Feb. 2019 – With the conclusion of this football season marked the end of my 17th consecutive season shooting as a freelance cinematographer for NFL Films, shooting games week in and week out, with special projects sprinkled in between. It also marked the 10th time in 14 years, I was chosen to be part of the NFL Films Super Bowl crew. Needless to say, it is a humbling offer and one I gladly accepted.
This years Super Bowl host city was Atlanta, Ga and it was a unique experience to say the least. Normally, the crew hotel is kinda outside the SB entertainment/fan zone. But this year, we were put up right at ground zero, with our hotel directly across the street from the SB Fan Zone. It was good cuz it made for an epic room view, it sucked cuz every tom, dick and harry partied right outside our hotel for all hours of the night. But who’s complaining? Me I guess!
I really can’t talk to much about the assignments I worked on in the days leading up to game, other than I was flown in 4 days before the game and was put to work on a couple different projects. The day of the game, my camera package consisted of an Arri Amira, equipped with a Canon 40x Zoom Lens, mounted on a Sachtler v60 Tripod. I was in an elevated position we call a “Slash” position, which is above a corner of the playing field. It was a quite civilized set up, as I only had to share the area with one other camera op and my trusty sound man, Matt Mayer, a freelancer based out of Chicago.
The best thing about being part of the super bowl crew is not shooting the game, thats an after thought, its about being with the other cinematographers, sound operators and producers that are on the crew with you. It’s such a small community of folks that you work with throughout the year and to all be together at that final game, well it means, we all had a good season!
And then when its over, its over…just like for the Super Bowl winning team, next year is not guaranteed for me. You have to start all over and earn it, by putting the best season together that you can and maybe, just maybe you’ll be there at the end of the following season, in the next Super Bowl city…
As for me, I like nothing better than putting a bow on the season by taking my family on a vacation for putting up with me traveling for 6 months of the year. This time was even extra special as I took my wife and twin babies on our first family vacation as a foursome! We headed to Caribbean waters, where the roar of the super bowl crowd faded out into the sounds of crashing waves!