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I haven’t been posting much because most of my shoots over the last month, have been the routine football and basketball games. But this week I’m working the Big Ten Championship game at the Lucas Oil Stadium. It will be three days of long hours specially Saturday night.
Day 1: Thursday Nov 29th
Had a 9am Crew Call, but as usual, I got to the stadium early. Ended up waiting about a half hour for others to arrive. Got our Credentials and Parking Passes and then we were told that we will be building out stage for Saturday’s show.
We are not shooting the game, our group will be shooting the Pre and Post Shows and the stage for these shows is right at the edge of the football field. The stage is built on tracks so that it can be pulled back for the game and pushed into positions for the show so that the Big 10 Talent can look like they’re sitting at their desk on the field.
The real challenge will be getting that stage into position for the Halftime Show. We will only have about 2 or 3 minutes the push both the stage and camera platform into position, and setup the cameras, lights and talent. And do the same thing in reverse after Halftime so that the game can continue.
We spent hours putting together that humongous, heavy metal stage and laying out the tracks that it will move on, only to have the director and his people come out and tell us, that they would like to have the whole thing moved, 5 feet to the right!
It was a very lovely day.
But most of the morning was taken up with finding and setting up and faxing cameras, building the Jib and running a few cables.
After lunch, we spent a fair amount of time just sittings around waiting for the announcers to show up for the afternoon feed to Chicago. During that feed the announcers, Dave Revsine, Glen Mason, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith, talked about the game tomorrow between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Nebraska Cornhuskers and interviewed both Head Coaches.
We were suppose to have a full rehearsal of moving the stage into and out of it’s positions, but our Tech Manager just had us move the stage into it’s game position and lock it off. No rehearsals this time, unlike last year. So we were out of there by 5:30p instead of the scheduled 7:00p. Which is a good thing because tomorrow will be a long one.
The announcers did a few on-air promos, but most of our afternoon was spent waiting. Which seems to always be a large part of our jobs.
At 2p we had a box lunch out in the production truck area and then most of our camera crew group spent the rest of that waiting time up in the Press Box area, high up in the stadium.
We were expected to be back on the field around 6p and the Pre-Game show started at 6:30p then ran for an hour. When the show was over with we moved then locked the stage back into it’s game position. After that, we were free to watch the game.
Such that it was!
The Wisconsin Badgers demolished the Nebraska Cornhuskers 70-31.
It wasn’t even close!
After the game we ran into a little problem with rolling the stage back out. One of the wheels ran off the track, but luckily the stage was already in it’s final position and since we didn’t have to move it again, we left it as is.
The Post Game show started around Midnight and didn’t finish until after 1a Sunday morning. Once the show was over with we had to breakdown the cameras, lights and audio, and everything had to be hauled back to the production trucks.
And then, the real work started…
…that humongous, heavy metal stage and tracks had to be taken apart.
There is nothing like working late in the evening (or early in the morning) in what seems like, a completely empty Lucas Oil Stadium.
With all hands on deck, we finished about 4:00am Sunday morning.
To Tech Manager, “Are we cleared?”
Tech Manager, “Yes, you’re all cleared!”
High-fives all around, now lets get the hell out of here!