Big 10

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!

😉

2012 Big 10 Football Championship

  • November 29, 2012

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
Lucas Oil StadiumHad 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.

Stage PartsThe 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.

Pano of Lucas Oil Stadium field.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.

Day 2: Friday Nov 30th
The jib that will be used for the show Saturday evening.Our Crew Call was for 8am. We put the finishing touches to the stage and then spent some time unpacking and loading the awkward and heavy announcers desk on to the stage.

But most of the morning was taken up with finding and setting up and faxing cameras, building the Jib and running a few cables.

Finished Stage, Camera and announcers, Dave Revsine, Glen Mason, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith.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.

Wisconsin Players getting photo with our announcers.After the interviews, some of the Wisconsin players were on the field and they came over to the desk to get pictures taken with the announcers.

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.


Day 3: Saturday Dec 1st
This is what the game is all about.Crew Call wasn’t until 12 noon, but I knew coming in, that it was going to be a very long day.

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.

The view from the Press BoxI must admit that the Press Box had a impressive view of the field and it ran it’s entire length.

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!

The view from the North End Zone. The blue circle marks where our stage area was located.I spent the first half of the game up in the Press Box, the 3nd quarter sitting in the North End Zone area and the 4th quarter sitting on the game field.

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.

Where they park all of the production trucks.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!

I just have to show you what I think is one of the best runs that I have ever seen. Quarterback Taylor Martinez’s ran for an impressive TD in this game, and his team still lost.

Big 10 Rowing Chanpionship

  • May 13, 2012

Worked the Big 10 Womens’s Rowing Championship out at Eagle Creek Park this morning. As I did last year. I had a 5:30am crew call and we were finished and breaking down equipment by 1pm.

Michigan won its fifth rowing title. There were 4 varsity 8 races and 2 varsity 4 races. No heats! Just 6 races that took about and hour and a half to run.

Second race of the day.

Michigan wins it’s fifth title.