First Elder broadcast of the season: reaction from the director

Adam Duwel reacts and critiques the first broadcast of Elder Football.

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One week under our belt for the Elder Sports Network with plenty of space for improvement.

Plenty of guys I have talked to have differing opinions on why it is $10 to watch Elder Football this year. That is not what I am here to discuss or debate.  I am here to give a review on myself and how I directed the game last Friday.

Due to Governor DeWine’s order students and other fans are not allowed to attend the games except the parents of the players. That means no cheering sections or alumni groups gather at the game. For the vast majority of folks that would normally gather at The Pit or at the PAC for soccer games the only way they will be able to watch is through the broadcast. No pressure, right?

This year we were a scheduled curve ball thanks to Jack Langen ’20 graduating this spring. For those who didn’t know of Jack’s work, he was a big innovator and pioneer when it comes to Elder Broadcasting stepping it up with production. Jack really set the bar high for for the rest of us to achieve the kind of broadcasts he was able to do.

Now onto Friday, the biggest concern for me the first week was the weather. The remnants of Hurricane Laura started making her way from the Gulf Coast to the Tri-state area. The timing and just how much punch she would bring was uncertain. The timing of the hurricane was uncertain so I had to make the very unfortunate decision to only go with two cameras for the game. Usually thanks to Jack’s personal contribution, we are able to have a sideline camera. That wasn’t able to happen because of the forecast.

During the week of the football game, I was able to get out in the press box and start setting up for the game instead of doing it all Friday like we have done in years past. The day of the game was a lot less hectic because of that reason. By 3 o’clock the broadcast was up and rolling all that we were waiting on was the 7 o’clock kickoff.

Duwel working the controls for a charity concert- July 25th. Photo by AJ Waltz

This year, I am the tech director for just about every sporting event. This is a new role for me as I have only been the director for the occasional basketball game last season. Thankfully I have been working on similar equipment with NOW Broadcasting based in Lawrenceburg so I have been able to get comfortable with being a director for an event.

Kevin Ludwig in his bubble last week- Credit- Elder Photos

Around 6:45 I got settled into my chair and started directing the camera operators to get shots of certain things and I would take their camera shots and make them live. I have to give a ton of credit to Phil Hoffman and Trey Jansen. They did a great job on the cameras. You can view their work from Friday night here. They battle the rain inside the bubble- no not the NBA bubble but a tent like bubble that was around themselves and the camera placed under the press box.

Screen capture of the ad scroller

During the game I was switching in between cameras and sending out replays every so often. New this year was an advertisement scroller at the bottom. One of the biggest contributions that Jack made was the automated score bug for the broadcasts. I probably got about 15-20 texts from people if I could add that to the broadcast – the answer is yes. I was unable to do it for the first week simply because I didn’t want to risk the broadcast going down.

View from the office- Adam Duwel

 

As you all know the game went into double overtime with the LaSalle Lancers coming out victorious, 53-52. The game lasted about three hours and the broadcast was the best it could have been with the limited camera angles that we had. After re-watching the game about two times on Saturday I jotted down some notes on how I can improve the broadcast experience for our viewers. I need to get better with transitioning between cameras. This is essential to a good broadcast because either the transitions are too quick or too slow and you miss the play. I also need to get graphics – I had some graphics in the program but would rarely use them if at all.

With that all said we did a lot of great things. The biggest improvement that we have made is: communication. Communication improved drastically from last year, but the way it changed is very unfortunate. Communication got better because of the reduced crowd size. Usually we average 8,000 fans in The Pit and this year we max out at 1,500. That being said The Pit is a lot quieter than in years past. We were able able to communicate a lot better this go around.

The broadcast wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we did a lot of things good and we have a lot to improve upon. Bigger and better things coming Week 2 vs Floyd Central and the rest of the year.