It's never easy throwing a party that's been 100 years in the making.
Those difficulties, however, will be front and centre in Wednesday's episode of Nerve Center, chronicling TSN's live broadcast of the 100th Grey Cup from Toronto's Rogers Centre.
“Nerve Center: The 100th Annual Grey Cup” airs Wednesday night at 8pm et/5pm pt on Discovery in the premiere of its third season.
In anticipation of the episode's debut, TSN offers exclusive behind-the-scenes web preview material and videos. Visit TSN.ca and Discoverychannel.ca/nervecenter now to take an early look at the episode and the monumental task of bringing Canada's biggest annual party into living rooms from coast to coast.
Director Paul Hemming navigates the on-field action, choosing the angles, looks and plays to bring to the viewers at home, a job he describes as being a cross between “an orchestra conductor and a fighter pilot.”
It's a tricky job managing all the personnel and equipment that comes with an event of such magnitude. With over 37 eyes on cameras and control rooms at any given time, everyone needs to be game-ready in a split-second.
Hemming's crew, however, were more than up to the challenge.
“In a game like football where it's 20-second, chaotic sequences that's exactly what you need,” Hemming said. “These guys are so good that they know what I need before I even know what I need.”
Discovery's documentary look at some of the biggest and most difficult events and projects in Canada was allowed unlimited behind-the-scenes access to TSN's broadcast as the network delivered a classic finale in front of 53,000 across the country to more than eight million viewers.
The 100th Grey Cup took 37 cameras, over 150 microphones and more than 200 technicians to deliver a high definition look at the Toronto Argonauts' thrilling 35-22 victory on home turf over the Calgary Stampeders.
The show also takes a look at some of the state-of-the-art equipment used on the broadcast as well as the coordination required to deliver an epic half-time show and an elaborate pyrotechnics display.
Nerve Center follows the broadcast as it goes from planning stage to kick-off, taking viewers from the field to the control room and then all the way to the furthest reaches of the stadium when one man balances precariously on a steel beam 100 metres above the turf to rig camera equipment.
Tune in Wednesday to your own all-access pass to the 100th Grey Cup.