By now we have all seen the jaw-dropping video of the Metrodome roof collapsing under the weight of a snowstrom that dropped 17 inches in under 24 hours, but did anyone else wonder how Fox Sports had a camera rolling at just the right moment?
Usually, credit for an incredible piece of video goes to a cameraman who had some instinctual foresight and the guts to hold the shot until the perfect moment. But in the case of the Metrodome roof collapse, as USA Today discovered, it was truly a team effort.
Fox left a camera on specifically pointed at the roof. “We knew what we were looking for,” says Fox lead NFL game producer Richie Zyontz. “This was specifically for the roof collapsing”….Fox technical director Colby Bourgeois sent up a continous shot of the roof that was linked to a videotape machine in a Fox production truck. When Fox’s crew arrived at 7:30 a.m. CT Sunday, they saw what they had — a shot of a collapse that looked like it was out of a disaster movie.
The NFL on Fox production team deserves a lot of credit for thinking ahead and preparing for what might happen. That is one of the true skills of Television Production, you design a broadcast for what you know will happen, then prepare multiple contingency plans for what may or may not happen. 99 times out of 100 the tape rolling through the night hoping to get a 1 in a million shot would just be recycled in the morning, but in this instance Fox Sports got the shot of the year.
When you work in Television your days are full of the unexpected. For me, I chose to cover Sports instead of News because I’d rather chase the next Butler University cinderella story, than follow the aftermath of a natural disaster. There are times of unexpected tragedy in Sports as well, but the frequency is much less as compared to TV news. Thankfully in this case there was no human disaster coupled with the dramatic video.
The NFL on Fox production team proved that when you work in Television you really have to be prepared for anything, and a little fortune telling doesn’t hurt either.