I had another television commentary gig recently, this time with ESPN on their highlights of the first Formula Renault 3.5 race from Moscow Raceway.
This was quite short notice as I was filling in for James Walker who was unavailable (here’s why), so unfortunately I wasn’t able to start a thread on here before the show went out at 9pm last night. However if you happen to see it repeated on their I’m co-commentating with Ben again.
For those of you on Twitter, here are some of the people involved on the show:
Must have been a very short highlight reel, but also very difficult to commentate on.
No it was pretty much the whole race, they just cut the running behind the safety car at the end.
I’m on ESPN’s next two Formula Renault programmes.
Tonight at 8pm I’m commentating on highlights of Silverstone Race 2 for Formula Renault 3.5 with Martin Haven. If you’ve not seen it, it’s definitely a race worth watching!
And next week at the same time there’s a Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup highlights programme where I’m commentating with Ben Evans on one of the Moscow races.
These programmes are also going out on ESPN in America.
Would be great if any of you get to see it and do send any feedback!
@keithcollantine – Now that you’ve done a bit of commentating, how does it actually feel to do it?
The reason why I ask is because I’ve noticed a bit of a disparity with James Allen. He was very, very unpopular with fans when he was calling the races, but I actully think he’s pretty decent as a print journalist, and when he was contributing to Australian television earlier this year (he’s since left), his prepared segments – which were usually introductions to the sport – were very clear and concise.
I mostly put this down to the inherent differences between print and broadcast commentating. When you write and article for the blog, you’ve got all the time in the world to construct it. But when it comes to broadcast journalism, you can’t really afford to have dead air. Allen’s worst moments came when it felt like he was simply jabbering to fill in time, rather than providing any actual insight.
I was wondering what your thoughts on this might be.
@prisoner-monkeys So far I’ve only done one live TV broadcast which was some F3 and GT races a month or two ago. That’s very different to the Formula Renault broadcasts I’ve done which have all been commentating on races which have already happened.
Doing it in the studio obviously gives you a chance to read up on the races and makes notes on what happened to reduce the potential for mistakes. And if you do make a mistake you can go back and fix them.
So to an extent the same thing applies to the difference between broadcasting and writing that you mention.
The first lesson I picked up from doing live commentary is that you just can’t prepare enough. Particularly in this case as I was commentating Euro F3 Open and International GT Open – two series I’d seen very little of before – so I invested quite a bit of time into learning how to identify the different cars and so on because if you can’t begin a sentence by naming a driver it’s very difficult to say anything at all!
When I got into the commentary box I discovered maybe 80% of the preparation I’d done wasn’t much use, so the next day I got to the track early and just watched the cars go by, practising identifying each one. Having done that I was much better placed to talk confidently in the commentary box. But I’m still in the early stages on this learning curve.
I’m on the Formula Renault 2.0 highlights programme tonight with Ben Evans, 7.30pm.
More shameless plugs for my upcoming commentary appearances:
Formula Renault 3.5 Paul Ricard Race Two
ESPN Thursday 11th October 7:30pm
ESPN America Friday 12th October 8am
Formula Renault 2.0 Paul Ricard Race Two
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