Thursday, April 15, 2010

Against The Flow

This well-pitched 2-1 game was played in 2:38.
All the runs were scored in the 1st inning.
A game played at this pace usually means that there is a good flow to the game and a hectic flow to the telecast.
99 times out of 100 this is true.
Not tonight.
The flow of the telecast was excellent.
The producer creates the flow of the show.
What does the flow of the show entail?
The flow of the show is determined by how skillful the producer is able to incorporate the "sold" elements of the telecast with the action of the game. These "sold" elements include batting orders, starting pitcher graphics, team promotional events and items, trivia, texting votes, and TV network announcements. Indeed, anything that graphically appears on the screen having nothing to do with the game action can be included in the "sold" category.
These elements are totally necessary because they help pay for the telecast which can cost close to $40,000 a show.
The producer not only deals with these items but also replays and game related graphics.
The skill of the producer to incorporate all this into the game action determines the "flow of the show."
The "flow of the show" is totally affected by the flow of the game.
If the game is poorly played and moves at a snail's pace, the producer is able adjust and has better control over the flow of the show
Usually a fast paced game makes it much more difficult for the producer to manage the "flow of the show".
This was not the case in tonight's telecast.
There was a wonderful "flow to the show".
On the contrary, every TV baseball director loves a fast paced game.
A director is able to get into a nice rhythm when the game is well-played and well-paced.
Well, 99 times out of 100 a director will develop a nice rhythm when the game is well-played and well- paced.
Not tonight.
I could never sustain a comfortable rhythm during this game.
Sometimes I found myself going to camera 4 (centerfield) for the pitch too early. I generally like to get to this camera right before the pitcher goes into his windup, but tonight my ryhthm was off and I never really found it for an extended period of time.
I was either too early in some graphic insertions or too late removing some graphics.
When a TV sports director is in a good rhythm, the shots are timely and graphic insertion is succinct. This allows the director to plan ahead. A director generally knows where he/she is going to be in 5 or 6 shots.
A lousy rhythm disrupts this very important aspect of a successfully directed telecast.
There were moments tonight I was lucky to know where I was going for my next shot!
The telecast of this well-played and well-paced game had a great "flow to the show".
Too bad the director didn't capture the flow to the game.

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