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.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Camera Op for the 2011 Nev High School State Basketball Championships

 Hi Sport fans, another Nevada State High School Basketball season has come to an end. I worked 8 games over 2 days at the Orleans arena in Las Vegas. The in-house crew there are pro's and were a pleasure to work with. We brought in all our own gear and crew from Reno. Everything traveled nicely, no technical glitches at all. I spent all 8 games under the North end basket just where I want to be. I love being so close to the action. Only a couple of close calls, a random ball to the head or player at my feet but no real run ins with wayward bodies. It's good to be on a chair with wheels. The most fun is following a break away play from the other end of the court as it develops right at you. I always held my ground and got the shot even though my nerves where tingling. Things do appear closer threw a view finder. I love that feeling you can only get from a live event. It was a thrill and great fun watching these athletes compete from all over the state.