Fresh Off World Series Title, Giants Look to Expand Video Operations

The 2010 Major League Baseball season will be remembered for the improbable World Series victory from the San Francisco Giants but it did more than increase expectations of the team on the field. It also has the team’s video and broadcast department working harder than ever this season and even eying expansion of storage and personnel.

“Last year we had four shows nominated for regional Emmys and we won one for our show on the World Series and playoffs so we took on more shows and need something more in depth than working on Adobe Premier,” says Paul Hodges, San Francisco Giants, director of broadcasting. “The needs of our company for things like PSAs and now that marketing is more and more internal, and we are even shooting our won commercials, makes us a victim of our own success.”

With six cameras, Avid editing systems, and Adobe graphics, the team produces TV shows that air on Comcast Cable and the NBC local TV station, as well as MLB Network.

“Avid editing systems are the vehicle that helps us edit and get stuff moving,” says Paul Hodges, San Francisco Giants, director of broadcasting. “I can’t think of anything that we produce that doesn’t touch the Avid systems. Whether it is our Panasonic P2 cameras or the DSLR cameras, everything we shoot and push out touches the Avid.”

Currently the department has five Avid Media Composer systems that have been in place since 2009. “We also have two laptops and six Internet-based Media Composers,” adds Hodges. “All of them are connected via fiber to our Facilias 24 TB storage system.”

The system was integrated by Cutting Edge and Hodges says an Avid ISIS storage system and Interplay system are both under consideration as the team finds themselves working with a system that is too small.

Given the occasional quick turnaround for some of the shoots, in particular for the scoreboard operations, the move to tapeless formats makes things not only easier, but possible.

“All 13 Avid systems can be used to log material and we couldn’t do that in a tape-based world,” says Hodges. “We can take on bigger shoots with more cameras.”

As for the DSLR cameras, those are used to shoot beauty shots as anything that requires quality audio simply can’t be done properly with a DSLR. But the ability to swap out lenses, something that the AF100 cameras cannot do, offers visual benefits for a production team always on the move creating TV shows, Webcasts, interviewing players, building commercials, and more.

“We’re cranking out new stuff for the scoreboard every day,” says Hodges. “Between internal requests for sales videos, promotions for other departments, and going out for shoots, our slate usually fills up.”

Scoreboard operations are centered around a Sony production switcher along with Adobe AfterEffects, Photoshop. and the CS5 suite helping build out graphics packages. Adobe Premier, however, has been superseded by the Avid systems.

“We were using Adobe Premier until 2008 and it only got us so far,” says Hodges. “And when we hired Chris Gargano from the Oakland Raiders he gave us the inspiration to do things better. So we went with Avid and as far as cutting TV shows it has been stable and great.”