By: Andrew Bertin and Kyle Hoover
Every year, a group of around two dozen Westlake TEC students meets each summer approximately three weeks before the beginning of school. Their goal: attain a level of professionalism and expertise unknown to all but the professionals of Westlake TEC. These weeks are known as Video Crew Training. Have you heard of the Navy Seal Training Program? Basically the same thing.
The backbone of the Crew is based in Camera Operators. They are the substance of the broadcast. Without them there would be no video, which means no broadcast. During training, they learn how to handle their camera, getting used to its weight and balance the more time they spend with it. They understand how the camera responds and works, using them to create UIL winning images.
As important as the cameras themselves are the directors. These fearless leaders encourage the camera operators to search tirelessly for the best camera angles. They decide which of their cameras has the best shot at any given time, and the technical director puts that shot on the broadcast for the entire state to see. During training, these select individuals work to understand which shots are of a quality that is acceptable, and in which order to select those shots. Of course, under the directors, there is a veritable army of other students. A hardworking group who make magic with the camera shots, whether it be making sure nothing is too dark, or grabbing good plays and slowing them down for our world class replays. Engineering makes sure all the cameras look just right, the replay department work extremely fast to select parts of a play, choose a great camera angle, slow it down and put it in the broadcast. We also can't forget about the highlights, as the operator edits an impressive video under the pressure of the ticking game clock. Technical directors work under the director calling plays, while listening to the sounds of the game and the radio announcers' commentary. They cut cameras and fire replays non stop, doing their best to keep up with the fast paced game. Finally, we have audio. What heroes they are. It boggles the mind as to how these guys can create a perfect mix of the band, the crowd cheering, the refs talking, and even the sound of the helmets smacking into one another. During training, the heads of each of the various crews makes sure to spend every available moment making each new member feel confident about their work and the fact that they are an important member of the team. That's what's so great about summer training. The bonds that forms between mentors and new members give each of them the confidence to work as a cohesive unit during the broadcast, as well as friendships that last a lifetime.
The Few. The Proud. Football Video Crew.