Thanks to Cox Channel 4 Padres video switcher and editor Craig Chatfield, I had the opportunity to visit the Cox production trailer, tucked away off Tony Gwynn drive on the south side of Petco Park.
Inside the trailer is a long, dark, narrow corridor with friendly employees and more video screens than your average dance club. It’s divided into two main rooms, the first of which is seen in the two photos below.
Besides Craig, producer Ed Barnes (left), and Chyron Bob Wehrsdorfer took time from their schedules to explain the details about what goes into a TV broadcast. Unfortunately the room was dark, so I was busy using my girlfriend’s shoulder as a tripod while taking photos to soak in everything they were telling us.
One challenge they mentioned was working with the multitude of cameras and operators at one time, on many screens, while live on TV. Under normal circumstances the crew has the process down well, but it’s the crazy plays on the field that throws them off from time to time. One challenge was the play where David Eckstein lost a pop fly in the lights, then held the runner close by pretending to field it, letting it drop, and throwing the base runner out at second.
There are a ton of video clips at their disposal. The photo above and to the left shows a technician looking through Channel 4’s archive. Right after producer Ed Barnes said it would be difficult to describe exactly what his role in the broadcast, the technician pulled up and played video of Barnes describing what he does for the broadcast. Pretty funny.
Our tour then headed towards the back, to Chyron Bob’s lair. Somehow there were even more video monitors and complicated looking gadgets. Let me tell you, when someone who is paid to design websites thinks computer equipment is complicated, he isn’t messing around. Check the last photo for proof.
I’d like to thank the Cox Channel 4 Padres crew, especially Craig, for opening your doors to us.
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