We now cut away to a terrible viewby Eric Schwartz
I can recall many times during my younger years, getting a new sports video game and checking it out for the first time. One of my favorite things to do was check out all of the different camera angles that the game had to offer. I would typically flip through the seven or eight options (or two or three back in the Sega days) and try each out for about 10 or 15 seconds. That’s all it took for me to realize that the original angle was set as the default for the game for a reason. The other angles either cut out part of the game or made me dizzy. In other words, they stunk.
Either way it was a lesson I learned early: There is no need to change a camera view when the one you got gets the job done.
I only wish the major networks would pick up on that clue.
If you have caught much of the NCAA Tournament you have surely seen some of the camera angles in question. For ninety-nine percent of the time they give you the same view, the one your eyes are used to and have come to admire. Then for one or two possessions each half we get a special view, one flipped around from what we have been looking at the whole time, and quite frankly distracting. I don’t need an aerial view, I really don’t.
The NCAA is not the only sport hurt by production. Flip on CSN and check out a Flyers game and you will surely see what I have dubbed “The Goal Cam.” They go to this behind the net view during power plays. To be fair the angle isn’t as bad as the result. I swear every time they flip to that view the other team scores a goal. Check it out. I’m not lying.
For what it’s worth I do believe there is a place for new camera angles. The NFL gets it right. A few years ago they introduced cameras that glided on a wire over the center of the field. However, they introduced it the right way. The vast majority of the time this view is used simply for replays. It gives the fan a different angle of a play that they saw from the original viewpoint.
By doing this they add to the viewers experience, rather than take away. I would applaud them for their use of their cameras but this is “Grinding My Gears” not “Making My Day.”
So get with it NCAA and NHL production directors. Sometimes the simplest view, is the right one.