Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Preparation and Adjustment

The quality of a telecast hinges upon many factors.
Possibly, the two most important factors are preparation and adjustment.
Preparation is a must and I am sure that every MLB telecast production team prepares to the utmost for each telecast. The quality of the telecast depends on this preparation.
The quality of a telecast is also determined by how well the TV production team adjusts during the game/telecast.
Tonight, in just our second regular season telecast, our show included some excellent examples of how preparation and adjustment play a part in the presentation of a telecast.
The discussion of story lines between our Producer, play by play announcer, color analyst, and side line reporter in their pregame meeting reaped great rewards during the telecast. Twice during the game, a particular story line was teased by play by play, enhanced by the side line reporter and embellished by the analyst. Shots of the players involved in each story line enhanced the viewing experience.
Another example of how preparation played a part in the telecast occurred in the top of the ninth inning.
Throughout the telecast, the story line of the Cardinals' closer struggling late in spring training and in the season opener was occassionally talked about. In the top of the ninth inning, the closer was warming up in the bullpen with the bullpen coach standing next to him. I noticed the bullpen coach talking about arm angle with the closer and alerted the announcers. We went to the shot live and, luckily, the bullpen coach and the closer were talking about the closer's delivery. This accentuated what our analyst had said earlier in the telecast about the closer.
Sometimes it is great to be lucky!
In the truck tonight, two adjustments were made that were not expected.
We are using a wonderful device this season that shows the location of the pitch. Pitch Trax is a great tool that really enhances the telecast.
I felt that the only problem with Pitch Trax was when we went to this feature live, the location of the pitch occurred much too late on the screen. I had to cut to the high home camera before the location of the pitch showed on the screen. Well, this problem was solved when the Pitch Trax operator adjusted the speed of Pitch Trax and the location occurred almost instantly as the ball entered the catcher's glove.
Adjustment #1.
The second example of adjustment occurred when we lost the centerfield camera (camera 4) in the bottom of the 8th inning and in the bottom of the 9th inning.. We were taking the camera 4 feed from the home show. I adjusted by changing the responsibilities of my tight centerfield camera (camera 6). Camera 6 therefore became camera 4.
Adjustment #2.
This was a seamless move that I am sure was not noticed by the viewer.
Preparation and adjustment - both necessary and important.
Tonight's telecast proved to be a perfect example of how these factors play into the quality of the telecast.

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