Cameraman’s Blog

Butler’s Clowes Memorial Hall

  • April 10, 2013

Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University. Opened in 1963I can remember when Clowes Hall was built.

I don’t think that Indianapolis had a real concert hall back in 1963, so I remember what a big deal Clowes was when it opened.

Video World, where all the magic takes place.But in all the years that I have been in Indianapolis, I have never been in Clowes Hall, that is until, today.

No music performances, no concert or orchestra, just a bunch of talking heads, ending with an hour long group discussion.

And for that we had 6 cameras. Two shoulder cameras, two cameras on sticks, one build up, a jib and a lot of rehearses.
A whole lot of rehearses.

Part of the crew eating lunchCrew call was for 9am.

We had a breakfast cameraman meet to get the overview of what we would be doing and our camera assignments.

We then spent two hours blocking out all of our camera views.

They provided us with lunch, which was nice, then it was another 2 hours of rehearses.

My Camera 3 and the JibDon’t get me wrong, rehearses are nice, at least you get a good idea of what to expect.

But the one thing that I have learned is that no matter how much you have rehearsed, once you start shooting for real, IT ALL CHANGES!

…and it did.

They lost a guest speaker at the very last minute before the program started, so the set had to be quickly rearranged and all of that rehearse went right out the window.

Clowes Memorial Hall StageThankfully we had a good Director that didn’t get all bent out of shape and he let the cameramen find the new shots with some small adjustments by him.

We finished around 6p.
All of the equipment was setup yesterday and it will be broken down tomorrow. So all we had to do was clear the set and cameras from the stage.

Behold The Lamb 2013

  • March 21, 2013

Noblesville High School Performing Arts Center, just a few minutes away from the start of the play. You can see my camera sitting on the stage.Every year for the last 10 years or so, I’ve shot a stage production called Behold The Lamb for TV40. It’s an Easter Passion play, a story about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, put on by the members of the Harbour Shores Church.

It’s one of the most elaborate passion plays that I have ever seen. With the well made costumes, background scenery, the music and how they involve the audiences into the play, it’s all very well done.

We use 5 cameras to shoot the performance and I think that over the years, I have shot from just about every position, but for the last 5 or 6 years I’ve been shooting camera 4. Right up against the stage, slightly stage-left. A good position for getting some great shots, if not for one reason!

I’m crawling around on my knees for an hour and a half.
Which can get very painful after awhile. Even with Knee Pads it begins to hurt after 45 minutes or so.

I figure that it’s all part of shooting. That you have to learn to block out the pain and concentrate on getting the best shots that you can.

And I have gotten some pretty good shots over the years.

2013 Basketball Regional

  • March 10, 2013

I don’t always look forward to the Regional basketball games because they’re usually very long days and almost always have a very early crew call.

Saturday 4am
5:45AM Crew Call - 'What the Hell am I doing here?'I hate waking up to that alarm clock sound, so when I have a very early crew call, I’ll usually fall asleep around 8pm the day before and wake up about 1 or 2am. I’ll spend the rest of my time watching programs that I’ve recorded on my DVR.

Saturday 5am
It’ll be dark driving to the TV40 station and it will be dark when I come home. Stopped off at the bank to pick up some cash and a gas station to get a sandwich and some milk. Breakfast of Champions!

Saturday 5:45am
Crew Call. The station is dark. Had to sit in my car for a few minutes waiting for someone to open the door.

Dave was suppose to Direct the 3 games that we’re shooting today, but Dave had a small stroke Thursday and is in the hospital resting. So with late notice, Shawn will be taking over.

Everybody that comes through the door, has that, “Why am I here” kind of look on their face.

Saturday 5am
Marion, IN high school gym.The drive up to Marion High School, Marion IN is about a 1 hour drive and it’s still dark all the way up. Early morning light starts to peek out just about the time we arrive.

Saturday 7am
Power To Production Truck is provided by the school, like this, or we bring our own GeneratorOnly takes about 45 minutes for us to set up. Everybody knows what to do. We’ve all done it hundreds of times, so there are no directions given by anyone. Everyone just picks a task that needs to be done, and does it.

I start with getting my camera to it’s position and then laying out my camera cable from the truck to that position. Because I usually shoot shoulder-mounted, connecting the cable and setting up my camera, takes but a few minutes.

Announcer's Headset for Play x Play, Color and Stats.I’ll then go and help somebody else who has a longer cable run or I will help audio set up the Announcers Audio Booth. The Announcer’s station has to be Faxed out, or in other words tested. Play By Play, Color and Stats need to be able to hear not only themselves and each other, but also the Production Truck.

They also need to be able to Talk Back to themselves and the Truck without going on air. Add an extra mic for interviews and a Monitor to watch the Program from the Truck.

Saturday 8am
This is were we patch in the Production Truck. Five cameras, Audio Snake and Program.We will shoot 2 games this morning and afternoon. First game is at 10am so we have sometime, to hurry up and wait. The Hospitality Room is a good place to get some donuts or fruits and drinks.

Saturday 10am
First games is FT. Wayne Northrop vs New Haven. Though I felt that Northrop was the better, stronger team, it was New Haven that came away with a last minute win.

Saturday 12noon
Second game was Kokomo vs Carmel. Kokomo has always fielded a strong team, but I don’t think anybody is going to beat Carmel. (Though I keep Hoping!) They were state winners last year and appear to be on their way to back to back Championships. And indeed, they easily beat Kokomo.

Saturday 1:30pm
Moe's Southwest Grill. A Mexican Restaurant.The next game isn’t until 8pm this evening, so we have a lot of time to kill. Thankfully, we get pay for just sitting around. But first, it’s off to lunch at Moe’s Southwest Grill. Mexican.

Saturday 3pm
A nice long lunch and we still have 5 hours to kill. What to do? Well some of us read a book or newspaper, other go off and find a cubbyhole to sleep in. Or some like me watch a group of crew members play a round of H-O-R-S-E.

H-O-R-S-E. You shoot baskets and if you make the basket, the next person has to make it the same way or type of shot as you did. If not he gets an H and so on.What is H-O-R-S-E? Well, if you don’t know, it’s a game where you shoot baskets and if you make the basket, the next person has to make it the same way or type of shot as you did. If not he gets an H and so on. The first person to spell H O R S E is out.

They must have played that game for 2 hours or more. I stopped watching and started reading my paperback book. I always have one with me, for times just like this!

Saturday 8pm
Tonight’s Final Regional game of Carmel vs New Haven will be televised Live.
I wish that I had gotten a picture of the Satellite Truck, but I forgot all about it. Damn!

Saturday 9:30pm
Production Truck Engineering & ReplayYeah, Carmel won again. There was hope there for a few minutes when New Haven took the lead in the 4 quarter. But Carmel is just to good.

I was shooting under the basket on the north end of the gym and the Carmel cheering section was seated right behind me. That cheering section is the 6th man on the field. They’re loud and animated with lots of slogans, chants, sound effects and name callings. Other schools have student fan sections, but nothing like what Carmel has. They are very organized and practice, and effective!

Saturday 10:15pm
On are way back to the station. Because of the short cable runs, striking went real quick. I drove the crew van back to the station.

Saturday 11pm
It’s been a very long 17 hour day. Sign out, say Good-bye, get into your car and go home. I got to the house around 11:45pm.

February 2013

  • February 26, 2013

There were a few interesting shoots this month.

I shot the State Wrestling Finals for the IHSAA at Bankers Life. Wrestling has never been a sport I like shooting. It’s boring. The matches are too short and if you blink at the wrong time, you’ll miss everything. But I have to admit that this time around, there were a couple of matches that proved to be rather interesting.

Bankers Life Control Room A. After the renovation and equipment upgrade, their is a lot more room here. We use to shoot all of the games out of A, now we mostly use Control Room BShot a couple of Pacers games and a Indiana Ice game this month.

I don’t think that I have ever shown what the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Control Room A looks like after the renovation and upgrade. We normally shoot out of B, but for the IHSAA Finals, they used A.

Amos & Abdul with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief, Rick HiteTV40 started a new show called Amos & Abdul.

Recorder columnist Amos Brown and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz are doing a Left vs Right, Point/Counterpoint type talk show. I shot the first 4 shows. One of their guest was Rick Hite, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief, who also did a turn on TV40’s Inside Indy which we shot the same day.

I have another Pacers game to shoot later this week and I’ll be shooting the State basketball playoffs for the next few weeks, but after that, things will start to get thin. There will still be Pacers and Ice but I’ll need to begin drumming up work for the summer.

January 2013

  • January 26, 2013

A lot of what I do as a cameraman, is so repetitious. A lot of the work is the same from job to job, working the same positions and equipment, shooting the same shots and events from year to year.

In order to break the routine you try different things, like maybe a new technique that you saw another cameraman use or being more aggressive with your shooting. If you’re really lucky, you might be able to learn a new position, but that can be hard to come by if you don’t have anyone willing to train you.

Stanley Black & Decker Conference. They fed us real good here. I'll do their Conference anytime!This month was no different.
A lot of the usual events. Inside Indy, several High School Basketball games and Corporate Conferences. A Hockey game and later next week a Pacer game and more high school basketball.

Camera position at the Stanley ConferenceOne of the more unusual events was the Stanley Black & Decker Conference. That was a two day shoot and they actually fed us, which most corporations don’t normally do. You have to sit there at your camera while all those people eat their meal. If you’re smart, you bring something to snack on or a sandwich and something to drink.

But Stanley fed us – breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all the meals were great!

Exact Target Conference entertainment was so BAD, that the employees started leaving before the group was finished!The Exact Target function at the Indiana Roof stands out because the entertainment was so inept.

They hired a improvisation comedy group that just never connected with their audience. They were suppose to do two 20 minute sessions with a break in-between. But after the first session, Exact Target cancelled the second session because their employees were walking out.

They were so bad, that even I was betting that they weren’t going to be coming back.

The Real Hacienda Mexican Restaurant is a great little restaurant to go to if you're ever in Anderson, INThe basketball game that I did last night was fun because TV40 Sports fed us at a little restaurant in Anderson, IN. The Real Hacienda Mexican Restaurant.

I’ve eaten there before and the food is always good.

Hall of Fame 2012

  • December 29, 2012

The annual Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Classic games
are once again upon us, though this years it’s being called City
Securities Hall of Fame Classic.

Two days of nothing but basketball with some of the best High School teams in the state. The game is hosted at the world’s largest high school fieldhouse, (New Castle, IN – capacity 9,325).

But wait a minute!
We just had a Huge Snowstorm that started Wednesday night and continued on Thursday morning, so Thursday’s games have been called off. The four games that we were suppose to shoot today, have now been added to Friday.

That’s shooting EIGHT games in one day.
Eight games in one day!
It’s tough shooting two games back to back, but shooting eight games, one right after another? Tomorrow is going to be a real back breaker.

Day 1:Thursday Dec 27th
Hall of Fame Setup with David and Jeff having some fun.Crew Call was for 3:30pm in New Castle, IN. We first ate lunch at Stacks (a local restaurant) and
then we Set Up our equipment at the New Castle HS around 5pm.

We finished setup around 8pm and then went and checked into our hotel. I will be rooming with Robert Lewis, who I also drove up to New Castle. Around 9pm, most of the crew went bowling, a tradition that this crew does every year at the Hall of Fame.

I stayed in the hotel room to get some rest.

By the way, it’s called the Hall of Fame Classic because the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame building is right next door to the gym. Their one of the sponsors of the games.

Day 2: Friday Dec 28th
Hall of Fame Game #6 with Cameraman Ian (in chair) relaxing during pre-game practices. The 6th game was my game off.Woke up at 5:45am.
Another tradition is that the crew always has breakfast at Stacks and this time I
think that I ordered more then I could chew.
I was stuffed!

Crew Call was for 7:30am.
We faxed cameras and everybody bitched about how much they were not looking forward to doing this. But do it we did, starting with the first game at 9am.

There were 3 down cameraman Ian Webb, Rick Klemczewski and myself. The 3 of us rotated the 2 down camera positions, so that it was basically 2 games on, 1 game off. Rick got the short end of the stick, he had to shoot 6 games while Ian and I only shot 5.
We pulled rank over him!

But even with your time off, you were still pulling cable for the Opening Standup or filling in another position to give that operator some, Me time. So, no matter how you look at it, it was a long day for everybody.

The last game finished about 10:30pm and we were out of there by 11:30pm.

Indy Legacy 2012

  • December 15, 2012

This basketball shoot came about very suddenly, I only had a couple of days notice that I was shooting it and I probably wouldn’t have mentioned the games on this blog if not for one unusual reason.

Arsenal Tech GymThe Legacy High School Basketball Showcase is a full day of basketball showcasing some of Indiana’s best players to college scouts. Ten teams and 5 games.

I got in early Saturday morning to set up the production truck. It only took about and hour and a half. TV40 will show all 5 games. The first 4 games will be webcast only and the last game will be televised.

I didn’t have to stay for the webcast games, so after setting up cameras, I left around 11:30am. They left a single cameraman and engineer to cover the 4 games. That’s a lot of games for one cameraman to shoot but they found somebody to do it.

Just as long as it isn’t me.

I got back to Arsenal Tech Gym about 6pm to shoot the last, 5th game. That’s when I found out who the Announcing Talent had been all day for the webcast games.

Legacy High School Basketball Showcase Announcer Talent. L to R: Dennis Kasey (Color), Keith Passon (Play-By-Play) and Tim Bourff (Stats)Dennis Kasey and Keith Passon!

Dennis is a Account Executive with WHMB-TV, who also produces all of TV40’s sports events. He is an wealth of sport knowledge.

But Keith Passon! Keith is WHMB’s General Manager. I never expected to see him behind the mic calling the Play-by-Play for games.
But there he was.
I had to get a picture!

The final game was between Chicago Curie vs Arsenal Tech. Tech won easily with Trey Lyles putting on a showcase for the college scouts.

I think that we will be seeing more of Trey on the college level.

Indiana Ice vs Muskegon Lumberjacks

  • December 13, 2012

Shot my very first hockey game tonight.
I’ve never been a big fan of hockey, even though I did learn how to skate.

A faded image of the Zweibrucken Skate Monitors that I worked with. I've often wonder whatever happen to these old Air Force buddies of mine.I was station at Zweibrucken AFB in Germany, which was only one of two Air Force bases that had a Ice Skating Ring. The other base being, The Air Force Academy.

The Zweibrucken AFB Skating Ring was open to the public and all the local German kids and young adults came there in the evening, specially Saturday night. I use to go to that ring everyday after work. It became kind of a obsession for me, and I became quite good at skating.

I even became a Skate Monitor. (Everybody say, Ohoooo Ahhhhh!)
But I got a lot of dates as a Skate Monitor. It was a Chick Magnet.

Hockey practice just as the fieldhouse is opening.Anyhow, I always wanted to shoot a hockey game, but never had the opportunity until now. The Indiana Ice are a part of the United States Hockey Tier 1 League. The Ice even won the Clark Cup Championship in the 2008-09 season, though I don’t think that they are all that good now.

I figured that the game would be fast to shoot, and it was, but after a few minutes of panning, I got the hang of it. If you lose the puck, just follow where all the players are skating toward and there it will be. Three 20 minute periods with 15 minutes in-between each period.

The game was fun to shoot. It was something different!
The Ice lost in a overtime shootout.
I think that I have a couple more Ice games this month.

Carmel vs North Central

  • December 7, 2012

Shot a basketball game for TV40 at my old high school Alma mater, North Central. I’ve shot many games there before, both basketball and football, but this is the first time that I have shot a game there on my birthday.

North Central lost to Camel 50-49I’ve gotten a number of birthday calls and greets over the phone, email and Facebook. I think that as I get older I would just sooner not be reminded about the date, but I guess that in the end, it’s always nice that a few people remember.

And North Central lost to their hated rival Camel 50-49. All North Central had to do was hang on to the ball for 19 seconds to win and they couldn’t do!

Inside Indy December

  • December 6, 2012

Had a 11:30am Crew Call to shoot 4 shows of “Inside Indy”.

The set was pretty much already setup by the time that I got there. All that had to be done was to While Balance the cameras.

Inside Indy SetThe Guest arrived at Noon and we shoot the first show at 12:15pm. Each show runs a Half an Hour, one show per week, and we always shoot 3 or 4 for the whole month.

There was a big Guest gap between 1p and 3:15p. Most of the crew took the time to get some lunch. I had eaten before I got to the station so I just hang around the station and had a dupe made of the Archbishop of Indianapolis Installment DVD that we shot Monday.

Show topics for this month were Girl Scouts/Public Library, Ex-Offenders, Downtown Living, and Health & Fitness. We shot the last two shows late afternoon and finished about 5:15p.

Archbishop of Indianapolis Installment

  • December 3, 2012

Archbishop Joseph Tobin was installed as the sixth archbishop of the Indianapolis diocese. TV40 shot the event, live, today at the SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral. TV40 also web-streamed the event.

Camera 1 PositionCrew Call was 8 am at the church. It didn’t take us long to setup everything. Two cameras on the balcony and 1 camera on each side of the sanctuary. Audio tapped into their PA system and they also put mics on the choir.

Jeff directed.

We ate lunch around noon and the event started at 2 pm and lasted about 2 hours.

SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral from the balcony.The only problem that we had was that the Satellite Truck’s generator shut down just minutes before the ceremony began, and of course, without any power to the Satellite Truck, there would be no broadcasting of this event. But Engineering jumped all over it, and I believe tapped power from the Production Truck to get the Satellite Truck back up and running.

We had everything broken down and out of there by 5pm.