After the excitement of finally being accepted to something I finally got my chance at a professional placement and to be honest, mixed emotions all round.
I arrived at Crosby’s Bar (as organized by Pete Ballinger, Clean Cut Sports) I helped him unload the equipment to bring into the rink. He introduced me to the online desk which he has been using to do the feed, other equipment he used in the transmissions such as different routers etc and of course the camera equipment he used to record the live feed.
What struck me by surprise was how unorganized it was, how untidy it was and the fact it was hidden away in a cupboard that could barely stand three people in! Here I was expecting flashy equipment, clean controlled environment and are large crew not one man working on it all!
I asked a few questions and explained what I did and what I could do for him at the placement not really knowing what was going on. He said I could do a few bits including the post match interview with head coach of the Blaze and Team GB, Paul Thompson. It was going to be my first live interview with a genuine sporting figure, rather good I thought!
When we went up to the technical gantry (which I have been up with when doing the ENL) I was surprised by the amount of technical going’s on, the fact that he had to set everything up himself, on his own! All I could do was ask inquisitive questions and pass over the odd cable here and there, it was all I could do because I had no knowledge on any of this, it was all new. After this was set, it was mainly back and forth between gantry and technical box downstairs to check the feed (walky-talkies, anyone?) That part I felt I had to learn quite quickly and really get my head round the process and technical terms that he was saying.
After I helped with the pre-match interview, I was allowed to do the pre-game warm up and walk on, this part I had not done from the gantry position so it was nice to have a go at getting my framing and competition from that angle in a more professional environment. It was also nice to work with Ed and his co-commentator Paul,as listening to them was fun and enjoyable to be apart of. Unfortunately I didn’t get to film the game as we only had one camera and I didn’t want to take his job of him but we agreed that if I turn up to another game I would be given an opportunity to film more than I did.
I got given the chance to do the post match game which was brilliant to do and got praise by Pete albeit not being that challenging to do. Again this helped with my framing, composition and experience in such areas, which may look good on my show reel or CV etc.
Overall then it was a great way to learn in the broadcast field and to see how footage like we see on Sky (this did go to Sky and ITV) are made. I felt like it wasn’t as glamorous as it’s made it to be and a lot of it’s about making sure that it gets done and then reflect on it later once the process has been finished. I gained yet more experience with equipment and working with live feeds and the process that needs to be applied to get it working as well as working with other professionals in and around the sport.
I left having been welcomed back to help out at anytime which shows that I am more than capable at making a good impression with these professional type to which I most likely will come back without being too persistent. It also left me however with a problem with commitments i.e my time could only really be took by doing ENL or Elite League games on weekends which leaves me in a strong predicament to decide upon. What I didn’t have to decide upon however was building upon this and making the next step up along the line and finding bigger and better placements.