off-season lounge: richard fox

Richard Fox, camera operator --

How do you prepare for these events?
It's all about making a Œcue sheet. This can be on paper or in my head. The first thing I like to do is watch the routine as many times as I can. Once I understand the choreography I can plan my framing and moves. From there I break it down and work out what the shot should be from one step to the next. Then when it's time for the performance I give it my best. Sometimes I don't get to see it first. In that situation I work out the parameters of the venue and follow my instincts and a few basic rules like be smooth and follow the rhythm, keep the shot mostly head to toe, look for the emotion, if they separate follow the woman, etc.

What is like being at a competition but only focused on viewing it through a camera? 
Seeing a competition through the tunnel vision of the viewfinder is the best seat in the house. I always have a good view and I get to interact with what they are doing. I don't miss much because I am only concentrating on one or two performers. On something like a ballet for instance it can be frustrating because I don't always have all the dancers in the shot.

What kind of team do you work with at these live sporting events? 
Making TV is a team sport. The different departments that work together on a live broadcast include camera, sound, lighting, staging, grip, makeup, on air people all going through master control. The director is the conductor. Within the camera department I need to know where the other cameras are and where my shots fit in in the orchestra.

What is the best part of being a camera operator at these events? 
These events are always exciting. It's a good time working with the crew and we usually get fed well. The best part though is the feeling I get from being up close in front of a great performance. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.

source: original interview

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