Sports

Dungy

  • May 5, 2015

Northern New Era Church’s 25th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration & Gala 2015-0501
Tony Dungy former Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Me
I was asked to shoot a interview, for the Harvest Show, of Tony Dungy, the former Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts, a NFL football team. He would be speaking at the Northern New Era Church’s 25th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration & Gala, taking place at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, IN.

I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to meet the first black Head Coach to win a Superbowl.

I drove to the TV40 station to pick up the gear and van. The evening was starting off badly because keys that were suppose to have been left for me to get into the building, weren’t there! I had to make a number of calls to get someone to come back, to let me in. We found the keys inside, in one of the mail slots. Apparently somebody saw the package with the keys in it, outside and move them, inside. Where I couldn’t get to them.

Ritz-Charles: Event Services to Central Indiana.
I was suppose to arrive at the Ritz Charles at 4 pm. I wanted to be there by three, in order to look the place over before my Producer/Talent and 2nd Cameraman arrived. I got there a little before 3:30 pm and found out, that the doors for the event were to open at 5 pm.

I’ve been in the Ritz Charles before and I knew that there wasn’t a lot of places within the building to do a quiet sit-down interview. Which is what, at the time, I thought that I had to do.

  Ritz-Charles Ballroom  
Ritz-Charles Ballroom

I brought in all of the equipment and setup the camera in the ballroom, to make sure that at least that was ready to go, when I was confronted by, The-Lady-In-Charge. I was told in no debatable terms that I will be provided with a room later on in the evening. I tried to tell her that I needed to know where the room was because I had to set up extra lights for the Interview. She said, What interview?

Coat Room used to store our camera equipment.
OK!
My first thought was, “This is going to be a fun evening.”!
My second thought was, “Leave it for the Producer. It’s her show.”.

A little while later, Robert my second cameraman and Kelly, the Producer/Talent had arrived. I told Kelly what happened up to this point and Kelly went and had a long conversation with, The-Lady-In-Charge. I really don’t think anything got confirmed during that conversation. Just kind of, shuffled around, to be determined later.

We found a Coat Room where we stored all of our camera gear and yet, still have easy access to it.

Tony Dungy Interview with Kelly Vaughn doing the interviewing and me on camera. It took place in the foyer of the Ritz-Charles.

Tony Dungy Interview with Kelly Vaughn doing the interviewing and me on camera. It took place in the foyer of the Ritz-Charles.
Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren showed up early and they were escorted to a candle-lit room for Meet and Greet with guest as they arrived for the dinner. That room was way to dark and I really had to open up the camera to get some shoulder mounted shots.

We made the determination that we were going to interview Tony Dungy in the foyer after the Meet and Greet and Photo session. So I quickly set up some lights and rearranged some chairs and was ready when Tony came out for the interview.

That part went off without a hitch. It was the most important part of the shoot and I was happy when it was over with!

Robert Lewis shooting the Dinner speeches.
We were also tasked with shooting the dinner speeches.
Robert shot that part of it. He got shots of Tony’s speech and all of the other podium celebrations.

By the way, Tony had sprung his foot during a pick-up basketball game. He wore a case on his right foot and moved around on a small Knee Scooter. He used the experience as part of his speech. It was hilarious! I know, as soon as they asked, that I shouldn’t do it.

To our surprise, we also got to eat dinner. They set aside a table for us, which is unusual! Chicken Parmesan, Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus. The dessert was to die for, a delicious Apple Crisp that I wish I could’ve taken home with me.

Afterward I got shoulder mount shots and interviews with the Pastor and his wife, people wishing the Pastor well for his 25th Pastoral Anniversary, and shots of people out on the dance floor.

  Ritz-Charles Ballroom:  
  They actually fed the camera crew, which they normally don’t do at events like this.  

Dinner was Chicken Parmesan, Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus, with a delicious Apple Crisp, to die for.

I was delighted when Kelly finally said, enough!

Took us about a half hour to pack up the gear and put it all back in the van.
Another half hour to get the gear back to the station and lug it all back inside.

I finally clocked out around 11:30 PM.

. . . and so it goes

😀

Ohio State University Basketball

  • March 19, 2015

During the course of the year, I end up shooting a lot of sporting events in a variety of venues. Sometimes the venues are small, like…

Cathedral High School Gym.
Cathedral High School Gym

Other times the place is, humongous, such as…

Purdue Ross-Ade Stadium
Purdue University Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana. Big 10 Football

Well, this was my first time shooting at Ohio State University. I got the call out of the blue, and was asked if I could shoot a Iowa @ OSU WBK-MICR basketball game on a upcoming Saturday.

Ohio State University Jerome Schottenstein Center
Jerome Schottenstein Center

I immediately said yes, after all, how many opportunities would I have to shoot, anything, at Ohio State University.

Saturday 8am
That Saturday just happen to be one of the worst snow week-ends of the year.
The drive from Indianapolis, IN to Columbus, OH along I70, a few miles West of Richmond, IN.
The whole East coast was snowed in and the drive that normally would take me about 2 and a half hours to drive from Indianapolis, Indiana to Columbus, Ohio, ended up taking me almost 4 hours.

The road was hazardous and slow-moving, and I forgot to bring my iPod and music with me. Which made the drive even slower.

Hilton Garden Inn Columbus, OH
My crew call was for 1 pm. I got there just a little before noon. Checked in at my Hilton Garden Inn hotel and had a few minutes to decompress, then I drove over to the Jerome Schottenstein Center. There are not to many places around named, Jerome.Jerome Schottenstein Center, Ohio State University

Up to now, I’ve only shot one other MICR basketball game, and that was at Purdue University. I don’t know what MICR stands for, but what I do know is that it is a remote type shoot and that all of the production people are in a control room at the Big Ten Headquarters in Chicago.

The only crew on the event site, are the camera people. Along with a small Sprinter Van that holds the camera gear and fiber cables and the controls that can connect the van to the control room in Chicago.

JVC GY-HM790U
The cameras were JVC GY-HM790U with a Studio Kit and a extra long lens for the Hero Camera 2. I was on Camera 1, Game Cam, and Sam Torre would work Camera 2.

Sam lives in Columbus and knew his way around the Schottenstein Center which was great for me because I didn’t know one end of the stadium from the other, and it would have taken me sometime to learn how to get around in that place.

The Center was wired for Fiber Optics and it took us about a hour and a half to setup all of are equipment. About another 2 hours of sitting around waiting for the connection with Chicago so that we could Fax cameras. After that we had a Cameraman’s Meeting with the Director (from Chicago) over our Headsets.

Cheat-Sheet for a Purdue Football game that I shot. The Orange Marks were for my Camera.
Camera Meeting are important because from a cameraman’s point of view, you get a feel for how the Director wants a game shot. They usually handout a cheat-sheet that has all the camera shots that each camera is responsible for, along with the images of Key Players.

It took me a few games to learn how to read a Cheat-Sheet. The first thing that I learned was, don’t be embarrassed to Ask Questions! Then it won’t take me so long to learn how to read a Director’s Cheat-Sheet.

At these meetings, you also get a feel for how the Director calls his game. Some Directors will explain exactly what they need, and if you come up with a great shot, they will pat you on the back. But if you do wrong, they will still calmly explain what they need you to do.

Then there are those Directors at the other end. The Screamers! You know, the ones that expect you to be able to read their minds, and know exactly what they’re thinking. Then they scream at you when you don’t do it.

Then there are all the Directors in-between those two.

The Director on this game was a Russ Jenisch. My first time working with him and from the Headset Cameramen Meeting, I got the impression that he was easy going. Which turned out to be true. During the game, we had a number issues. Equipment breakdowns and lost fiber connections. But though it all, he stayed cool, calm and collected and came up with redirects and work-a-rounds.

It was a very enjoyable game to shoot and once it was over with, it took us no time at all to get the equipment back to the van. Packed up. Then sign out.

Sprinter Van. Small, but capable for the job at hand. Just enough room for the camera gear and the equipment to connection to Chicago.

We finished up around 11p and I was glad to have a hotel room to go to instead of having to drive home that night. Since I didn’t have to get up early the next morning, I got myself some Fast Food and spent most of the night watching Law & Order episodes.

Hilton Garden Inn hotel room

Sunday 10am
The next morning after Breakfast I Left around 10a. The roads were a lot cleaner and it only took me 3 hours to get home.
 

. . . and so it goes

😀

The Year So Far, 2014

  • October 28, 2014

As a freelance camera operator, it seems to me that every year is beginning to look like every other year. I always seem to be shooting the same events year after year after year.

In some ways, it kind of comforting, knowing that you have work each year, but in other ways it can start to feel very… humdrum.

Here are a “few” of the events that I have shot so far in 2014.

High School sports both football and basketball,
are always events that I shoot every year.

Noblesville High School

This was the first time that I have shot Tennis.
It was an ESPN shoot at the University of Illinois.

A full day of shooting tennis at the University of Illinois for ESPN

I shoot Conventions every year in the Hotels and Conventions in the area.
Big and Small. It’s kind of your Bread & Butter.

After awhile, all these conventions begin to blend together into one big blur.

At these conventions you sometimes get to meet Mayors, Governors, Police Chiefs,
Community Leaders, and the occasional celebrity or sport figure,
like Deion Sanders.

Deion Sanders and Me

Occasionally I get to shoot something out of the ordinary,
like the opening of the China Terra Cotta Warriors Exhibition
at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

We shot the stage events which included a number of Chinese performers. They were fascinating to watch!

Then, there are the bigger ticket shoots like Big Ten football
at Purdue University Ross-Ade Stadium

Iowa @ Purdue University

or ESPN shoots at North Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois.
ESPN at North Illinois University

or Miami of Ohio University in Oxford, OH.
ESPN at Miami of Ohio University

But then, you always have to come back to your stand-bys.
Like studio work on a nationally syndicated TV show.

Full Circle Music Setup

Yeah… the same thing year in and year out.
But who’s complaining.
It’s Work!

😉

Drumstick Dash 2013

  • November 29, 2013

You see now, I had never heard of the Drumstick Dash, even though this is it’s 11th year running here in Indianapolis.

But I was asked to shoot it and I figured, oh why the hell not! Besides, I’m not doing much on Thanksgiving morning except watching another endless parade.

So with a 6:30a crew call and a 16 degree temperature outside, I was pleasantly surprised at how large this event turned out to be. A roughly 5 mile course with 17,000 runners and walkers. Many of them in shorts??

Here are a few visuals from the event.

This is what I was shooting for, two big Jumbotrons that were setup for the race.

The start line was right next to my camera position. I spent most of my time shooting the speakers on the stage.

I would say that the crowd of runners stretch at least 3 blocks down the street. It took almost a half hour for all of them to pass through this Start Line.

Toledo vs Ball State

  • September 29, 2013

Shot the Toledo vs Ball State football game for ESPN on Saturday. I use to shoot Ball State football for the MAC Conference for several years. But the station that I shot for lost the contact a few years ago.

So it has been awhile since I have shot this University and I was looking forward to shooting it again.

What I wasn’t looking forward to shooting was the End Zone Camera. That position has no elevator access, so every piece of equipment has to be hand carried up a lot of Stadium steps. It is a Ball Breaker!

But this time there was 4 of us to do the work instead of just two. So the job was a tad easier, but man, those step still do get the heart a pumping!

The game was fast paced and so were the camera calls. I do love shooting Football. Ball State won 31 to 24.

Here are a few photo highlights.

It is called by many names, but it is the form that tells the crew about everything that they need to know about the shoot.

Scheumann Stadium. My Camera Position is at the top of the tower to the left. With a whole lot of stairs in between.

Production and Satellite Trucks

Lunch time for the crew. Box Lunches that is. Sitting is optional.

It's where the Producer, Director, TD, Graphics, Font Coordinator sit.

Audio Control

Engineering is not only where the EIC lives, but also Replay and Shading. Not a whole lot of room to move around in. And what ever you do, Do Not Touch That Switch!

My camera position, Camera 4, High End Zone. Responsible for Tight Shots of players, Game Action for Replay and Near Side Coach.

My Camera View. Nice View but hard to get to.

Flat Track Racing 2013

  • August 18, 2013

Last Saturday was my 3th year shooting the AMA Flat Track Grand National Race at the Indiana Fair Ground Stadium, and I just figured I would show you a little bit of what I saw and did, in pictures.

Flat Track Stadium

Flat Track Booths

Working on their bikes before the Race.

A Flat Track Rider signing autographs for his fans.

Flat Track Bikes. Everyone was predicting that the Orange one would be one of the winners. It was!


I was camera 5, positioned on the stage. I was responsible for shooting the beginning and ending of the race, the straightaway and the winner’s podium. Because I was shooting continuously throughout the race, I was given a relief camera operator, which gave me a couple of opportunities to shoot some of my own video during the evening.

Fever vs Connecticut

  • July 6, 2013

The Fever have Won. The awards ceremony is over with, and it's now time for me to break this camera down and go home.I haven’t shot a Fever game since last year’s Final when the Fever won the WNBA Championship. I have a few Fever games to shoot this month and tonight was the first in that series.

I was one of the down camera this time and I teamed up with Kyle Donnelly. We were at the south end of the court, at what is now referred to as camera 4.
 
 
Shooting down cameras is a lot more physical then shooting a up camera.

Fever vs Connecticut game. Second half. My view from the floor.

With down cameras, you’re a lot closer to the action, with the real possibilities of being run over by a player. During the breaks and half time you spend all of your time running around the court following the entertainment.

But, the nice part about shooting a down camera is that you’re working with a partner, so you shoot only half the game.

During the other half you work as your partner’s utility. Which just means that you manage your camera’s cable, which also means you pretty much get to sit back and enjoy the game.

I like to shoot the first half, just to get my shooting over with. Luckily Kyle wanted to shoot the second half anyhow, so that worked out just fine. We didn’t have to flip a coin.

The Fever haven’t been doing very well.

They have a lot of players on injury reserves.

But their star player Tamika Catchings had 22 points and six steals.

It also helped that Connecticut’s star player, reigning league MVP Tina Charles, was ejected from the game because of two technical fouls.

The Fever went on to win 78 to 66.

Hoosier Classic 2013

  • June 9, 2013

One more Hoosier Classic Basketball event for me. I’ve done all of them from the beginning, making this my 8th. The Classic highlights the best boys and girls senior high school basketball players in the State. I shot the game yesterday in Knightstown, Indiana.

Being held in the Hoosier Gym makes it a fun game to watch, being that the Hoosier Gym is a classic it’s self. Built in 1922, it still looks the same, as you can see below.

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.