Few years ago Nino found the need for creating more than just a conventional set. Most budget today are not big enough to hire a large crew and a grip truck but the need for that style of quality is still there. It was in his best interest to come up with something in between. The solution was extensive lighting, grips and a lots of imagination, creativity and know how.
GRUDEN’S QB CAMP
In January 2009 the producer for Monday Night football asked if I was interested in being the Director of Photography on this news show idea. Having worked with Jon Gruden for a number of years I was glad to do it but had no idea of the challenges that were waiting for me.
The show had to be done in Gruden’s hidden place. One would expect a top sport personality like Jon Gruden to be working out of some luxurious office/studio space, but not coach Gruden. His office is a small place in the back of an old professional building a few blocks from his home. Inside there are some VCRs, a large monitor and a dozen of bookcases filled with thousands of video tapes of different formats of pro football games dating back two decades and more. Every morning from 4:00 am to noon coach Gruden sits in the dark room reviewing plays and techniques of some of the best in the game.
The show was an experiment, nothing like this “on location series” was done before. All these types of set ups are usually done in fancy and well equipped studio at ESPN in Bristol, CT. But coach Gruden wanted to do the show right where he worked.
The ESPN “Gruden’s QB Camp” series that takes place between Superbowl and the NFL Draft has become one of the most successful show on ESPN. For us however the show has been a constant challenge.
I also decided to give it a better look by replacing the LED lights with Kino Flo fluorescents. For the set we now use two Kino Vista single, four BarFly 200 and one Kino 4×4. This in addition to 4 150W fresnels.
All Kinos have honeycomb grids to prevent spills and allow better to better direct each light.
URBAN MEYER’S SPOTLIGHT, 2011 COLLEGE GAME DAY
This is an iPhone jpeg of what the room looked like before we started converting it into a temporary studio.
This is what it looked like after we finished setting it up.
Cam 4 was mounted on the grid for an occasional alternate view.
Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard
All the equipment you see above fit inside this van. Mobility and reasonable speed of setting up is an important part of today productions.