8:13 AM, Monday, October 16th, 2023:
That was one of the hardest professional days I've ever had. I don't think I'll fully be able to process it until I see it in my headset. During the day I was so focused on the shot, I saw very little else. Incredibly although I was sore as shit last night, this morning? Perfectly fine. I may actually have to write about the stupid diet I'm on that I was embarrassed about last month but that I can no longer deny: it's absolutely changed everything about my body from my joints to my brain. But I'm not gonna get into it yet...
So I was going into this dat way more blind than I realized. No schedule for what was happening, no one to talk to the players... this felt like Meeting Michael in 1995. Like I had a press pass in 1995 but you had to look REALLY close to see it was radio and I wasn't supposed to be filming... I just got the shots somehow. Here of course I have "NFL MEDIA" on me and have field access - so no one really thought twice... and of course I was there FOR the NFL. But man, that really doesn't mean much once they've sold the broadcasting rights, ya know? THOSE MOFOS have the access. We do too, we're just a step behind.
So I bought some stickers and put a big-ass "VR" on my camera:
Sentimental note for LONNNNNNNNG time followers of this crazy journey. That's the back of one of the original 4tvs.
I thought of it throughout the day. 4tvs was another one of those "no one's done it before" moments in my life and coined the "Sun TV" moment 25 years ago... goddamn, I thought of 4tvs on November 3rd, 1998 and then went and bought those 4tvs. 25 years ago... wow. Sorry, I'm way off. ANYWAY - it meant the world to me that part of one of those TVs was on my rig and it made THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE.
Right off the bat, it allowed me to say to Cooper Kupp "Let me know if I'm in your way, I'm shooting a VR Test and you kinda need to be close" to which he turned his ass into a director and started setting up shots where the ball nearly hit the camera. Unreal. Then he went back in the lockeroom and told some players what was happening and they started asking ME about it. It made everyone more comfortable and they even ran plays that I was DIRECTLY in the middle of during warm-ups. I haven't seen this footage yet, but I mean - if it's half as good as it felt. It's... like no fan has ever seen this. Even refs aren't this close. I can't believe I'm even typing this. It changes the game, man.
It continued like this and what was nice for me was I could follow the other arm-banded mofos running around. I just follwed their lead and kept my cool. The gameplay stuff however was pretty so-so. Shit's just too far away. They really wanted it, I really tried to tell them, but we'll see. There's cause for some of it, but man... it's all about the pre-game. That's the stuff fans will pay for. And pay BIG.
So I can't really show you anything, but I did take ONE shot as we were leaving the stadium that I'm pretty sure no one will put up too much of a fuss over...
It really feels special. Here's hopin'.
Oh and putting that VR on my camera certainly got it some exposure...
That shot from my perspective is gonna blow people away...