The email came in from our website contact form just like a thousand before. ” Hello, I’m from CBS Sports, saw your website… Like to contact you about doing some filming. ”
I wrote him back. We exchanged emails two or three times and it turned out to be a legitimate job. (I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first). He sent me a three-page special sheet highlighting everything from the format of the show to the method of delivery. I found out the budget, the needed crew and the timeline. He also sent me a long 10? 11 pages? vendor form that asked questions like, “what percentage of your budget does this job represent? ” and “list some of your previous clients”.
One of the things that surprised me is that they required the following:
A DP /camera operator
A dedicated sound tech
As I contacted all of these people we put together the following team:
Producer- Neal Burgess
Director/ Camera 2- Paul Powers
DP/ Camera 1- Benjamin Edwards
Sound Tech- Frank Costa
PA/Grip- JP Schlick
The show was a reality sports show that would highlight a famous award-winning athlete and show their lifestyle. CBS had provided me with a shot list that included such things as luxury cars, iPod lists, time at the gym, etc.
We showed up on-site right at 12 the day of filming. Robert opened the door to the modest home. I was surprised. This was Robert Oberst’s multiple award-winning/record-setting strongman. He lived in a normal house and drove a nice but normal truck. The luxury car shots were out.
As we were doing the interview with this incredibly strong man, I was impressed by his humility, his intelligence and his easy-going good nature. We did some shots of him lifting and headed to the gym to get some more lifting shots. My DP immediately saw a beautiful light shining through the window which would work well for some Highlight and flares. It pays to hire a good DP /camera op as his eye can make let break the production. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring release forms and location releases. (more on that later.)
The last stop of the day was a Mongolian restaurant where Robert and his friend/fellow trainer stocked up on protein. While the rest of the shots had been somewhat set up, we decided to do this segment documentary TV style. DP, Benjamin Edwards put the camera on the ronin and “got the shot. ”
Since it was 4:30 and I had promised the crew an early quitting time I called it a day satisfied that we had done good work for 4.5 hours.
My big mistake on the day was not bringing the release forms. Because of my oversight, it took my producer another 5-6 hours of chasing down all the individuals and business owners without whose signature the show could not be aired.
Overall, CBS Sports was satisfied and it was fun to see what their editors did with the footage.