Nashville Crew Goes to the Women’s College World Series for ESPN

I didn’t know a whole bunch about women’s softball prior to my trip to Oklahoma City, OK.  After ten days of shooting for ESPN I was practically breathing it.  That’s what happens when something like softball dictates your life for a week and a half.

I was ESPN’s ENG guy for the series, shooting on the Panasonic Varicam.  My week started with shooting “team cappers” and player b-roll.  Throughout the day the ladies of the eight teams competing made their way to the basement of the Softball Hall of Fame.  Originally we wanted to shoot these on the softball field but crummy weather forced us inside.  We also shot interviews and team line ups.

Once the series started things shifted into high gear.  I shot b-roll during the games, trophy shots, and exteriors of the ballpark.  Throughout the week I also covered events related to the World Series such as the OU team taking a trip to the Zoo.  By far the most important thing I shot was post-game interviews.  These interviews were used in the teases before each game.  I was given a small room and a cool backdrop for the interviews.  Given the limited space I had I used a scissor clamp to hang my key light and actually mounted the backdrop to the wall rather then clutter the room with more stands.

Once the series was down to two teams we shot a longer tease for the first game of the championship.  Luckily we had the weather on our side this time.  We shot OU’s sound bites in the bleachers and Alabama’s on the field.  Once we had the sound bites we needed we got some b-roll shots of the players holding the trophy.  We only had 30 minutes with each team so I was really moving at the speed of light.  On top of that I was my own audio guy too.  To save some time I showed one of the PA’s how to hide the mic.  I was still doing sound checks and monitoring the levels but not having to mic the players was a huge time saver and allowed me to focus on making sure the shot looked super cool.

OU's softball team feeds the Giraffes.

To cap an already awesome week the last thing I shot was with Charles Barkley.  With the Women’s College World Series and the NBA Finals in OK City Mr. Barkley had apparently been saying he could hit a fast pitch softball with no problem.  Well ESPN and TNT thought it would be funny to set up a chance for Barkley to prove it.  Play by play announcer and former softball player, Michele Smith threw Barkley some pitches.  He couldn’t hit them.

Charles Barkley prepares for a fast pitch softball.

I had a blast in Oklahoma City.  Shooting for ESPN was nothing short of awesome.  I hope to be back in Oklahoma City next year.

 

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Staff Director of Photography, Roger Woodruff is based in Waco, TX.

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