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…
Other times the place is, humongous, such as…
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.
I immediately said yes, after all, how many opportunities would I have to shoot, anything, at Ohio State University.
That Saturday just happen to be one of the worst snow week-ends of the year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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