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Denver Nuggets Ty Lawson in a SI Sketch

Sports and comedy, a match made in heaven. It turns out, many popular athletes are quite funny.  This is certainly the case with Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets. The man has got some surprise laughs up his sleeve. This turned out to be a hilarious production.

Check out this sketch shot for Sports Illustrated “Extra Mustard”


The Tech

red epic 9 news studio

red epic 9 news studio, 9 news Sony studio cameras in background

We had a Red Epic and Red Scarlet camera system to shoot this sketch. The post workflow and ability to mold and match the image to previous shoots made the Red a prime choice. Red, along with Adobe, have done a phenomenal job making REDCODE an amazingly easy to work with. It’s easier than the early 5DMark2 workflows, it’s pretty much “drag and drop” editing. Before the shoot started, we shot a brief clip of the kitchen setup in each camera and brought the clips into the DIT computer. We created a quick “look” in Redcine-X Pro and sent it to each camera so that the look would be locked between the two. Another fantastic and easy feature that Red has developed to work flawlessly.

9 news studio newscast

Loading gear in during a live newscast

There was an interesting quirk to this shoot: Our comedy kitchen area was located inside the 9news Studio newsroom. We had to shoot between the midday and afternoon newscasts.  In other words, we only had 4 hours to bring all the gear in, get the actors prepped, run through the sketch a few times, and pack out. In fact, the window was so tight that we brought equipment in (quietly) during the mid-day broadcast, only able to “make noise” during the commercial segments.

red scarlet pad prompterWith the concern of staying on schedule, and attempting to closely recreate a daily news broadcast segment, the kind people at Sports Illustrated asked for a teleprompter system. It used to be easy to find a teleprompter system to rent… but those days are getting scarce. Most shoots we work on don’t have a teleprompter, so it’s not the primary investment in our gear department. Luckily, a relatively new device, the Pad Prompter, was there to save us. It uses two iPads (or an iphone/Ipad) and is super easy to use. Perfect. We stuck the prompter on the Scarlet.

words on pad prompterAnother look at the pad prompter above shows the high contrast lettering, easy to read even at a good distance for talent. Our cameras were positioned around 15-20 feet away from the set, but they were still able to read the prompt easily.

ty lawson studio Above you can see the general setup of the crew. The prompter sat just in front of our wide angle teleprompter system, and A and B camera were positioned closely intentionally to create the aesthetic of a mid-day television segment. The style of this piece was spot on for the comedy the script called for.

ty lawson kitchen sketchTy Lawson was a charm to work with on set. Hilarious, amiable, and a good guy. Leave your comments below and let us know if you think the comedy sketch worked!

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