The Bob Devaney Sports Center, home of the women’s volleyball team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is considered one of the most prestigious volleyball arenas in the country. A large percentage of that is due to the 13,000 thousand Huskers fans that fill the arena every Friday and Saturday night during the season.
However, the hype and fan experience are all created by me and all of the people who work at HuskerVision.
It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare for a 7 p.m. match. Many people ask me what a typical volleyball game day looks like. On Dec. 7, 2019, the Nebraska volleyball team played its second game in the NCAA tournament and that meant my work started early.
5:30 p.m. – Go over script
The night starts with my fellow camera workers and me getting on the headset to review the script. The script meetings are very short, but this helps all of us at HuskerVision know what to expect throughout the game. This means that every single activity and advertisement throughout the game has been planned out beforehand and is scripted down to a specific time.
5:45 p.m. – White balance
Many people ask me why I carry a white towel around with me throughout the game. The answer to this is because I have to white balance the camera in order for the colors to look natural. Without white balancing, all of the colors in replays and real game action on screen would look blue or have a yellow tint.
6:45 p.m. – Tunnel walk
People in Nebraska know of the famous Tunnel Walk at Nebraska football games, and volleyball is no different. During this time, we run a Tunnel Walk video on the huge video board to get the crowd pumped up for the team’s arrival onto the court. Once the team runs out of the tunnel, I get live shots of the team and the crowd going crazy ready to cheer on their Huskers.
7 p.m. – Game action
It is easy to work a camera on the sidelines when everything is scripted out. However, during live game action, nothing is scripted and anything can happen at any given time. Once the first serve has been made, everyone on headset hears our director say, “Nice pregame everyone, now we’re in-game, so let’s rock it.” This helps everyone know that we need to stay focused on every play and be ready for the live production.
During live game action, we put our camera one’s high angle shot on the huge video board so that people can watch the screen if they choose. After a play is over, especially if the Huskers win the point, we use our camera two or camera three’s low angle shot for replays in slow motion. The major focus of the down angle cameras is to gather reaction shots, also known as “hero” shots. This helps the crowd see the emotion from the players on the court.
9:40 p.m. – Postgame – Locker room
Once the game is over, I sprint into the Nebraska locker room to gather locker room footage of the team. I record coach John Cook’s postgame speech to the team regardless of a win or a loss. These speeches go on social media where Nebraska volleyball fans are able to get an inside look at the team following a match. Some of the footage I gather is funny and the team goofing around, but other times it is filled with emotion and motivational talks.
10 p.m. – Press conference
The last piece to a volleyball game day at Nebraska is the player’s and coach’s press conference following each game. This is a live stream on Facebook and Twitter so that fans who were not able to be at the game or see the game can hear the player’s and coach’s thoughts. These press conferences usually last 30 minutes.
To sum it up, working at HuskerVision is a great experience, but it means long nights during game days. Normally, I clock five or six hours on a game day, depending on how many sets are played. While I enjoy watching the volleyball team play, my main focus is giving the fans of Nebraska volleyball the fan experience they want and ultimately deserve. I wouldn’t trade working at HuskerVision for any other job during my college career.