Giants Production Team Feeling Super

By Ken Kerschbaumer

The New York Giants production team this morning sent out seven crews to cover the Super Bowl, with four crews armed with Sony DV cameras and three with Sony Betacam units. Joe Scacciaferro, supervisor/coordinating producer and owner of Ferro Productions, has been working with the Giants for more than 10 years and he says this year’s game feels bigger than the last time the Giants played in the Super Bowl in 2000.

“Right now we’re just anticipating every scenario with contingency plans for contingency plans,” he explains. “And we’re approaching everything as if we’re shooting a live show.”

One of the more interesting features of the week on Giants.com was the “Sam Madison Cam.” The Giants corner back was given a Handycam to capture his experiences during the week. “He shoots all day and he loves to talk so it was one of our biggest hits,” says Don Sperling, New York Giants Entertainment, VP, executive producer.

The biggest change for the production team is getting used to the more intense security that accompanies the world’s largest sporting event. While the crew is used to having easy access and being a known commodity during Giants regular season and even earlier playoff games during the Super Bowl they have new faces to contend with on the security front. As such credentials, and holding on to them at all times, was paramount.

Scacciaferro says that because the DV units can more easily dump material on the Apple laptops than the Betacams for quick editing via Final Cut Pro they are the equivalent of a MASH unit for quick interviews and features. But when it comes to shooting game action Betacam does a better job in terms of image quality.

Christine Baluyot, production coordinator for the New York Giants, led the charge on Game Day to ensure all the teams were in the right place at the right time. After operating out of the New York Giants hotel for the week three Apple laptop editors and the cameras were moved to the stadium. “Our goal is to make it feel as much as possible that we are live on the Web,” she adds. “We can usually get a story shot, edited, and on the Web site in 15 minutes, depending on the upload speed.”

Scacciaferro says the crew of 13 shares more than just a love for sports production: they also have deep multitasking abilities, an important skill with a small team. “Without the crew none of this would matter,” he adds.