Monday, March 12, 2018

My Assignment: ESPN Sketch Reporter

After visiting the ESPN broadcast truck, I still have an hour left before the basketball game starts.

My media pass gives me full access to courtside and the Knicks' locker room area. I enter Madison Square Garden via the VIP entrance, which is really a steep-spiraling, 5-story ramp where circuses of old used to bring in the elephants. It still smells of elephant dung and diesel.

What should I try to capture in my sketchbook?

I am a little intimidated by the challenge. How can I ever capture the color and action of an NBA game in the pages of a sketchbook? What angle can I bring to the experience that will be different from the photos, video clips, and computer graphics?

I paint the ESPN logo on the cover of a sketchbook (link to video on Facebook).

A sketch reporter in the sports world is kind of a new thing, something we haven't seen much of since the days of Bernie Fuchs and Leroy Nieman in the 1960s.
I meet Tim Corrigan, who produces the live broadcasts. He tells me that the core of the ESPN approach is to bring out the stories of the franchise and of the individual players, and to dramatize those stories before, during, and after the game.
Check out the whole blog series:


Steve said...

Must say, never imagined I’d see a Gurney sketchbook with the ESPN logo painted on it.

“What angle can I bring to the experience that will be different from the photos, video clips, and computer graphics?”

I think you’re off to a great start by featuring the audio/video technician — someone who makes viewing the game possible but is not your standard on-camera person. Would you have access to equipment managers? Or interactions between players from behind the bench? Something showing how the referees prepare? It would be great to learn which players are particularly interested and appreciative of what you’re up to.

Robb said...

So cool. Reminds me of PanAm hiring Rockwell to travel and sketch. Can't wait to see this sketchbook fill up!

Robb said...

Also – Why not document stuff you learn while being on site? You could paint it with labels, like you did in Dinotopia to show the new world – You're just a traveller to a new, undocumented world again! Would sure help those of us who don't know sports too well, or the sound mixing room or wherever. Just a thought!

Carole Mayne said...

I'm so stoked for you! Go get some art and soul into their daily lives.. it's not all stats and profit..there's the elation, fatigue, determination and a million feelings that comes from long observations.. not just from 'the click that kills'. (Tao of Photography).