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19. Fenway HD Camera - Sony HDC-910 - Canon 75x
3 years ago
Check out more from Fenway Park here: tomguilmette.com/​wp/​my-blog/​archives/​2794

I shoot the Red Sox for a living in HD. I enjoy working with expensive and state-of-the-art television equipment.

A few people emailed me recently and asked me if I could shoot a video blog of my very expensive HD camera that I use to shoot for the networks at Fenway Park. Well, here you go!

I use a Sony HDC-910 camera head with a 75x (9.5mm to 700mm zoom 1:1.7) Canon HD lens with an optical image stabilizer. The camera head new has a retail price of $94,700.00 and that does not include the viewfinder or the lens! The lens is almost as much! The camera is mounted to a large fluid head on Miller sticks. The fluid head is the Vinten Vector 70 and I would ague that this is the best hard camera pan head ever made.

I brought my PMW-EX1 to work today and during my lunch break, I shot a quick video explaining the camera the best I could. I had a million other things I had to do that day. I did not spend much time on this, but this short little film should answer the questions I was asked.

Keep watching until the end. I got a shot of the moon rising over the right field seats and I think you will like it. I shot this during the game a few days ago and TV color analyst Jerry Remy even stated that it was “the best shot he has ever seen on NESN” (New England Sports Network). Now keep in mind, this shot had nothing to do with baseball or sports for that matter. Go figure.

I see shots like this on the Discovery channel all the time!

The moon shot I added to this video was off a dvd copy of the clip. In crappy standard def. I up-converted it to 720p in Final Cut. I did not have a chance to get a HD version yet.

Email me any questions. My website is tomguilmette.com
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    oh by the way, the airplane did not fly through the moon.
  • Dean D'Adamo 7 months ago
    It's debatable. =]
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  • Pierre 3 years ago
    That's some interesting TVcam info there Tom.
    I do love those high tech things and was wondering how pros handle them. Well explained man. Thnx.
    Superb moon shot, looks like Mars. I presume the focal extension is digital. Do you loose some quality there like with our small beauties?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    the focal extension is optical. you lose almost nothing. the lens is light hungry in extender at the end of the glass, so it does close down a little zoomed all the way in.
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  • DURBAN plus 3 years ago
    Man I just love your job!!! Thanks for showing us how those big corporate cameras work, I always wondered why they were so much more expensive, and thanks to your demonstration, I think I got it.. keep sending us more of this great work.. The image of the plane flying across the moon was cool, as was incredible how steady the shot was with its zoom to its fullest. (that explains part of the $94.700,00 I suppose)
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  • Andrew Pile staff 3 years ago
    Unbelievable stuff!

    I've always wondered- is there a reason sports camera monitors are always B&W? I've only seen a few but they always seem that way. What's the reasoning there?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    they are black and white because it is easier to focus and see what you are doing. this goes back to the standard def days when crt's were cheaper b/w and had better contrast control over the bleeding color versions.

    today with high def, there are color monitor options for viewfinders on these cameras but they are like twice as expensive. i have used them. i still prefer b/w.

    ultimately, if the camera is set up right...who needs a color monitor?

    i must admit, i use one when i light sit down feature interviews. also the client may request it.
  • Hoop-CA, USA 3 years ago
    I think may try turn my color display on my cam to b/w.
    I wanna be like Tom :)
  • Underground Planet plus 3 years ago
    When I used an XL1s and then the XL2 I had the option B&W CRT viewfinder and that thing was amazing, easiest viewfinder I've ever had to grab focus with and when you had focus, you knew it.

    Great job on the vid Tom, loved it and the last shot was just stunning. Hope you get a chance to drop in the HD version.

    - Ray
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  • Brian Boudreau 3 years ago
    that was well explained Tom. I knew those cameras were expesive but never gave it much thought that they are that much. thanks for the behind the scenes look
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  • Justin Ouellette plus 3 years ago
    really, really amazing. thanks for sharing this.
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  • Blake Whitman staff 3 years ago
    Tom, this is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to go through all this stuff.
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    no prob. i will try to do another about detailing behind the scenes. i should be able to post this stuff on the net without problems...
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  • Miha Sedej 3 years ago
    Great ... nice ... you should go on the air with the moon.
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  • Lucasberg (Joey) 3 years ago
    That was cool, Thanks.
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  • Patrick Moberg plus 3 years ago
    How does the zoom extender work? Is it digital?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    the zoom extender is a piece of glass, much like a filter that swings into place doubling the focal length of the lens. it is optical, not digital.

    sports camera ops us them all the time when a director tells us to "suck out his eyeballs". that means drop in the extender and slowly zoom as tight as you can into the guys face as an extreme close up. this adds drama as they say.
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  • charliesteadman 3 years ago
    That zoom is insane. I'll never pick my nose at Fenway again. Are you tethered to the railing just in case of high winds?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    yea. never pick your nose. if you people only knew what i have seen with that telescope of a lens. trade secrets though, i can't go into details this is a family site.

    i am harnessed to the position per order of the red sox and the networks just in case.
  • Erick C. 3 years ago
    message me with the nasties!
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  • Jip Eilbracht 3 years ago
    Wow, nice to see that.
    And a camera worth more than 180,000 bucks, that's much!
    Do you also build it up yourself? And do others use it as well? Because it looks pretty like it's your personal camera..
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    it comes in four pieces...

    the metal sticks, the pan head, the lens and the camera head. all this stuff (except the sticks) travel in tough road cases. i use a cart to push it to my position.

    yes this is my own camera and i build it myself. but i do not own it! it is close to $200 grand new and costs more than my house!

    there are seven other hard cameras just like this one around the ball park. there are also a few robotic and hand held cameras as well.

    next time you watch a baseball game, think about how much money in tv equipment is out there to bring the emotion of the game into your living room.
  • Jip Eilbracht 3 years ago
    I'll definitely think of the super-expensive camera which are used.
    An EX1 is nothing considered to this...
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  • PURENINE 3 years ago
    Wow, great video...
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  • Adrian Langford 3 years ago
    That was great Tom! Very interesting. I love the fact it's a $150,000 rig but you use a bit of cardboard like I do as a lens hood :) Good to see gaffa tape still being utilised as well. Great vid.
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    i like to use old beat up beer boxes, so sometimes i give them free adversing.
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  • Hoop-CA, USA 3 years ago
    Can you get one of these cams at Best Buy?
    :)
    Some funny observations:
    The $94k camera head, is that with or without the cardboard sun-sheild and masking tape? (Trust me, I love tape, Duct Tape, Masking tape)

    Second, loved the zoom part in on the babe....that's hilarious. (rough job, bud!)

    Totally loved this video, Tom. Seriously, it was really neat-o, stuff that only us Vimeans would get into...

    okay...and I'm jealous.
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    it is hard work, running camera is the fun part. try lugging that stuff up stairs, standing at the cam for 4 plus hours after you drank a huge lemonade or ate at taco bell, or haning out in the freezing cold, heavy rain or crazy lightning.

    not to mention running cable under the stands where the big rats live. that is work.
  • Hoop-CA, USA 3 years ago
    lol..I was wondering about that...I really honestly thought you guys would have crew hands that do that. 'Rats? Why does it always have to be Rats?'

    Tom, as much as Im goofing around here in comments, I am loving this stuff...bring it on. If you ever come to LA for the big blue....give me some heads up, I'd love to see all this. Sure I have friends in the industry, but it's mostly reality stuff nowadays and their not keen on visitors on set.

    Have your people call my people.
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  • Mark 3 years ago
    This is exactly what I want to do with my life.
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  • Lone Wolf 3 years ago
    I have a $150 Kodak?????
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  • Martijn Doornenbal plus 3 years ago
    Very cool and informative.
    The moon shot is awesome!
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  • Tom Preuss 3 years ago
    Your CRT is 4:3, but an HD image is 16:9. How do you compensate for that? Is your preview picture distorted, are you seeing a cropped version of the final output, is the final output a cropped version of your output, or something else?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    good question. i was waiting for someone to ask.

    the form factor of the crt monitor is 4:3. i have a switch that i can flip to see a letterboxed version of what my camera is outputting in 16:9 but i do not use it.

    it is much easier to follow the action (and the ball) with the viewfinder set to 4:3. the image is bigger in the monitor.

    as for the 16:9 area i cannot see, i dont care really. i know this sounds wrong, but we still frame for 4:3 in the sports world. that extra 16:9 area is what i call "gravy".

    the only time i would ever flip that switch is if i were shooting something and i wanted to be sure that a light stand for example was not in the hd picture.
  • Rick Hill 2 years ago
    Good stuff. Thanks for this.

    OTOH, I have to comment about my dismay regarding the 16:9 is "gravy" comment. I really think sports _is_ the medium by which the HD (video) format can best be utilized. I remember early HD networks (HDNET) focusing on exploiting this fact for their sports presentations - especially hockey. They kept the camara's zoomed out and minimized the amount of camara movement and when it moved it was always slow pans. It made watching sports in the home a new (better) experience that much more closely resembled sitting in the stands (except for getting the best views TV provides). It also made following the game easier since action away from the ball or puck is easy to follow as well. Since HD can handle the resolution for following pucks, balls, etc and since many HDTV's are large widescreen monitors nowadays there's no need to cover the action zoomed in so closely.

    It would be nice to see the industry change. To try to take advantage of the large 16:9 format and to stop looking at the wider screen as "gravy" for a 4:3 image.

    Maybe the camaramen (producers?) never get to see their work live so they don't know how to change it for the better? :-P

    Don't take it personally. I still really appreciate your insight and thanks for the video.
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  • karli 3 years ago
    that's amazing!
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  • [ PIXEL VIKING ] plus 3 years ago
    I'd love to have one of those :)
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  • Mike Hutcherson 3 years ago
    wow! what an amazing piece of kit thank you for showing us this. i think a video of me showing you guys how my broken, 2nd hand, old sony cyber-shot works would be less interesting.
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  • Jonny Dailey 3 years ago
    That camera is unbelievable. Great video. What did you shoot this video with?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    i shot it in 1080p 30p with a sony pmw-ex1 with the letus extreme. i used a sigma 18mm f3.5 wide angle film lens with a .6 graded nd filter.
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  • Santiago Pochat 3 years ago
    This is amazing, thanks for sharing!
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  • rick fiduccia plus 3 years ago
    Excellent thank you for posting this! All your videos are a cut above.
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  • Pete Bell 3 years ago
    Outstanding stuff Tom! Fellow gear lugger and shooter here... (unctv)
    Although, sometimes I do make the reporter carry the sticks.
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  • Impressive, don't think it will fit in my kit bag though lol.

    Seriously amazing stuff Tom, but I must admit to being impressed with the EX1 that filmed this cool info too.
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  • Bob 3 years ago
    Very interesting. Would like to see you discuss more tools of your trade.
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  • dalas verdugo staff 3 years ago
    I really appreciate you uploading this! So cool!
  • dalas verdugo staff 3 years ago
    ps - Did you record the sound on location? It's so clear it sounds like a dub-over.
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    i recorded the track in the same spot. you can hear the pa playing music in the background. i just spoke into my shotgun mic.

    i edited all this in a few minutes in the press media room on my mac book pro and uploaded it to my site and vimeo when i got home.
  • dalas verdugo staff 3 years ago
    Fantastic job, man.
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  • eric cwiertny 3 years ago
    Now THAT was great! Thanks for sharing with us video geeks...I love your timelapses of Fenway as well!
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    too bad those fenway time lapses are no longer available. sorry. they now belong to a paying client.
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  • Casey Donahue plus 3 years ago
    Way to show up the in house production crew.

    we are still shooting on mini dv!

    I think it's just because the video board isn't HD

    Very cool, I have to find time to get up to your post one of these days.
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  • giancarlo giupponi 3 years ago
    Molto interessante ! Grazie. (interesting)
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  • Mike Walker plus 3 years ago
    Thanks for sharing this with us Tom.

    BTW do you adjust iris or is that done in the OB truck and are there any other functions the OB truck can do/overide on your camera?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    the video guy in the truck does it. it is called "shading" the camera. when he adjusts the camera's color, it is called "painting" the camera.

    i override nothing. i could hit the green button and adjust the filter locally, but the video guy hates that!
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  • isaacwayton 3 years ago
    Amazing!
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  • Santo W plus 3 years ago
    Nice mini documentary, Tom. Love the moon shot. Thanks for sharing and Go Red Sox!
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  • Dak Washbrook 3 years ago
    wow that looked great! love the camera, seems like a great job.
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  • B Bab 3 years ago
    This video is so cool. I am so jealous of your job. It would be cool if you made another one of these videos.
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    i will try to do one on the production truck (OB) before the summer is over.
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  • Nat 3 years ago
    You seriously have the best job in the world.
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    if was was shooting for the discovery channel full time, i would agree with you.
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  • Filip Adam Pawlak 3 years ago
    thx for sharing. and wow that lens is amazing. nice moon shot
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  • paramon plus 3 years ago
    it is an awesome shot indeed, but the most amazing thing is that airplaine originaly wasn't in the shot, or was it?
    anyways,
    thanks for sharing
    :-)
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    do you mean photo shopped or after effected? im not that good with motion tracking.

    i saw the moon rising, i saw the airplane approaching. i followed the airplane into the moon. what you see in this video is not the entire shot.
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  • loonachic 3 years ago
    amazing!
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  • Hyun De Grande 3 years ago
    I'd like to be in your shoes!
    Nice to see some insight in those big production camera's.

    Love it!
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  • Patrick Lawler plus 3 years ago
    Wow that is so cool! I've always wanted to know more about how sports are televised. That's a crazy lens too!
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  • Chris Morgan 3 years ago
    that camera is amazing, but i have to say the ex1 with the letus extreme looked crazy too!!
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  • HD72008 3 years ago
    Hey Tom a very good video rpesentation on how these huge comercial media cameras actually works.. Very good information good presentation and nice focus with quality view.. Since when ever a tv channel would do this such demonstration ? I dont recall ever apart from just this nice unique showing the world how these huge cameras actually works in thier perspective point of views. Great videos. HD is the way to go.
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    i will try to do another vid like this inside the 53 foot production truck. thanks.
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  • simon balderas 3 years ago
    very nice tom, you've got a great voice and a very clean almost disney like way of telling a story. not high school musical but wonderful world of disney 70's style. it is some how nostalgic very cool. I have seen most of your other videos and I always look forward to what you have to say next. I just posted some stuff I shot last weekend on an EX 1 letus extreme using a 25,50,85,100mm check it out when you get a moment.
    vimeo.com/​1206384
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    nice work simon.
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  • simon balderas 3 years ago
    thanks man, ditto
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  • Noisemaker Media plus 3 years ago
    Must get cold up there during a late-October night. Looks like the best seat in the house!!!
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    cold and windy.
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  • Benjamin Winchell plus 3 years ago
    Hey Tom,
    Awesome video! That is one of my dream jobs. I was there at Fenway 6/22, Dice K's worst start ever, and looked up where your perch was and didn't see you or a camera. Actually I didn't see a camera anywhere in the left field bleachers in the upper decks. Day off?
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    yea, i had the day off...from fenway. i was working in rhode island.
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  • Dutchie 3 years ago
    Awesome video, I'm a sucker for technical specs so I really enjoyed this. If only I could have 9.5 to 700mm f1.7 zoom for my DSLR, lol.
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  • Robert Marty 3 years ago
    I love that lens on that camera!

    Great moon shot.

    Is that camera equally as good as the EX1? I bet it's 1000 times our camcorders are.

    I miss shooting with true pro camera's vs these.
    Time for me to go back to school and give up self productions.
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  • Blake Mannion 3 years ago
    Loved It.

    Go Sox!
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  • alex tyson plus 3 years ago
    Hey - What lens are you using with your Letus in this video????
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    18mm sigma f3.5 nikon mount
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  • René Roslev 3 years ago
    Nice camera(s)! Thanks for posting this.

    The link to the MESN article was very helpful, but I still have a couple of questions about your workflow/communication, if you don't mind:

    Do you shoot like you're "always on" or are you warned before your feed goes out?
    Are you free to pick creative shots (crowd etc.) between plays or are those shots assigned?
    What are some typical commands from the director?

    All the expensive gear is cool, but I find the level of organization required to execute a live broadcast flawlessly even more fascinating.

    Thank you
  • Tom Guilmette plus 3 years ago
    we all have "zoned coverage". we know what we are suppose to shoot at all times during certain events in a game.

    the director gives a ready cue just before he gives a take cue to the technical director to push the button. so in other words, if i were camera 7 and i get the next shot in the live sequence, it would sound like this...
    "ready three, take three, ready to dissolve six, dissolve six, ready seven, take seven, ready to effect blue, effect blue."
    The numbers are cameras and blue is a replay tape machine.

    when we have no shot assignments, we usually look in the crowd for stuff.
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  • Your down to earth enthusiasm over what you do, bleeds though this and each vid that you shoot. Thank you for your sharing.
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  • UKAT 3 years ago
    Second to the moon shot - which is absolutely, great - I loved the cardboard hood shot. Smart.
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  • and yet another Thanks goes out to Mr. Guilmette for that great video. We were hoping to see a video of him with the 910 on his shoulders.

    * Just Kidding! *
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  • Brian Stoops 3 years ago
    watched this video a long time ago, around when you first posted it.
    today I went on a tour of fenway. walked right past your post, and thought of this video.
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  • jose arizaca 3 years ago
    espectacular shot! tom especially air plane on the moon .
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  • Sansom Media 3 years ago
    Stupid Awesome! that was the best rundown of a camera ever! more entertaining that the RNC and i claim to be a repub. hahaha

    Thanks Tom!
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  • Alex Newson 3 years ago
    how many other people film the red sox ?
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  • charles michael 3 years ago
    So i'm guessing that cam is about $250k with the high grade lens, viewfinder and all the other little add ons. Damn i feel like selling my house to get one. The only problem is i would have no money left over to get the proper training on how to use one...DAMN
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  • Brian McCaffrey plus 3 years ago
    Thanks, Tom. I watch most nights on the MLB package on satellite and I do wonder who's up there shooting.

    Do you shoot only in Boston or do you travel? If you don't travel, do the hire local crews in the road cities? How about when the national networks cover the game, do you shoot those?

    Again, thanks, I really enjoyed this.
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  • Blake Mannion 2 years ago
    Unbelievable stuff!
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  • Steveo 2 years ago
    thanks for sharing
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  • alper ömer esin 2 years ago
    very successful informative video. thank you for sharing .
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  • Sammy Kumar 2 years ago
    The air plane in the moon was sick. Great shot. So its a Sony camera body and then a canon lens. that's sick.
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  • Bruce Tritton 2 years ago
    Wow. I mean seriously wow!
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  • Jon Furtado 2 years ago
    Hey Tom,

    Your video inspired me to sign up just to comment on your video! I've been a lurker for ages, but finally decide to join.

    I've been a live camera opp for year in the corporate market. I've used the Fujinon 72X lens. And i understand what you mean when you say its hard lugging the lens and gear all around to set up!

    What kind of shotgun mic are you using for your voice over? It sounds excellent!
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