Television Broadcast Crew Season Wrap-Up

By: Carter Gehm     

Recently the varsity football season came to an end, and with it came the end of the 2014 Video Crew season. Video Crew is a project that a group of passionate Westlake TEC members has been working on for over a decade. It has evolved greatly over time, but the general idea has always been that a crew of around 24 comes together for every varsity football game, be it home or away, and records a professional broadcast to air on television.
I personally have had the unique opportunity of being one of the few people to have been a member of the  video crew since my freshman year, something that very few students have the opportunity to do. This year, my third year on video crew, I feel that we had some catching up to do at the beginning of the season with the ten new members who joined us this year. It’s strange having to teach someone else all that you've learned, and that was an adjustment I think all of the older members were having to deal with. We struggled a bit with a newer crew but everyone stepped up, worked hard, and managed to improve immensely over the past four months. It amazes me how much better we are now compared to back in August when we started our training, especially since we had to overcome the challenge of a very new group. Since I held the position of broadcast director, I was able to observe just about every crew member in their positions and really see how much each and every one of them has improved. Based on our success this year, I can’t wait to see how well we do next year.
One thing that makes our broadcast so high quality is the specialization we practice. Just like the football team, we have one or two positions that we learn as much as we can about and then pass on that knowledge to the younger members before we leave. Personally, I think that this was a rebuilding year. That was what this year was all about: passing on all that knowledge you had gathered over the years and teaching it to newer members. Its great if you know how to work a camera really well, but it doesn’t help the program if you graduate without ever teaching anyone how to be as good, or even better, than you are. With out the constant training of newer members, we would be unable to maintain the high quality of work that we pride ourselves in so much. Next year is going to be absolutely amazing because of all the hard work that everyone put in this year.
As far as the actual season goes, we did an excellent job. As I am looking back through our footage while editing the highlight video from this season, I see no shortage of good shots. I’m really impressed with everyone and  I think our camera operators did an excellent job of capturing plays and color shots. There hasn’t been a play yet that we didn’t capture with at least two cameras. It’s exciting to see that we no longer have an issue there, when it has been a problem in past seasons. 
This year, the football team got a new coaching staff and the transition hasn't gone without its bumps in the road. With the previous coaching staff we were encouraged to get shots of both the players on and off the sideline, as well as shots of the coaching staff. This year was another story. Coach Dodge is different than past coaches in that he doesn’t want us distracting the players what so ever. This means that we have had to back up from the players and film them only from far away. I see where he is coming from, but I hope we can improve our relationship to the point where there is a mutual trust between us, and he knows that we can safely film his players without causing distraction to the team. The close up shots of players' faces look great and it will be a shame if we can’t get them anymore. Hopefully we can mend that relationship and continue to broadcast excellent football, but for now we'll just have to see how we can adapt to these new circumstances.
All things considered, we had a great season and I look forward to seeing what next year has in store for us!