Looking for the video “Fenway Flavor”? You can find it here.
I work as a professional sports camera operator high up on the left field roof at Fenway Park covering the Boston Red Sox. I have seen countless games from my perch next to the foul pole and pointed my $100,000 high definition camera with 75x lens at baseballs as they fly over the infamous green monster.
But today, I am doing something else. I am not operating my camera number 7 on the left field roof, I will be walking around the ballpark before, during and after the game to capture two things: Fenway atmosphere and the elusive “film-look-for-video”.
This footage will be used by Red Sox and New England Creative Services for promotional footage during the playoff and possibly used as a bigger part of a 100 year Fenway Park documentary that is in the works.
I grabbed a few shots at the base of the famous Green Monster before batting practice early in the day. I used a fisheye and a 50mm f1.4 Nikon lens to “scrape” the monster as I traveled down the ten feet of dolly track. I shot all the footage at 1080 30p. I also used a Red Rock Micro matte box with a polariser filter to remove glare from the monster and really get the green paint to pop off the wall.
I was shooting with the Sony PMW-EX1 and the Letus Ultimate. I really love the workflow of Sony XDCAM EX and the television station I freelance for simply gives me a drive to dump the footage on. This only takes a few minutes with my Mac Book Pro as the go-between. The client is then able to transfer the XDCAM EX footage right into their AVID/Final Cut Pro systems.
I was very happy with my Vinten Vision 10 AS pan head and Vinten baby legs. This new tripod system (along with a two stage carbon fiber set of sticks) worked well. The head is able to take the weight of the camera, Letus, lens, and matte box. I was even able to tilt the camera straight up into the air and still get perfect balance and control with the Vinten pan head.
I next moved in front of the Red Sox dugout to shoot long lens shots of players, grounds crew working on the field, and artsy shots of equipment on the field. I used a Nikon 300mm f4.5 lens without the matte box for this stuff. I love the new two stage Vinten carbon fiber tripod with the mid-level spreader. It is very light and easy to setup and adjust on the fly.
I moved my dolly into the old and paint chipped seats to capture the crowd arriving. This park has a ton of character and I tried to capture it with a very selective shallow depth of field. The dolly movement added a dynamic cinematic flare that the television station had never seen before.
When the game started, I walked around the park capturing the essence of a Red Sox game from the fans point of view. I did a few dolly moves from the roof decks, a bunch of portrait shots with a 55mm f1.2 and shot the crowded stands with long lenses.
This footage is copyright New England Sports Network and none of these images or the video footage is to be downloaded or distributed. I did not include any in game footage from the field of play because of copyright issues.
Special thanks to Brian Fadem for taking these blog pictures and working as my assistant camera on this shoot. Apparently he dresses up like a hot dog and travels around with a guy who looks like Jesus. He has a blog located here. I don’t know what else to say…