Sunday, July 4, 2010

Taking Chances Really Enhances

On page 56 of my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From The Director's Chair ( I wrote the following sentence:
"The late Arne Harris, who directed Cubs games for many years, once told me that he defined a good baseball director as one whose coverage of a bases-loaded, bases-clearing base hit included a shot of every runner scoring in between shots of the base hit."
I have never forgotten this comment from Arne and, in fact, I think of this comment whenever the bases are loaded.
During our game/telecast today, Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals' starting pitcher hit a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double in the third inning. Remembering Arne, I cut each run scoring in between shots of the base hit.
Cutting a bases-loaded, bases-clearing base hit and showing each runner scoring in between shots of the base hit may be the most difficult task for a TV baseball director to accomplish and accomplish cleanly.
During this bases loaded situation, we took a chance and iso'd each runner. This was a huge moment in the game as Wainwright's double really put the game away for the Cardinals. Our second replay sequence of this very important moment of the game showed each runner taking off at the crack of the bat and rounding the bases. This unique "look" worked and really enhanced the pivotal moment of the baseball game. The reason that I call this a unique look is because on local baseball television the lead runner and much of the time the trail runner are iso'd into a replay machine. Rarely on an eight camera production are three of the cameras shooting runners.
We took a chance and it worked.
Later on during the game/telecast we took another chance and got lucky. It was the eighth inning and John Jay, who was called up from the AAA team yesterday, was at the plate. Our very talented robotic camera operator, iso'd two young Cardinals fans who were watching the game from behind home plate.
John Jay clobbered a homerun and the reaction from these two young fans was priceless. This was the best moment of the telecast.
"Take a chance to enhance."
When it works, it is very rewarding.

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