Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 National Finals Rodeo

 Once again I had the pleasure of being one of the 4 camera operators for the 2011 NFR at the Thomas & Mack center in the city of lights Las Vegas from Dec 1-10. It's a great gig that I thoroughly enjoy every year. This is the big one of all rodeo's, that's why they call it the National Finals Rodeo. Big money, big bucking, big stars, big hair and lots of Wrangler jeans. I love it. In the picture you can see me on the right with Wayne Brooks (cowboy hat) and fellow crew members Reggie and Justin. Wayne is a big time rodeo announcer ( In fact he was the PRCA announcer of the year for 2005 & 2010. He did this 15 minute show every night of the rodeo on the performance stage in the COX pavilion where he'd interview people associated with the rodeo. It provided great insight for me and also helped me kill time while I was waiting for the rodeo to start.
Here's a picture of me with our director Chris Brock ( and fellow camera operator Victor Emond. As you can see Chris has a bionic elbow brace on because he broke his elbow and had it operated on 2 weeks before the NFR. I know he was in pain the whole time he was calling the show but he did a great job and never let it interfere with getting the right shot. A real pro.
Speaking of real pro's here I am with John and Dez our King and Queen of the control room. It's easy to get goofy after 10 days of rodeo and inhaling all that dust. They managed all the media on the Tri caster and also helped shade our cameras whenever we needed it. Keeping it fun is key when you're doing a 10 day marathon like the NFR.

Here's a couple of pictures from my position in basket #4.  I took one with a flash and one without just so you can see the interior of the Thomas & Mack. The huge jumbo tron above my head is where all of our shots were being played. My basket is right across from the bucking gates so I got all the shots of the bare back, bronc and bull riding. Fun stuff with lots of action. The hardest part was when our director Chris would ask us to get audience shots of people with some energy. Easy you'd think but it was funny to see peoples reaction to seeing themselves on the jumbo tron, some would get up and dance and some would just sit there gazing at themselves on the huge screen. Most would just wave. I had this one guy on camera stand up and rip open his shirt. Chris was quick to switch to another shot.
 Here I am in my basket again this year with Kenny Petet. He was there by my side every night to help us spot people in the audience.  He knows all the people associated with the rodeo so it was great having him there to help us spot dignitaries, people with signs, or dancing girls. The great thing I love about Kenny is that he's a real rodeo clown. He calls himself "a stand up comic in a barrel" ( It was a real pleasure and asset having him there.

Once again I survived the 10 days of NFR thanks in all to a great crew and people to work with. I'm telling you there is something special about rodeo people, I've never worked a show or event where everyone was so friendly, willing to shake your hand and introduce themselves. Kind of makes you feel good about this country.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Get'Em to Memphis" concert at Harrah's Reno Plaza on 09/11/11

View the video I shot at -

I had some fun this past Sunday, 09/11/11, as I got to video tape the Reno Blues Society's "Get'Em to Memphis" concert at Harrah's Reno outdoor plaza. It was a great way to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 as right in the middle of our concert a procession of motorcycles drove down Virginia St carrying flags and reminding us of how lucky we are to live in a county the celebrates freedom and the sacrifice that others have made for us.
It was a beautiful day out on the plaza and as you can see I had the luxury of securing a spot in the Front Of House area with the rest of the Harrah's crew ( They were pro's as usual and Tom Crist their Entertainment Manager does a wonderful job of keeping things professional and fun. It was a single camera shoot with my JVC D500. I need to upgrade and get a external hard drive so I can eliminate those lame mini DV tapes. But I documented the afternoon well and got all the bands on video.
The Reno Blues Society ( produced this event led by the hardest working Blues advocate I know - Sherrie Clay. She did a great job of managing that stage and keeping things moving. There were 12 separate acts all vying for a chance to represent Reno in the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. This is the largest Blues showcase in the world for bands trying to make it to the national stage. I was proud of all our acts who performed that day and knew that any of them would represent Reno well.
Here I am goofing with Franklin Spicer (on the left) of the Schall Adams Band ( and Jason King (middle) of the Jason King Band ( These guys really know how to get down dirty with the blues and are probably two of my favorite bands in town. Franklin plays the keys with reckless abandon whether he's sitting, standing or on his knees and Jason is a guitar master with a great stage presence. What I like most about these 2 bands is that they play their own original tunes. As it turns out the Jason King Band was the winner of the band category and will be going back to Memphis to represent Reno for the second year in a row. Congrats Jason! And congrats should also go out to the Hellbusters who won in the Solo/Duo category. Who would've thunk we'd have so much blues talent here in Reno? Well we do and I was there to video tape it all on 09/11/11. I love being the Reno Camera Guy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 Nevada High School Football Season Kicks Off !

Hey sports fans, it's your Reno Camera Guy (Bill Nagel) reporting back to you that 2011 Nevada High School Football Season has begun!!! Yay! Here I am working the Reno/Damonte Ranch game last Thursday, Sept 1st. It was the second game of the season for us and as you can see I'm up on the high camera. I love working the high camera because I almost always have power (no need for batteries) and I don't have to worry about getting slammed by players on the sidelines. It was a great game with Reno making a 4th quarter comeback for the win. As always you can see video highlights on the GSP website -
Here's Eric Darensburg of Envision Video ( unloading his cameras in front of our Burning Man Special Production Truck. Hey it's got a bathroom and shower, not many production trucks can say that! It sure makes it easy to setup and strike. We can get everything broken down and put away in 20 minutes.
Here I am working in the sunshine lugging some cables before the game. 

On my way up to my camera position I pass through the talent booth. This is where Dan Gustin ( and his partner call the game. I love doing a weekly game and watching these kids leave it all on the field. You can see video highlights on Dan's website - Let me know what you think of my work. I know there's always room for improvement.

Well we started the game in the sun but ended in the dark. Fall is quickly approaching the Reno area and it gets chilly when that sun goes down. Next week I'll bring a jacket but for now I'm loving life and that's the latest from your Reno Camera Guy.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Center Field at the Reno Aces

Hi Sports Fans it's your Reno Camera Guy blogging you from center field at the Reno Aces ( I got called in to work for them last Thursday, July 14th. It's a great gig and I love being in center field. I pretty much had a locked down static shot of the picher and home plate most of the evening. Every now and then I'd have to break away for crowd shots for the smile cam, dance cam and such, but over all it was a lot of fun.

The hardest part was just lugging the gear all the way out to center field, right above the 410 mark. Even though I'm standing there working with a headset on people walking by still stop and ask questions like I've got nothing else to do. I smile at them and chat if I'm not busy but usually I give them the old "I'm working" and point at my headset like someone is talking to me even though they aren't. The great thing about center field besides the fan interaction is that you can see everything and have a great view of the whole ball park.

The only challenge I had was as the sun slowly set over the Sierra's I had to white balance my camera about 4 different times and changed my filter once. Good thing the Aces had their bright white pants on. I just pushed in on the center fielder whenever I needed to. It's a real challenge for the TD to keep all the cameras matched when you go from full on sun at the begining of the game to stadium lights by the end. But he pulled it off and all was good. Thank you Aces for giving me the call to work but that's what I do because I'm your Reno Camera Guy. Living the life in Center Field.

Monday, July 11, 2011

MMA Fight Night (7/8/11) with Your Reno Camera Guy

Well here's Your Reno Camera Guy ringside once again for another MMA fight. It took place last Friday, July 8th, 2011, at Harrah's in downtown Reno. As you can see I'm happy to be there. I love working MMA fights, especially when they have beautiful dancers shaking it in between rounds.
This was the first fight promoted by Fight Republic ( and they did a great job. The fights moved along nicely and I heard they had to turn away 100's of people because they didn't have enough room. I'm sure they'll fix that for next time.
I was once again I was perched up on a 10ft ladder high above the action. I love it when the fighters get on the floor right below me and I have to hang out and hold a 40lb camera over the ring.
The ring announcer was the charming Michael Gonzalez from Sacramento. He has a big voice and was able to hold the audiences attention when he needed to. He had a lot of fun with everyones names and kept the show flowing.

Here I am at the ring entrance. The Harrah's crew did a nice job of lighting the whole room. They gave it lots of different looks and perfect video levels.

Here I am taking a break from all the heat on top of the ladder as Michael announces the next fight. I was up high enough to be out of the audience's line of sight but unfortunately I had a couple of par cans hitting the back of my head and neck causing me to sweet like I was really working hard.
The dancing girls were so nice to pose with me after the fight considering I was in their faces most of the night with my camera. But they looked great on the Imag screens and the audience loved them. So please take note all you other MMA promoters that dancing girls in between rounds should be standard fare for all quality MMA fights. The funniest thing of all was when my girlfriend turned on my camera the next day and this picture came up. It's my job, I'm the Reno Camera Guy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nevada State High School Baseball Championship

Hello Sports Fans! Your Reno Camera Guy spent May 20 & 21 shooting the Nevada State High School Baseball Championships in beautiful Henderson Nev at the College of S Nev. The games were played at Morse Stadium which is a wonderful complex and I of course was in my usual position over the 1st base dugout.
Once again we were not only recording the games but streaming them live on Gustin Sports Productions website ( All I can say is Dan Gustin is a real pro and did a great job of calling the games. Here's a picture of me with Dan and Eddie doing the pre-game taping.
Our whole Reno crew made the trip down to Henderson along with all of our gear. Here's our TD, Craig Moss at the production table in the press box. We used our Tri-Caster along with the Three-Play for replays of all 3 cameras. Everything went smoothly once we figured out how to get a Hip Hop radio station from blaring in my RF headset.

We used the same cameras (JVC DV500) from Eric Darensburg at Envision Video ( that we'd been using all season. They worked well and with that beautiful southern Nevada weather there were no clouds so we didn't have to mess with white balancing or changing filters during the games. Our camera guy behind home plate was none other then the fabulous Mark Cronon. I love working with Mark, he gets the job done and has fun doing it. It guess that's the mantra for our whole crew.
Well it was a great High School baseball season and I'm sad to see it come to an end but football will be starting up again at the end of Aug. Until then have a great summer and be on the lookout for other blogs because you never know what Your Reno Camera Guy will be up to next.

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Door Football with Your Reno Camera Guy

I had the pleasure of working the first 2 home games of the Reno Barons - indoor football season at the Reno Events Center this past week. I was onfield covering the north endzone. Lots of action on this 50 yard field that's only 85 ft wide and surrounded by hard plastic water filled road barriers covered in yellow plastic. All that yellow really messed with my white balancing but didn't stop me from getting the shots. I love football and one that's so offense minded is very entertaining. There's lots of passing and up to 2 people can be in motion (up field motion!) at the same time. Because I was in the endzone I got all the action coming right at me, passing, running, slaming into the barriers, it was great fun.
Of couse the Reno Barons have a dance team called the Baron Babes. They do a great half time show that we try to capture the energy of on video.  Once again I'm working with Envision Video and Gustin Sports Productions As always Dan Gustin is calling the play by play and he's joined by former pro Jo Jo Townsell. They're a great team, good insight, fun and always give the camera guys credit when due. Checkout the first game on the Reno Barons website -
As you can tell from the picture above the lighting in the Events Center is not really camera friendly so I had to be on filter 1 and low light gain. That makes focusing difficult so after the first game we decided it was best if everyone was set on auto iris so the camera could just ride the ever changing light levels itself and you could focus on focusing, ha!
From the looks of things I think the Reno Barons will do well here in Reno. The crowds were enthusiastic and full of energy. They have 6 more home games that I'll be working and should keep me busy till June. Fine with me because we all know how I love to be down on field in the action. Football, indoors, on video, all good with Your Reno Camera Guy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Play Ball !!!

Well it's that time of year again when baseball season starts and Your Reno Camera Guy finds himself perched on top of the first base side dugout. Great vantage point but watch out for those righty's and their foul balls.

Once again I'm working with my friend Eric Darensburg of Envision Video ( who supplies all the cameras. He spends most of his time out on the center field camera, while I'm on first and another camera person behind home plate. Baseball can really test your skills as a camera guy because the focal point is always changing. There's a lot of horizontal/vertical and shallow/deep action to follow. I'm good for a shot from home to first but after that I've got to really watch my focus. If a player is out at second I pretty much set my back focus on them so I can get both first and second bases at the same time if I need too. If I know there's going to be a play at home I try to get my focus set ahead of time so I can just follow the play. 

As always we're all working for Dan Gustin of Gustin Sports Productions ( Dan does all the play by play and is occasionally joined by a color commentator but lots of times he'll just go solo. He's a real pro which makes my job easier. We stream the games live via Dan's Tricaster and also record them to the hard drive. No tape at all. The games are played back on Charter Cable here in Reno as the NIAA Game of the Week. It's great fun watching these High School players give it their all and the best part is that I'm outside getting paid to do what I love. It's spring time in Reno and it's good to be Your Reno Camera Guy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Your Reno Camera Guy at the Underground

Your Reno Camera Guy spent last Friday and Saturday nights shooting video at the Underground ( for a benefit called "Made in Reno". It was nothing but local bands raising money for the UNR Dept of Music general scholarship fund. A good cause indeed that I don't mind volunteering for. Each band did a short set of 5 or so songs. It made the night go quickly and gave me a lot of variety to shoot. I love the Underground because the sound system is so wonderful and Doug the sound engineer keeps it all dialed in. With all those bands and all those change overs he did a great job of keeping his cool and making it happen. Of course ear plugs were a must.
Your Reno Camera Guy with his Z1U stage side.
I used my handy Sony Z1U all night long. The Z1U is so light weight and portable that it was easy for me to get some great shots and move easily around the stage. A single battery got me through the whole night even though I was zooming in and out all night long. I set everything thing on auto so I wouldn't have to deal with re-adjusting for all those low light changes. It worked flawlessly.

Offstage as "The Regan Years" tear it up onstage.
I shot 2/60 minute tapes on Friday and 3/60 minute tapes on Saturday. I shot in DV since they are going to be posting it on the internet I saw no need to do it in HD. The Underground streams all of their concerts live from 2 ceiling mounted fixed cameras. I wanted to show Remi the owner how a hand held, low level camera would look in the hopes that he'll upgrade his system to include another camera that can get these close, stage side shots. A switched live multiple camera shoot is so much more powerful and not that hard to do these days.
Drinking with Clowns Martin and Baldo with Your Reno Camera Guy
The final band of the night was - Drinking with Clowns ( They're a favorite of mine, I love their latin style and world music touches. It was a great way to end the weekend, I got video of all the bands, I got my picture with Martin and Baldo of Drinking with Clowns, I got to listen to a lot of Reno talent, and I got to be creative with my shooting. Just another night in Reno for Your Reno Camera Guy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Your Reno Camera Guy in Las Vegas for the MWC basketball tournament

Your Reno Camera Guy was lucky enough to work all 16 games of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament last week (3/8-12/2011) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.  Just take a look at that boat anchor of a camera I'm holding on my shoulder.
Your Reno Camera Guy on court at the Thomas & Mack

It weighed 37 pounds and after doing all 3 games on the first day I thought my shoulder was going to freeze up. But thanks to my friend Christine and her wonderful body oils ( I was good to go the next day and was fine all week.

I spent most of my time under the southern basket in a low wheeled chair. I like this low angle, you can get more content in the under the rim shots and the break aways are coming right at you (and sometimes over you). I got one game winning shot at the other end of the court as time expired. That was a thrill. It was the ladies semi final game and we were told to take wide shots during the final seconds that included the clock. I did so for this shot, there were 4 seconds left, they swung it out right, she put it up, clock went off as the ball traveled through the net. The players and crowd went wild. The refs reviewed my shot to make sure that she got it off in time. She did and all was good. Nice shot Reno Camera Guy!

All the other camera people, both still and broadcast, were on the other side of the basket crowded together. The only people next to me were the cheerleaders and mascots. That made my job so much easier with all that action happening right next to me. Just swivel to my left and there's a shot.

The crew at the Thomas & Mack are great to work for. They keep the energy going and there's never a dull moment when you're working for the in-house venue. As opposed to broadcast camera work we have to cover everything that is going on in the Thomas & Mack so they can show it on the jumbo tron. During breaks we'd have to show crowd shots, cheerleaders, on court promos (usually someone shooting baskets for something), national anthem, half time shows, team introductions, and whatever else was going on. It made the games go by quickly and gave you a chance to be creative. With 16 games you could change up how you cover the player introductions and say use a different angle or whatever you liked.The challenge was finding people in the audience that were fun to show on the jumbo tron. Lots of times you'd catch people dancing or doing something fun and once they'd see themselves on the tron they'd either dance crazier or stop all together. I loved it. 
I did have a chance to give my shoulder a rest and work the high camera for 3 games. It's a whole different world up there then on the floor. Much wider shots covering the whole floor and because you were the go to shot, most of the time you were hot. One of the benefits of that rig is the 50x lens so because I had the most glass I was able to get lots of good crowd shots.  
My cable page for the week was Mark and he did a great job. He always had my back and coiled a great cable. I can't tell you what a benefit it is for a camera guy to have a page who does their job and takes as much pride in it as Mark does.

It was a great week over all, my shoulder held up, I didn't get hurt, I got the shot, I got to hang with my Thomas & Mark friends, I saw some great basket ball, and I got paid. It's good to be the Reno Camera Guy in Las Vegas for the MWC basketball tournament.

Me and Pistol Pete

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Your Reno Camera Guy at Ultimate Reno Combat 23

Well last Friday it was fight night in Reno as I worked ringside for the Ultimate Reno Combat 23. Promoter Rick Collup always puts on a good card. These MMA fighters are inexperienced but hungry. The 2 championship fights that night didn't disappoint with fists a flying and kicks a landing.  It really makes my job so much easier with all this action. We were using Sony S270U HDV's which I love because they have the color viewfinder.

I was perched up along the ring on a 8 ft ladder. Great vantage point as you can see from these pictures. It's always fun when they fight right below me and slam into the ring as I'm precariously perched on that ladder.


We used our standard Tri-Caster system with a 3 Play replay system which was used a lot. Some fights only lasted seconds so having the replay playback on the 2 projection screens for the audience in slow mo helped kill a lot of time and also gave me a chance to see my work. Here's a picture of Craig Moss our TD who calls a smooth show and runs the production table. A very easy setup that only takes us minutes. It really helps when you can drive your truck right on stage at the GSR and unload everything right there.
After the fight I was in the ring getting some final shots and congratulating the winners. I can't believe that I get paid to do this, it's such a thrill being right there in the middle of all this action.  I love being a Reno Camera Guy.