CCU

Through The Lens

A behind-the-scenes blog with the Inside the Clubhouse producers.

       

THROUGH THE LENS

Welcome to “Through the Lens” – a blog to gain insight into Chanticleer Baseball and get a behind the scenes look at producing the weekly television show, “Inside the Clubhouse with Head Coach Gary Gilmore.”

An Inside Look
By Alex Souza
Producer
“Inside the Clubhouse with Head Coach Gary Gilmore”

As previously advertised, this blog serves to provide a glimpse of the process of producing the show and, hopefully, offering unique insight into Coastal baseball from our experiences.

The point of pride for the producers of this “coach’s show” is that it isn’t a “coach’s show” at all. It would be easy to have Matt Hogue, The Voice of the Chanticleers, sit with Gilley and go over the weekend highlights and call it a day. Instead, this is a show driven by the student-athletes and their grind through a seven-month season.

That means a lot more hours behind the camera and on the computer editing. It means the players and coaches have to get over there inherent fear of cameras (unless it’s Rich Witten, who has an uncanny gravitation to a lens). But it is all worth it because it gives us a much more interesting product to display to fans.

The process always starts with an idea. Some ideas are evergreen, such as off-season conditioning or a team preview. Some come as the season moves along, such as a profile of a standout performer, or getting the story behind Austin Wallace’s mustache (wait until you see it, it is Rollie Fingers-esque). The key is to make sure the story provides something deeper for viewers. To do so, we need to be entrenched with our players, going where other reporters don’t go.

Then comes the fun part. We head to the field/club house/offices/weight room – wherever we can find a Chant and get the information from the source. We try to include Gilley as much as we can (his name is, after all, in the title) and involve key players and new guys alike. We interview everyone involved, then shoot B-Roll (the raw footage you see when we cut away from the person being interviewed, but they’re still talking) ad nauseam.

When we feel like we have enough footage, we head back to the office and download it to the computer. This is where the magic happens. Here, you can construct a story any way you want. Sometimes as Gilley leads us through a story his commentary may shift the focus of the intended piece so we’ll use the players and other coaches to support what he says. If it is a pitching-based story, maybe Drew Thomas will take the lead or if it’s about hitting, Kevin Schnall may get some play. The key is to let those closest to the action tell the story.

Below is a time lapse of me editing three interviews and about an hour of B-Roll for a story about Coastal Baseball’s connection with the Grand Strand Miracle League. What you are watching is about 30 minutes of editing. In that time I was able to get about 1 minute and 30 seconds of ready-for-TV footage and B-Roll completed. The rest of the story will be completed after Miracle League Day at Watson Stadium later this year and we are able to talk to more players and Miracle Leaguers about the special relationship they have.

It is hard to tell with the speed of the video, but when editing, I first look for the best sound bites for each interview, regardless of context. From there I try to tell the story in a fast-paced and interesting way that will engage the viewer. Once I am satisfied with that, I find either establishing shots or footage to relate to the sound bites to use as B-Roll. I’ll then watch this 1:30 of footage over and over again looking and listening for inconsistencies in sound or video.

It can be a time-consuming, and sometimes grueling, process and an editor can often memorize a story word-for-word before it reaches the airwaves. But it all seems worthwhile when a story captures some fire in a player or a nuance of Gilley coaching this great game. It’s even sweeter when a story is followed by texts and emails of praise from Chanticleer Nation. We hope you enjoy watching as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.

Inside the Clubhouse airs Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on WBTW News Channel 13 starting March 11.

THROUGH THE LENS

Welcome to "Through the Lens" - a blog for viewers of "Inside the Clubhouse with Head Coach Gary Gilmore" to gain insight into Chanticleer Baseball and a get behind the scenes look at producing the weekly television show.

Another Planet
By Alex Souza
Producer
"Inside the Clubhouse with Head Coach Gary Gilmore"

I've watched baseball seriously since I was 5. I never went for the hot dogs (though they are delicious) or the promotions, or as I grew older, for the cheap beer. I studied the game, the strategy, and the athleticism. I grew up in the baseball purist heaven of Cape Cod watching the best college players for free every day of my summers.

At 18, I came to Coastal and watched in amazement as Coach Gary Gilmore put his Chants into NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals, all in spite of running the program from a condemned trailer. I started working for the Department of Athletics and in 2011 produced season one of "Inside The Clubhouse," following Gilley and his squad from coast-to-coast to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at one of the best programs in the nation.

Needless to say, I thought I knew my stuff when it came to baseball as I approached season two of ITC. I thought I knew all about "small ball" and the "Coastal Way."

On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, I saw the error in my ways.

After about an hour of hearing Gilley coaching third base on an isolated microphone throughout "Chant BP" and an intra-squad late-inning scrimmage I realized how little I know about the game and specifically our style of baseball at Coastal.

While Gilley was obviously hamming it up a bit for the camera, I came to fully appreciate his command of each detail of an already intricate game. Every pitch thrown at practice was situational. Each Chant stepped into the batter's box, took a lead on the base paths or readied themselves in the field with a specific role they were expected to execute. No one went up there hacking. Whether a base runner was bluffing to steal, a batter was putting down a drag or push bunt, or the defense was running a pick off play, everything was planned to the nth degree.

They aren't robots though, if a plan isn't executed properly, it is on each player to adjust instinctively and make it work. If it doesn't work, Gilley lets them know about it in a way only he can.

When it works, and each player executes the assigned task "as a piece of the puzzle" with precision, and Gilley is giving them the windmill to round third and score, it's a pure joy to watch.

It isn't so much that the system we implement is different, as I'm sure others play a similar style of ball - the way it is implemented is what matters. There is a constant reassuring chatter coming from Gilley and the coaches. Each mistake was met with a short and constructive lecture, inevitably followed by proper execution the next play. They aren't barking out orders, they are pulling kids aside and teaching them to look beyond "throw the ball, catch the ball, hit the ball" and showing them how to play with a high baseball IQ.

The cornerstone of Coastal baseball is a selfless and relentless approach to the game. The Chants are characteristically are aggressive in everything they do, forcing the opposition to be near perfect to beat them. They will sacrifice their personal achievements for those of the team.

I filmed Gilley for a "Mic'd Up" piece that will likely air in the second episode of this year's ITC. I hope viewers will be treated to a glimpse into the detail and commitment of the coaches and players toward Omaha (and some of the humor of their journey as well).

Inside the Clubhouse Airs Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on WBTW News Channel 13 starting March 11.