Basketball

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!

😉

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.

Fever vs Dream Playoff

  • October 2, 2012

One of the new Control Rooms.I think that this will be the last game that we will be shooting with the temporary equipment. The new Control Rooms are almost finished. The new Media Board in the stadium is up and they have the new cameras.

The Indiana Fever took a 75-64 win over the Atlanta Dream in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Fever now advances to the Conference Finals where they will take on the Connecticut Sun this Friday, in Connecticut.

I was camera 2 at this semifinal game and I partnered with Andy Hoke. We were underneath the basket at the north end of the fieldhouse. I shot the first half of the game and Andy shot the second half.

We were shooting for not only the in-house screens but also NBC-TV and for a web stream.

That's Andy down there shooting, but as you can see, we are very close to the action on the floor. An East Target.For me, the game was very physical because I got ran over twice by players. Tameka Catchings was the first player to hit me. She made a break-away at the other end of the court and came in for a fast lay-up at my end, and her momentum carried her right into me.

I saw it coming!

And there wasn’t anything that I could do to avoid it, but sit back and brace for the impact. I was sitting on the floor, and her hit pushed me all the way onto my back. Andy was right behind me and he managed to grab the camera so that it wouldn’t hit the floor.

Always protect the camera!

I could hear the Director through the Head-set asking me if I was alright, but it took a moment for me to get myself squared away before I could answer.

Also, the right lens of my glasses popped out, but I didn’t know that at the time because my glasses were still on my face. When I looked back through the camera viewfinder, I was wondering, “Why is this camera so out of focus?”. I thought that it was the camera, so I reset everything and kept on shooting. It wasn’t until later, when I took my glasses off, that I realized that the right lens was gone.

I later found it in the fold of my shirt.

That hit also drew blood. But I didn’t find that out until the 2nd half when one of the fans who was sitting court side, looked at my face and said, “Ohhhh, you’re blooding!” and gave me a tissue to wipe it away.

During the 2nd quarter, I got hit a second time but I never got the name, of that Mac Truck. All I saw was a big white blob headed toward me, and I ended up on my back, again.

This time, when I got back onto the head-set, I said to the Director, “You know, I think I need to change my position.” and he said…

“NO No No, don’t do that! You’re getting great shots!

Directors!?

Fever vs Mercury

  • September 9, 2012

Temporary control room set up in a corner of the studio.As I pointed out in the Fever vs Sky blog, Bankers Life Fieldhouse is under going a media upgrade, so everything is under-construction. The temporary control room has been setup in a corner of the studio and looks like a multitude of cables, wires, monitors and keyboards.

We’re using temporary cameras at the moment. They’re lighter, which is great for the shoulder-mounted cameraman, but the lens on the Game Cam isn’t all that great. I can no longer get any tight shots because the lens isn’t long enought.

A new control room being constructed.The old equipment in the A Control Room is gone and being replaced with all new equipment. From what I have seen so far, it’s going to look pretty good when it’s finished.

The game wasn’t anything special. Fever won. I think playoffs are just around the corner.

Fever vs Sky

  • September 1, 2012

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is in the middle of overhauling their entire media system.

New Score Boards, new cables, new cameras, new systems, new… everything. The place looks a mess. They even have a temporary score board hanging out on the floor.

I should have taken a picture of it, but I forgot.

Nothing special about the game. The Fever won, easily.

IN/KY All Stars

  • June 9, 2012

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

  • June 1, 2012
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

Pacers vs Heat Game 4

  • May 20, 2012

Bankers Life ArenaI shot Fan Cam for the Pacers 4th game with the Miami Heat. I shot the first half and Frank shot the second. There was a lot of hope in the arena that the Pacers could win this one and take a 3 to 1 series lead. But it didn’t happen. The Pacers lead during most of the game, then kind of faded during the 4th.

Pacers vs Heat Shot ListI was also here yesterday shooting the Game Cam for the Fever game, which turned out a lot better. The Fever easily won their game.

By the way, you can find a better image of the Bankers Life Arena that I took a few years ago, in my Location Gallery.

HS Regional Games

  • March 10, 2012

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.