Brendan Shick | Freelance Film, Broadcast, & Digital Media

4 Must Watch Director’s Commentaries – Even if You’re Not a Film Geek

4 Must Watch Director's Commentaries - Even if You're Not a Film Geek

4 Director's Commentaries for any sensibility or taste! At least one of these will appeal to you...
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Learning the Pitfalls of HFR

Learn the Pitfalls of HFR

Don't make the mistake of paying more for a lower quality theater experience. Here's a look at what HFR really does to your image straight from a cinematographer's mouth...errr...pen...err...whatever.
Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes

Broadcasting Baseball

Ever wonder how the game gets from the field to your television set? We're sharing a behind-the-scenes look.

APRIL RECAP: Things to Add to the Resume

May 10 2012 by Brendan Shick Add Your Thoughts

This April has certainly been quite the busy and eventful month. As alluded to in previous posts, it was not only the start of baseball season (and thus sports broadcasting), but was also the month in which I was heavily involved in principle photography for To Turn Back Time, a 40-minute independent film for which I was the DP.

Amazingly, I was able to do both without any significant conflict in shooting schedules, but it also left me with only about 4 days off during the entire month.

Quick Breakdown

And that makes the whole ordeal sound rather easy. As can be typical on lower budget independent films, some of our shooting days on To Turn Back Time ran upwards of 16 hours. That doesn’t include time spent afterwards planning out the next day (or sleeping, eating, etc.).

When you do the math, I’ve worked at least 80 hours every single week since mid-March just on these two projects alone. Apologies if the blogging has seemingly taken a back seat for the past few weeks…

Anyway, here are the details:

To Turn Back Time in the Can

We finally wrapped principle photography on To Turn Back Time early last Monday morning after roughly 10 non-consecutive shoot days.

To Turn Back Time

I’m still not allowed to reveal all the details about the project that I’d like to, but you can anxiously await future material on the production both here and on the project’s website. As hinted at before, I will be posting to the Project Updates blog on the production’s site (somewhat more frequently now that my work towards the actual production has come largely to a close and I have more time to do so).

Update wise, the production successfully met their funding goal on Kickstarter and has finished filming. Postproduction should begin in earnest in the coming weeks.

New Broadcasting Frontiers

In other news, I was asked to direct the live broadcast of one of the Fort Wayne TinCaps’ home games. Typically, I run camera or replay. For those who don’t know broadcasting but do know baseball, this is kind of like bringing in the center fielder to pitch – he’s not really used to the position, but in some circumstances, you just have to go with it.Operating Wireless Camera #5

Fort Wayne isn’t a huge sports broadcast market, so when your everyday director can’t make it, you have to go with the next best thing – someone who’s been around the job for a while who (hopefully) can be quickly groomed into the new spot for the day.

I’ve always been told that either directing or serving as the TD for a live sports broadcast is the hardest job in the broadcast industry. By extension, baseball is generally thought of as one of the more difficult and unpredictable sports to air. So, naturally I had my work cut out for me!

I’d never directed a live baseball broadcast, so that’s where good instinct had to take over. In my case, my combined background in directing live news and operating cameras and control room equipment for live sports was the right fit to train and hone these instincts. If the director knows what angle every camera is supposed to cover and those operators do their jobs, the director’s job simply becomes keeping a level head, dealing assertively with whatever technical concerns stress the broadcast, paying attention to the game situations, and being definitive when making shot choices. The rest takes care of itself.

Thankfully, I was backed by a solid performance from the rest of the crew and we all made it through the game without any unusual problems.

Looking Ahead

From the “soon to come” list, expect a more official launch of the My Gear page soon, as well as updates to the Film Reel and Set Photos portions of the site.

My demo reel (HD) is over a year old now and I like to update it about that often so that potential clients and fans can always see what is possible with our latest gear packages and how we’ve been using those to help others accomplish their visions and goals on an everyday basis.

That being said, the summer season is already starting to fill up with projects and freelance gigs. Feel free to submit your proposal if you want one of the remaining spots. As with any freelance professional, clients always get the best results and availability from their hires when they book and plan months in advance.


Brendan Shick

Brendan Shick is a freelance DP, gaffer, and sports broadcaster serving primarily the Chicago, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Fort Wayne, IN, regions. You can find out more by following this blog, his recent work on Vimeo, or by connecting with him on Twitter or LinkedIn. Brendan is also an occasional contributor to the Project Updates feed for one of his most recent films, To Turn Back Time.


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