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

Baseball Great Tim Raines Voted into Hall of Fame

January 19th, 2017

As I arrived at the Golf Club of Estrella in Goodyear, Arizona, I was full of excitement because I knew that today would be an eventful day with Crew West. MLB baseball player Tim Raines was being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, so our job today was to shoot a live interview of Tim Raines for the MLB Network. I had the opportunity to understand the full particulars of this process from experienced professionals; Andy Patterson (camera), Doug Podkowsky (audio) and Mike Tomas (satellite truck). Over the course of my journalism career thus far, I’ve witnessed numerous interviews occur on camera. However, I’ve never seen what it takes to make a satellite live shot happen. The team today had an incredible work ethic to create an admirable setting with prime lighting. The camera was positioned accordingly to get the shot that was needed. As the time for the live interview got closer, we did our audio and lip-sync checks on the producer line (PL) and the IFB (interruptible foldback) line to ensure that our audio and video signals would run smoothly. Once all the checks were completed we waited for our guest to arrive. Before we knew it, Tim Raines walked in with his agent and family members. I put on my headset to listen to the producer line, and I watched the process of a live interview happen while I was “behind the scenes.” This was an experience that I will never forget.
-written by ASU intern Delaney Wood

2016 Final Four

May 3rd, 2016

Crew West teamed up with CBS and Turner Sports in Houston, Texas to broadcast the 2016 Final Four. Jim Farrell provided live shots of the teams entering and exiting the arena as well as locker room shots with The University of North Carolina. After one of the most dramatic finishes in Final Four history, Farrell and audio tech Doug Podkowsky got an exclusive one-on-one postgame interview with UNC coach Roy Williams. Although disappointed in the outcome of the game, Coach Williams was gracious in congratulating champion Villanova and also recognized the place in history this championship game will take.

In addition to working at the Final Four for 18 consecutive years and counting, Crew West will be a major player in covering the 2017 Final Four which makes its way to the Valley of the Sun, as the games will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.