Monday, April 19, 2010

Dual Adjustments and Catcher' Signs

It is safe to say that no visiting TV production team likes the dual feed.
The loss of control of your product can be unnerving.
Because of the cost factor, dual feeds are here to stay.
For those of you who do not what a dual feed entails let me explain.
In a dual feed situation, the visiting TV feed is in control of 3 cameras. For most if not all visiting dual feeds these cameras are your dugout camera, the opposite side of home plate camera which can cover your dugout, and a tight center field camera which gives you a batter shot at will.
The centerfield camera, which shows the pitch, and the high home camera, which follows the ball in play, are controlled by the home TV feed and shared by the visitors. All other cameras are controlled by the home TV feed and can be shared by the visiting feed.
I only take the centerfield camera (camera 4) and the high home camera (camera 2) because I know that I absolutely need those camera positions.
There are two reasons that I will not take any other cameras live. First, without control of the camera, I do not know what kind of shot I am getting. Second, if I am on one of these cameras and the home director wants to utilize that camera, I am inhibiting his show by disturbing the rhythm of his "game cut." The visiting show already suffers in quality, I do not want the home show to suffer as well.
I want to make the best of my situation without taking anything away from the quality of the home show.
The most important method for creating the highest quality telecasts for both feeds is communication.
Communication between the two directors is of utmost importance.
Each TV baseball director "cuts" the game differently.
There is no right or wrong in the way a director cuts a game. Each director has his own method.
During tonight's telecast, I learned that I did not communicate with the Arizona Diamondbacks director as much as I should have.
We talked about camera positions and certain camera responsibilities, but I wasn't diligent enough in asking about this director's cut. I like the way this director cuts a game. He is very good and on top of things. But, like I said, we cut the game differently in different situations.
For example, on strikeouts, the Arizona director has the centerfield camera (camera 4) push to the pitcher. On strikeouts, I have camera 4 push to the batter. Each method is fine. The only difference is that after a strikeout, I shoot the pitcher from another camera. If the home feed is staying with the pitcher from camera four and I cut to the pitcher from another camera, it is almost a jump cut and looks terrible.
I finally adjusted somewhat and waited for a replay before I got off the home feed shot of the pitcher, but our sequence after strikeouts early on was awful.
I did not adjust quickly enough to the home director's cut (and a good cut that it is) and our show suffered.
This was the part of our telecast that I was most unhappy with tonight.
There was an aspect of our telecast that I was most happy with tonight.
Catchers signals.
I utilized the heck out of catchers' signals tonight.
Catchers signals ONLY work if there is one sign given. Catchers signals should NEVER be shown when there is a runner at 2nd base. When there is a runner at 2nd base, multiple catchers signals are given and the effect is lost.
I wonder if the viewer would like to know the pitch selection before each pitch is thrown.
Please go to my website and email me with your thoughts on catchers signals.
Would you like to see the catcher's signs before every pitch and therefore know what pitch is being thrown to the batter or not?
Let me know.
I am eager to hear your response.

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