2018 Cactus League Media Day – Arizona Diamondbacks

March 13th, 2018

When you sit down to watch a sporting event on your day off, you generally do not think of the sheer amount of work that goes into every aspect of the broadcast.  It is simple entertainment and nothing beyond that.  However, even the smallest things in these broadcasts can require an immense amount of work.  Take for example the little interviews and soundbites that air during the lulls of play during a baseball game.  Most would probably balk at the idea that these short little segments would require around five to six hours to shoot for each team.  However, this is indeed how long it generally takes.  Across the nation, independent production companies are hired by the national networks (such as ESPN) that broadcast professional sporting events to tape these segments.  One of these production companies is Crew West Inc.

Crew West works in tandem with ESPN producers to create a nuanced and artistic element to a small, yet extremely important part of a major baseball broadcast.  For example, take the shoot wherein Crew West teamed up with ESPN to interview a few star players on the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The crew began work early in the morning before the sun even shined in the sky, and went about setting up a professional set with a chain link fence set against a blue/gray backdrop for the interviews.  Here I was able to see the true nature of a professional production; hard and dirty work.  The best I could liken this production to was a construction site, but instead of building a skyscraper we were constructing a piece of art meant to immerse viewers in enjoying their favorite baseball team.  It was quite impressive to see how quickly this entire set was set up inside of an umpire’s locker room where space was tight and hot.  Even more impressive was the players we were able to interview and interact with.  I met and even shook hands with a few of the Diamondbacks major players such as Paul Goldschmidt and Robbie Ray.

The entire experience made me appreciate not only the profession I am in but the ability of the crew from Crew West to work so efficiently under such a tight deadline.  Next time I go to watch a Diamondbacks game I hope to see one of the interviews I partook in and be able to say, “I helped make that a possibility.”

-written by ASU intern Jakob Wastek

Play Ball Shoot with MLB Network

May 5th, 2017

Crew West teamed up with MLB Network today at the Chicago Cubs spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona to shoot for the upcoming show: Play Ball. Sean Casey was on camera with Anthony Rizzo for the half-hour show. I found this shoot to be different than other shoots I’ve been on because we didn’t have to set up equipment a few hours prior. Instead, this was considered as a ‘laid back’ shoot. Crew West’s talented cameraman Andy Patterson was alongside a camerman from MLB while Sean was interviewing Anthony Rizzo on one of the baseball fields. Shortly thereafter, Sean stayed on the field with Rizzo while he was doing drill demonstrations for the show. While this was happening, fans were behind the gates hoping to get Anthony Rizzo’s attention. This was an exciting sight to see because we were outside all morning, fans were all around, and of course, the weather was beautiful. On top of that, I experienced one of the best photo bombs I’ve ever seen in a photo that was taken of me.
-written by ASU intern Delaney Wood

2017 Cactus League Media Day

April 6th, 2017

Heading into a new season of spring training in Arizona, the Cactus League Media Day was a whirlwind of challenges mixed with excitement at the same time. Myself, along with three crews from Crew West, teamed up with both MLB Network and ESPN at the Arizona Biltmore Resort to shoot MLB commissioner Rob Manfred speaking live during the press conference. While that was occurring, two other crews were busy setting up a roundtable shoot that included five players who are attending the World Baseball Classic: Adrian Gonzalez, Francisco Lindor, Nelson Cruz, Johnathon Lucroy and Salvador Perez, all being interviewed by MLB Network’s Tom Verducci. I’ve never observed how stressful it can be to set up a shoot with six people total in one shot. With four camera bodies in a small conference room, I was impressed to see how the crews at Crew West made it work and got the job done. We all brought props to use in the background to make the shot look better than what it would have otherwise since the room came with nothing besides a blank wall. Not only did the props have to be in a certain position, it was interesting to see how each shot was angled with perfect lighting on each subject in this interview.
After debuting our shoot with these five players, we set up our one-on-one interview between Tom Verducci and general manager of the San Diego Padres, A.J. Preller. Between these two shoots that needed to be set up in a small amount of time, I learned that small and specific details truly matter along with communication with every crew member who was in that conference room. It was a great challenge to see. With 12 men in a small conference room, they all worked in perfect sync with each other and the job was done successfully!

To top all of our hard work that paid off, we had an unexpected surprise. The sandwiches we ordered at the resort were $257! Who would have known that a dozen of club sandwiches could cost that much?!

– Written by ASU intern Delaney Wood