By Jennifer LaRue
A group of regional campus students agree that they will never watch a basketball game on television quite the same way after they were part of the crew actually doing the filming and broadcasting.
Students from three regional campuses—Lancaster, Southern and Zanesville—collaborated in the production, part of a special learning experience that included a Friday workshop on multi-camera, live production techniques in high sequence action. Students then teamed up to cover Saturday’s Ohio Regional Campus Conference game on the Lancaster campus. Two of 10 campuses in the league, Lancaster and Zanesville men’s squads, matched up for the contest.
Don Moore, assistant professor and director of Electronic Media Technology at the Southern campus, brought Southern’s live production trailer to the Lancaster campus to train Zanesville and Lancaster electronic media students in multi-camera production and edit operations.
“Our job is to amplify the message, to turn up the volume,” Moore told the students about the ballgame production. “People at home should see it [the game] better than the people in the stands.”
With 20 years of experience at the Southern campus and at three television stations, Moore had plenty of practical tips to share with the crew. Moore’s instructions to the camera team were as rapid-fire and important as those the coaches would give to their players.
“Each camera has a responsibility: camera one goes wide; camera two captures close up, the bench, and the ‘hero’ shots; camera three follows the action and the coaches; camera four records wide for replays, and works with camera three for the end zone action. All cameras follow the ball, look for fan close ups and creative shots, and bring in the emotion to the fans at home.”
Friday’s workshop was just practice. On Saturday, Moore, Daniel Trout, multimedia instructor and Electronic Media Technology coordinator at Lancaster, and Zanesville sophomore Michael Johnson monitored cameras and provided direction as the game started.
Camera operators rotated positions to gain experience, with no breaks for the crew at half-time. They set up for coach interviews and cut to the floor. Back in the trailer, Lancaster freshman Jesse Warner mixed audio; Andrea Jamiel from Zanesville created on-screen graphics.
“I felt like a deer caught in the headlights,” Lancaster student Dustin Riggs said, as he described his camera going live for the first time during the game. He credited Moore and Trout’s direction for getting through the initial reaction and helping him know when to shoot close up, or go for the crowd shot, to stay on the ball, and when to relax.
Brandon Riggs, a Lancaster sophomore who shouldered a camera in the end zone, echoed Dustin Riggs’ trust. “Don and Dan know how to direct; they were excellent. Now I have experience in a live, fast-paced atmosphere.”
But it wasn’t all about cameras. Jordan Mills, a broadcast journalism major at Lancaster who hopes to become a sports broadcaster, called the play-by-play. He said he’s taking electronic media courses because he wants to know how every part of the production works. Joining Mills at the microphone, Lauren Peer drove up from the Southern campus to conduct sideline interviews. A sports fan and producer of her own show, “Instant Replay,” Peer interned at ESPN.
Although it was a first-time production crew, the group earned the praise of their fellow students and instructors.
“[The] camera angles are really good and steady,” Peer said. Brad Bear, special projects producer at Southern, added, “You followed the action really, really well.”
After the game Moore encouraged the group to watch a college game and look at the shots captured by the camera operators. Then he added, “It’s conference tournament time. Anyone interested?”
Stay tuned …