A few months ago, I was hired by COX communications to shoot a behind the scenes video of what it takes to get multi-camera live coverage of college basketball on the air. I normally operate a camera with this crew covering the action for regional television on ESPN or Big East college sports television.
The company is a big fan of my video blogs and asked me to create the mini-documentary in the same style I capture for fun on my website!
I made the suggestion that I shoot with the Canon 5dmk2 DSLR. I needed to shoot run-and-gun, with a single camera and be a one man crew. I found the DSLR to work very well in low light and the small form factor was easy to move around. I used a single Bogen mono pod for stability and tracking shots. I used only one lens, the Canon 16mm-35mm f2.8. I shot in manual mode and controlled exposure using the dial on the back of the camera. I tried to keep the ISO under 1600.
All audio was captured with a Rode video shotgun mic. This video was shot before the Canon 5dmk2 firmware upgrade, so I had to run the camera in auto audio gain with no metering. The sound is ok, not great. But keep in mind that it was just me, with the single DSLR to capture as much as I could. I asked all the questions and gathered all the footage.
The truck we used on this game is standard definition. It shoots 4:3 with Ikegami HL-59 hand held cameras and Ikegami HL-387 hard cameras with Canon and Fujinon box lenses. We use all Vinten pan heads. Cox also has a high definition truck for sports and is building an even larger HD truck with Sony HDC series cameras.
We also set a DVD to record the entire game with the director’s track. You will hear Mike Narracci calling the shots during the live broadcast towards the end of the video. Using multi-camera editing in windows on the screen helps to show you just how much is going on during the production.
Best part for me was storming the court with all the fans at the end of the game. I had the Canon 5dmk2 high up in the air on the mono pod!
Please post any questions below using the comment section of this page. I will try to answer them soon! Special thanks to John Parris, Ray Lepre, the Cox crew and editor Anthony Finucane.
You can read the Cox Sports blog with additional information be clicking here. If you want to see this truck set up from my point of view (using the ContourHD wearable HD camera) click here for the video blog.