Brendan Shick | Freelance Film, Broadcast, & Digital Media

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Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes

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Baseball Season Nears

Mar 19 2012 by Brendan Shick 1 Other Take

One of the great things about being a freelancer is that each day brings new challenges and opportunities.

One day, I might be editing a commercial for a client. The next morning might find me on a downtown rooftop filming a music video before heading back to the office, perhaps for an afternoon blogging session and client meeting, followed by several hours of preparation on an important equipment rental quote.

Fans watch a game from the outfield

It’s this variety of work that motivates many freelancers to do what they do day in and day out. However, this also means that for some, stability of income becomes an obvious concern. That’s when it’s nice to have something that vaguely resembles a day job, but is also still appealing and interesting to the freelancer in question.

In my case, that’s sports broadcasting.

Baseball was, and always will be, my first sport. I played organized ball as a child and continued to watch Detroit Tigers games regularly on television for some time after that. When it came to starting a career during and after college, sports videography was definitely one of the things on the table. Baseball was the first place I looked.

Enter my summer bread-and-butter work: Video Production with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.

Operating Wireless Camera #5Don’t let that Class-A minor league label deceive you, as a recent article points out (see myth #4), teams in the minor league system really get their classification based on their geography because they must play other teams from the same league and level while keeping travel at a minimum.

This is the response to the common fan question of why the team can’t jump up to the double-AA or triple-AAA level, as many regard the stadium experience just shy of or better than some major league parks.

(Such beliefs were recently backed by¬†Stadium Journey, naming Parkview Field “the #1 ballpark in all of Minor League Baseball and the #13 venue in all of professional sports.”)

When it comes to sports broadcasting anywhere besides the largest cities in the country, there’s really not a better place to be. Fort Wayne is one of roughly five minor league clubs to broadcast every single home game on live television (the others are all triple-AAA clubs) and had the second largest in-stadium video board when the park was constructed three years ago.

Designed by the same architect as MLB’s PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the new stadium was practically designed to photograph like a major league park, with camera wells, fiber, and cable runs in all the right places.

Sure enough, the organization has made good on this investment and shown a real commitment to its video production department since opening. Furthermore, it’s a beautiful park, so it’s easy to bring flavor and good beauty shots to every night’s broadcast.

Shout out to two of my former college classmates who, as of the first crew meetings last weekend, are joining the crew for the summer. I’m excited to get to work with them and the rest of the crew once again this year!

As always, I try to use this blog to share tips and tricks that I’ve learned (and continue to explore) through my daily work as well as keep you posted with what I’m working on. So with 72 home games soon to come, don’t be surprised if some of the upcoming musings deal with baseball.

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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1 Other Take

  1. Jim Robinson says:

    Broadcasting is a challenging and competitive field, but at the same time, it can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Here is a testimonial from Eytan Shander and Dan Fritz- students from CSB sharing how the school helped them start their sports broadcasting career…

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