do. They are some of the treasured memories of a lifetime.
    Excellent point!

  15. #15
    On the Ice
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    I can't remember what competition this was (maybe rostelecom cup?) but the camera angles were terrible, especially on spins. Why would I want a bird's eye view of a spin?

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