Taking The Sports Fan To The Game Using Video

The streamlined ability of video producers to be mobile and the ability to quickly shoot, edit and broadcast material have enabled us to go to environments and get the context of events that traditionally we have not had access to or would have taken too much time, effort, or expense. Highlighting the context of an event as opposed to merely filming an event is a concept that dates back all the way to the early 1960’s with college football and the notion of “Taking the sports fan to the game.” This is a model that has not only been applied to sports, but the vast myriad of topics, events, people and places that can be video subjects. Furthermore, because of technological advances in video filming and editing as well as the ease in getting material broadcast (i.e. the Internet), this process no longer has to be big budget exercise involving vast crews and endless planning.

Roon Arledge, the American sports and news broadcasting pioneer behind programs such as Monday Night Football, Nightline, ABC World News, 20/20 and Wide World of Sports came up with idea of bringing the fan to the game as opposed to bringing the game to the fan. Instead of merely showing the game and only focusing on the game itself, Arledge proposed that highlighting interesting things about the location, the surrounding characters, and the lead up to the game would encourage an increased interest from a wider audience. He was absolutely right and eventually this changed how sports and ultimately all news events got covered.

The advent of smaller broadcast quality digital cameras and easy access to portable sound gear has changed the landscape even more. Most importantly, one-man crews adept at storytelling, filming and quick editing, has enabled us to be a “fan” in more worlds than ever. No longer do we have to wait for a major network to broadcast a large event that is aimed at the masses. Now even the most specific of niches can have behind-the-scenes coverage. These one-man crews can capture the essence of an event and use video to not only tell the story but also highlight the spirit of the event by capturing the peripheral elements.

The development of the one-person crew is significant for a few reasons. First and foremost it means that the production process is streamlined – the filming process is inconspicuous and the filmer can capture an event with minimal effect on the authenticity of the subject matter. If, for example, you film a non-actor and add elements such as numerous crew members in charge of lighting, make-up and sound, as well as intermediaries in charge of direction, production, and content, they will undoubtedly become less natural in their delivery and the process will become agonizingly time-consuming. A second important point is the more people you add to the crew, the larger your budget will be. Minimizing the crew and streamlining the filming process enables clients to keep costs down and dedicate more of their resources to filming more elements of their event and film their events more regularly.

More comprehensive and on-going coverage of a particular community or event enables that group greater opportunity to generate interest among potential new viewers as well as strengthen existing bonds within their respective group. In addition, as video producers, the more opportunities we get to film, edit and broadcast, the better we become at telling your story and taking viewers “to the game”.