Dan recruited me to help him with the Alaska Day Roller Derby bout coverage. The Sitka Sound Slayers played the Wrangell Garnet Grit Betties. I got a hand held camera and was sent to the floor to record interviews with players, I did vox pops at the end. During the bout, while Dan ran the main camera my job was to shoot close action that could be cut into Dan’s tape in post-production. (It was not a live telecast.) I haven’t done sports TV camera in 47 years and I can tell you Roller Derby is a lot harder than baseball.
To make it easier on the editor I shot the scoreboard at the beginning and end of each sequence so the editor could see the clock and know where what I shot could be cut into the main tape. This is the first roller derby bout I’ve ever been to and I haven’t seen derby on TV since the 1950s when it was a staple of local TV. I only sort of caught on by the second half and I got some good shots because I could almost anticipate the action. If you watch the broadcast please cut me some slack for the first half.
Between shoots I was able to take some pictures with my still camera. It wasn’t easy; the action was so fast, many of the pictures are blurs. And the gym floor was shiny so I got a lot of reflections. These pictures are only a pale reflection of an exciting bout. One of the other folks in the press gallery said “This isn’t a sports event, this is a party.” That’s sure the way it felt. Great fun, and as an added bonus, there was a spectacular halftime show of aerial silk acrobatics by Sitka Silk Group. It was a great way to cap a great day.