Basketball HS

The Year So Far, 2014

  • 2014-1028

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!

😉

Hoosier Classic 2013

  • 2013-0609

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

  • 2013-0310

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

  • 2013-0226

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

  • 2013-0126

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

  • 2012-1229

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

  • 2012-1215

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.

Carmel vs North Central

  • 2012-1207

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!

IN/KY All Stars

  • 2012-0609

Shot the IN/KY All Star Basketball games this evening which was another two game girls and boys event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Because all the players were graduated high school seniors playing, they played by college rules, so it was 20 minute half’s with shot clock.

The girls game was very slow and seem to go on for ever, with the Indiana girls getting routed.

The boys game was a lot better. The Indiana squad had seven Big Ten signees and two going to the Big East, so they were so much better then Kentucky and won easily 83-73.

Knightstown All Stars

  • 2012-0601
Hoosiers Gym

Shot the Hoosiers All-Star Reunion Classic today. It’s a doubleheader basketball games which features the best boys’ and girls’ high school players that the state of Indiana has to offer.

But the really nice thing about the games is that they’re held in this very old gym, The Hoosier Gym, that’s virtually unchanged from the 20s or 30s, when it was built.

Front lobby and Museum

The 1986 movie “Hoosiers“, starring Gene Hackman was filmed at the gym.

The movie was about the real 1954 Indiana small town Milan High School basketball team that went on to win the State Championship against much larger schools. Knightstown has been playing this up ever since.

View from our talent's position. Early practice for players.

So where else would you play an All Star basketball game in Indiana, but in Knightstown and in this gym. I’m surprise that they haven’t got Gene Hackman to appear at one of these games, though I’m sure that they have tried.

It’s always hard shooting a double game. The first game sucks all the juice out of you, then you remember that you still have a second game to shoot.

But it all becomes a lot easier when you have really good teams playing. In the girls game, one team was up by almost 20 points by half time. But in the second half, the other team came back and won the game by 1 point. The men’s game was just a shooting feast and a joy to watch good players enjoying themselves. That was also a come from behind win in the last few seconds.

Click for a Panoramic view of the Hoosier Gym

HS Regional Games

  • 2012-0310

Hinkle Fieldhouse.jpgThis will be the last basketball game, for me, with TV40 for this season.

These two games are being played at the Hinkle Fieldhouse. We are only shooting the first two games. The final regional game tonight is contacted out to another station.

My Camera 4.jpgOur crew call was for 7:30a and we should get out of here around 2:30p, 3 at the latest.

As usual, I’m shooting camera 4, under the right basket.