December 17, 2005

Straight to the Source

Still, I had bigger fish to fry. After a couple of boring weeks I decided to take it straight to the source! I received an intriguing phone call a couple days ago and I decided to follow up on it today. I hopped in a cab to go out of the city. I would've taken the bus, but I couldn't spare the time, and the cab ended up being only 12.85 Euros, or 16.06 USD. I knew I was getting close when I spotted this!

Nice Brakes :)

I ended up at this large building, known as the Media Center.

That's right, baby, I had made it to the center of the World Championship, the Media Headquarters of Dorna, the controlling organization for MotoGP! Dorna is based in Sant Just Desvern, just outside of Barcelona, and this office was comprised of several floors, each with restricted door access. The security guard in the lobby was very friendly and helpful, too.

The place will filled with all manner of memorabilia, posters everywhere, and little toy motorcycles dotting people's desks here and there. People were busy hustling at their jobs, and despite this being the official off-season, I got the impression that they never slow down. MotoGP is an international business, with upwards of 35 million viewers on race days. This is the back wall of their small office waiting room.

My meeting today was with Mr. Sergi Sendra, the man in charge of international TV feeds and TV production. He is the man that sits in the truck during the race and directs the action, which camera to use, which riders to focus on, you name it. He has complete control! We had a fascinating conversation about all manner of things MotoGP related, and what it takes to put on a successful show. He joked that he now has "many arms" that aid him in his production efforts, and Dorna has added a second TV truck this year to make his job easier. Not only does he watch the trackside cameras, he also monitors all the On-Bike cams (which include front and rear views, left and right hand views, back of the rider views, and also sometimes foot views!), and also surveys the entire track from the Helicopter view. It's a difficult job, and we eventually got around to discussing SpeedTV, and their creative choices for commercial placement. . . . He was quite surprised to find that Speed would cut to a commercial with three or two laps remaining, and also was interested to note that Speed didn't compensate for commercial time by showing what was missed during the commercials. Elsewhere in the world Motorcycle Racing is important! Please email Speed if you feel like offering some constructive criticisms. We talked about how much engineering goes into a bike camera set-up, and how hard it is to get it just right, that is, to make sure all the action is documented well, while it's going on "live"! During my time there I was interviewed by a Japanese guy who worked there, and for some reason I blanked out on half my verbs and must have sounded like a baby. But I tried my best to present myself well. I also caught the tail end of a meeting going on between Carmelo Ezpeleta (owner of Dorna) and several other international bigwigs. . . . . Would you travel to watch MotoGP somewhere like . . . . . . . . . . . Mozambique?!? Very interesting indeed. Unfortunately, Dorna's budget for next year is already set and they don't have any positions available for a guy like me. Sergi promised to keep me in mind if anything came up, and hopefully he knows someone in the GP world who can give me a chance. We'll have to see. One of the best parts of our talk was our agreement that one must have big dreams. He spoke about having soul, and what it takes to make life worth living. Great guy to talk to and it helped provide me yet another insight into the world of MotoGP. Thanks for your time Mr. Sendra! The Quest Continues!

After our meeting it was off to catch the bus back to Barcelona. I walked a couple blocks and came across this neat looking nightclub, called Walden's. It was smack dab in the middle of an industrial area.

This is one place I wouldn't mind checking out in the future, because I love looking at citylights at nighttime.

(it goes up)

Caught the #63 Bus back to the city center. The trip took about an hour (versus 30 minutes in the cab!) and by the time I debarked I was hungry!

*edit* yes, this is a Mercedes bus.

I went to one of my favorite cafe's for a delicious meal of bread, 3 cheeses (with Brie!), and some ham. Can't forget about Trina, that special orange soda, either! Tomorrow, the adventure continues! Where will I go? What will I do?

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