Tracking Shots Ep.9 – Sunday NFL Countdown

If you’re a football fan then you’re gonna recognize some faces in this week’s Tracking Shots. Our old pal Casey Warren was kind enough to share this amazing video created for the Sunday NFL Countdown. Tasked with capturing the personas of each Sunday NFL Countdown host (and creating a unique and stylized piece for each individual) Casey and his production company, MINDCASTLE, created a series of videos that are currently airing throughout the show and will continue to air throughout the NFL season on ESPN.

Casey was also kind enough to provide a thorough breakdown and description of each location as well as the gear used (and some great behind-the-scenes photos to boot!)

The project was a month long production spanning 6 shoots in 4 cities. We started in Ft. Lauderdale filming Cris Carter on the field then went to Mike Ditkas restaurant in Chicago. Our next stop was in Hollywood to shoot at the penthouse suite of a posh hotel for Keyshawn Johnson.

Cris Carter + Casey Warren on the field
Casey uses a Steadicam (and our Mattebox + Cage) to capture Keyshawn suiting up
Our next  leg of the trip was to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT where we shot TJ in the huge 70,000 sq ft. ESPN film Library. This library stores an archive of old 16mm 8mm & 35mm film reels along with thousands of spools of audio tape. We created the entire set from scratch using found items as well as some custom made ones. Our art director created massive light boards with hundreds if film transparencies on them for TJ to look through. The final shoot in Bristol took place in the ESPN data center where they store all the digital footage ( 3.2 petabytes worth ) we filmed Adam & Mort here walking in and out of the rows.

Casey captures ESPN's 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm archive over light panels
Our next shoot took place in the library of a private school (where Chris Berman’s kids attended years ago). The set took 14+ hours to put together and the crew made countless trips wheeling vintage books in as props. On this shoot the art director had custom pressed & leather bound books made as props to place in the background and for Berman to use in the shoot.

Mindcastle does some serious set dec for the Mike Berman piece
The sun wasn't cutting it so Mindcastle set up HMIs outside the window
Chris Berman set after much work lighting and set decorating
Detailed Gear breakdown:

Used Canon 5d mark II and Mark IV through the entire piece. Lots of gear certainly from MINDCASTLE’s collection but also wanted to mention the always courtesy LensProToGo for a lot of supplemental gear. For each location the gear is as follows;

Ft. Lauderdale + Cris Carter – shot with Steadicam Flyer LE with Cinevate Proteus Cage + Titan Swing Away Mattebox. Atlas 30 Camera Slider. Lighting info bounce boards + scrims

Chicago + Mike Ditkas – shot with Atlas 30 Camera Slider+ Steadicam rig. Lighting – (3) lite panels (2) ARRI 650w fresnels

Bristol + TJ, Adam & Mort – shot using the Steadicam Flyer LE with Cinevate Proteus Cage + Titan Swing Away Mattebox. Used the Atlas 30 & Durus Follow Focus. Lighting – (3) 6000w light banks from above w/ dimmer (2) 1000w ARRI fresnels (2) kino flo mini flos.

Library + Chris Berman – we shot this piece entirely using the Atlas 30 Camera Slider with a couple shots on monopod. As for lighting we had (2) 1200w ARRI HMIs, 4 1000w ARRI fresnels, (2) 400w Diva Lights. I had multiple 1200w HMIs placed outside the windows to give the effect of morning light along with Kinos & fresnels inside for fill.

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3 Responses to Tracking Shots Ep.9 – Sunday NFL Countdown

  1. Dennis Wood says:

    Some of you may remember Casey from way back here:
    I remember the first meeting with Casey and thinking to myself that this amount of tireless positive energy would no doubt lead to good things. Nuff said. Big props to Mr. Warren!

  2. Mark says:

    Love seing the breakdown of equipment. It really gives us insight as to how much is involved in producing something that seems so flawless and simple. Awesome!

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