Sports: Directing Style

TennisLayoutDirecting style during action elements of a sporting event must be basically invisible.

Directors must place themselves psychologically in the position of the audience and then show the audience what they need and want to see.

Directors, especially new directors, should plan to select an action camera that will handle the bulk of the coverage during the action portions of stop-and-go contests. This is especially true of games in which the ball moves quickly or where the action is complex. Other cameras can then be designated to provide coverage during non-action periods. 

It is only during the time-out points in stopĀ­and-go that the director may want to show aPortraying passion and teamwork is key in covering sports. little creativity or pump up the coverage with production values, such as instant replay, tight shots, color analysis, or insertion of graphics for additional information. As a general rule, no more than 35% of the show should be taken up with color coverage, unless the contest is so poor it is necessary.

The director must have a sense of the pace of the sport and attempt to match that pace with the style of directing. In many ways the movement of the game and the movement of the athletes in the game are much like directing a musical production, such as a dance or a concert. The movement of the game will rise and fall as the conflict heats and cools. The physical action of a football team must be as precise and rehearsed as that of a ballet group. The quality director will be able to sense this pace and movement and build on it by using a directing style that matches and augments the game.

In sports coverage the director becomes the center of a coordinated effort by all talent and crew to provide shots, tape replays, and other input from which the director can select what will be put out on the air. He or she becomes an editor, in this sense, selecting and guiding the production. That is not to say that the director doesn't call for specific shots, coverage, and isolation. But the tempo of the activity in the director's truck is so rapid that the director cannot possibly talk through every shot or sequence with crew and talent.

WPSidebarSept17