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

😀

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.

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.

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.

Fever vs Sparks

  • July 12, 2012

ESPN Shot Sheet of playersWell, this is the last WNBA game until after the London Olympics. Next game will be about a month from now.

Tamika Catchings was selected for her third Olympic team, having previously played on the gold medal USA winning teams at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

This games was also covered by ESPN.

ESPN Camera InstructionsOnce again the Fever faded in the 2nd half and this time losing to the Sparks 77 to 74.

Fever vs Liberty

  • July 10, 2012

They’re now streaming the game over the internet. Which adds a little extra to my camera work because I live by the Tally Light, which indicates when my camera is “live” to program. When that light goes off, I’m quickly readjusting my camera and moving to my next shot.

But with them streaming to the internet, there is no tally light to signify that I’m “live” to the web, unless the director tells me so. Which he may not do. Even though my tally light has gone out, indicating that my camera is no longer “live” to program, I maybe still “live” on the web.

Basically, I now have to think of my camera as being “live” at all times. A minor hassle, but you make the adjustment.

Tamika Catchings scored 23 points, including the winning free throws with 8.4 seconds left, to give the Indiana Fever an 84-82 victory over the New York Liberty.

I shot the video below (and not a very good one) with my iPhone. It’s the walk that I make from the Control Room to my Camera 1. If you’ve never been in Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, this is for you.

Click To Play

Fever vs Sky

  • July 7, 2012
The Control Room just after the cameraman's meeting

We had a new man directing today. It was Dean’s first game because I think that Chris and Brian were both out on vacation and I’m guessing they kind of dumped him into the deep end of the pool. But he did real good.

The Fever started out fast in the first half, but faded in the second, again. They finally pulled out a win in overtime, 88 to 86.

After the next two games, the WNBA will be off for a month while the London Olympics is being played.

Fever vs Silver Stars

  • July 5, 2012
Game Cam with swivel chair

It’s been awhile since I’ve shot a Fever game, though I have about 3 coming up over the next week or so.

I was the only “up” camera tonight, and it felt kind of lonely up there. But I had lots of room and my camera was set dead center to the court for a change, instead of being pushed off to the sides.

The new Power Box to the lens.

For a moment there, it was looking like I might not shoot at all, because I was having trouble with my Zoom Control. (The camera would not zoom in and out.) The engineer spent a good hour looking the camera over and finally replaced the old power box to the lens with a brand new one, which fixed the problem.

The Fever had a strong first half and were killing with a 20 point lead, but they still managed to lose the game in the second half, 88 to 72.

Fever vs Sun

  • June 21, 2012

Worked FAN CAM again for a Fever game.

I think the Circus will be in Bankers Life over the next week. Then in early July, I’ll have 4 more Fever games.

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.