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[PODCAST EP05] Directing Live Sports with Greg Hartung

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directing-live-sports-with-greg-hartung-2

 In Episode 5 of The Production Channel, Stephen Bowles and Clem Harrod discuss life in the live sports realm with Orlando Magic Broadcast Director, Greg Hartung. With over 35 years of experience stemming from local television news, Greg chats with the guys about his antics with old technology in the news room, his life-changing move to directing live sports, and the necessary skills for a great game day broadcast.

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Greg began his career at the only TV station in Bowling Green, Kentucky; he gained news experience doing everything from TV directing, audio, graphics and teleprompting. Fast forward 20 years and several promotions through various news markets, Greg decided to make a change from the news room to the control room working sports TV. He expressed that he was “really kind of burnt out on the whole news thing. So, it was just an easy decision to make once the opportunity presented itself for enough work.” In the year 2000, he became a full time freelance technical director and director. His first NBA break was directing for the Denver Nuggets, then a couple of years later, he moved south and started his run with the Orlando Magic. Greg has been a permanent fixture for the last nine years leading the broadcast for The Magic and Fox Sports.

Once the basketball season starts, Greg and his producer receive all their truck, transmission and crew info from the team office, and they hit the ground running to develop the game day. Just like most live productions, the broadcast crew holds a production meeting at the beginning of their work day with all the “team players” such as the announcers, sideline person, graphics operator, tape operator, etc. and discuss the pregame show. Then, they move on to brainstorm what happens when the game is on air. He states, “The most important part of the meeting is deciding what we are going to do at the open of the broadcast. That is where we get most ideas and discussion.” In the truck, Greg talks to the technical director regarding camera shots and video effects. He also has his own responsibilities for several hours designing the “Fox Box” with the presentation of the sponsors, team rosters and statistics. Ultimately, Greg has a meeting with the camera operators to hand out head shot sheets and talk about the overall schedule for interviews and sound bytes. It’s a busy day, but Greg and his team can make it look like clockwork.

The basketball schedule puts serious demands on the Orlando Magic team which makes business travel challenging for both the players and the broadcast crew. When asked about the season schedule, Greg reveals, “It’s fun, it’s exhilarating, and then they’re days that it’s grueling…we’re traveling after the game 41 times a year.” He says that though they take luxury charter flights, the team never takes off before 11:00 PM, often arriving to their destinations after 2:00-3:00 AM and many times through multiple time zones. Greg says his wife is also in the TV production business and recognizes the attention his job requires. “She gets what I do. She understands the demands of being on the road…she understands that’s what I need to do.”

Tune in as Greg Hartung, Stephen and Clem scratch the surface on the life and responsibilities of an NBA broadcast director and what it takes to make a successful game day production for both the crew and fans alike.

Full Podcast Transcript

Stephen Bowles:
Well, welcome everybody we got another episode this week, but real quick let me introduce my co-host, Clem Harrod. What up Clem?

Clem Harrod:
Yeah man. Production Channel.

Stephen Bowles:
How you doing man?

Clem Harrod:
Man, you know I’m doing wonderful. Just finished gig on on the road. Now, I’m back home. Daddy daycaring it. Having a great time with the kids and the family. About to do some laundry today. It’s wash Wednesday.
Stephen Bowles: There you go. Let me guess is it all blacks? You basically run 1 load and it’s all blacks.

Clem Harrod:
Man, you know I don’t wear show black. I can’t wear show black man, it’s just not, it’s just not in my nature. I can’t do it.

Stephen Bowles:
I have to say that Clem is the classiest backstage dresser that I possibly know. That’s for sure.

Clem Harrod:
Oh, Chris Jeffries, Christ Jeffries is pretty good too.

Stephen Bowles:
That’s true. That’s true. Well, cool man. Hey dude, I’m really super stoked about today. Today, we get to move into a new world that we really haven’t talked about yet here on The Production Channel and that is really moving into the world of sports and broadcasts and really even touching a little bit more into the news side. So, Clem who do we have on with us today?

Clem Harrod:
Aw man, we have my friend. My former director, Mr. Greg Hartung. He is the director for the Orlando Magic Broadcast for Fox Sports Florida. Man, he’s been the director there … He was with the Denver Nuggets before that, 35+ years of experience. Man, this is my buddy, like I’m so looking forward to having this conversion with him.

Stephen Bowles:
Welcome Greg.Greg on magic court

Greg Hartung:
Hey guys.

Stephen Bowles:
Thanks for joining man.

Greg Hartung:
Clem, I’ve been on the road for 12 days. Do you have some laundry you can do … I mean can you do my laundry?

Clem Harrod:
Can I do your laundry? No!

Greg Hartung:
I don’t think I have anything that’s black in there either, so.

Clem Harrod:
Right, right, yep, yep, just a lot of button downs.

Stephen Bowles:
He works in a broadcast truck so he doesn’t have to do the show black stuff.

Greg Hartung:
Nope.

Clem Harrod:
Right, right. No, he is … Greg is button down all the time. I love it. I love it. So, Greg just tell us how you got your start in this industry. Give us the beginning of your journey.

Greg Hartung:
Well guys, I went to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, go Hilltoppers!

Clem Harrod:
Hilltoppers.

Greg Hartung:
Started in local news after that at the 1 local TV station in town. Opened my eyes, you know and learned so much in the 2 and 1/2 years that I worked in local TV. Bounced around, it feels like 100 places but finally, after close to 20 years of doing local TV I had the opportunity to start moving into sports TV. Then, in about 2000 became a full time freelancer, both doing technical directing work and some directing work. A few years after that, got my opportunity to start directing NBA games for the Denver Nuggets and then 2 years later moved on to the Orlando Magic. I’ve been doing games for the Magic and Fox Sports for the last 9 years.

Stephen Bowles:
That’s awesome!

Clem Harrod:
Wow.

Stephen Bowles:
What was your first role at that TV station? That local TV station.

Greg Hartung:
You really want to know?

Stephen Bowles:
I do.

Greg Hartung:
Everything!

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah.

Greg Hartung:
When you’re in the 212th market and there is 1 station in town, you literally did everything.

Stephen Bowles:
I’m sure. [inaudible 00:03:48] and called the cameras.

Greg Hartung:
You know what? I love telling this story. We used … You know in a local TV teeny, tiny market, you’re doing everything. I was directing the local, the morning newscast, which I think back in those days maybe had a 15-30 minute new casts. Part of my responsibilities was, let’s see here, I was the director, technical director, audio guy, graphics person and during commercial breaks, this is at the very start of when you started getting teleprompters in the studio. I would have to run to the studio during commercial breaks and change out the long strip of paper teleprompter for the anchor because he would run his own prompter with the controller but part of my duty was to still go change out his paper for him in the commercial breaks.
Stephen Bowles: Oh my gosh! You know what? That tells me how young I am and I’m not even that young anymore but still, compared you old man, I’ve never even knew.

Greg Hartung:
Old man?


Stephen Bowles:

I never even knew that used to have paper based teleprompters, legitimately.

Greg Hartung:
Oh yeah. The strips were … You had to rip, you had to physically rip the strips. It was 4 or 5 copies with … Back in those days it was with carbon in between, so you had to sort of rip the carbon out. Everybody got, you know, the anchors got the white copy. The pink copy was graphics or something, something. You know the …

Clem Harrod:
Weren’t those flammable?

Greg Hartung:
Yes. The top copy with best ink was what you put on the prompter, you know, with its little camera on there. You would go down before the show started and sort of lay out the segments, tape them all together and hang them on the wall. Then, during the breaks I would have to run down and move the … We had a tape dispenser that you’d sit on the conveyor belt. You’d take that off, replace the script and put it back down because otherwise if you didn’t put the tape dispenser on it would be too heavy on the far end that was already on the ground and all of a sudden you would see the paper go flying off onto the ground. So, then the anchor really had nothing to read.

Stephen Bowles:
I’m adding that to the list of things that I’ve never experienced right up there next to traditional slide projectors. By the time that came into the industry, we already had PowerPoint.Greg behind the scenes

Greg Hartung:
I did that too.

Clem Harrod:
You were a projectionist?

Greg Hartung:
Well, yeah, you could call it that. You know, you were have to … Back in those days, you had slides that you used on the over the shoulder graphics. We used to use the coffee stirs. You would put them in the film chain to line up the slides so that they weren’t all crooked and stuff. You never knew how they were going to load in there, so you would use the coffee stirs to sort of, to level things out. That’s what you did. You did what you had to do to make it look good.

Clem Harrod:
I know that’s right. So, how did you make it from news to sports? You said you were local television to sports.

Greg Hartung:
Yeah. Well, I moved to … After bouncing around a few local markets and moving my way up when I … I was working in Tampa and 2 friends of mine were living out in Denver at the time. They’re like you should move out to Denver. You’d love it out here. There’s a, you know … Part of the deal was there was a vibrant sports production community out there. So, I kept my job working at the local TV station. I stayed there for another 2 or 3 years after I got there, but gradually more and more I started doing the local sporting events out there. You know, I quickly realized that was my … That, that was going to be my, you know, my first real big change in my career path. Even though I was staying in TV just going from local news to sports. So, after, you know, after like I said a couple or 3 years all of a sudden it was like well you know I’m working all the time doing sports and I’m really kind of burned out on the whole news thing. So, it was just, it was an easy decision to make once the opportunity presented itself for enough work.

Stephen Bowles:
Right.

Greg Hartung:
That was right about 2000, so.

Clem Harrod:
What was your first role on the sports side? Because when I started, I started off as utility and then I did some, you know, in house jumbo tron shooting and then a scoreboard operator before I became a camera operator.

Stephen Bowles:
I didn’t know you were a scoreboard operator, Clem. Holy cow!

Clem Harrod:
Oh for the camera, yeah I shot the in house a little bit.

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah.

Clem Harrod:
You got to work your way up. Got to get your training.

Stephen Bowles:
That’s right.

Greg Hartung:
Well, for me, because I had so much experience and I knew the switcher there was an opportunity for me to just pretty much bypass a lot of the, well you know, grunt work and go straight into the technical director’s chair. So, it was actually …

Clem Harrod:
You didn’t have to wrap any cables?

Greg Hartung:image-uploaded-from-ios-3
Clem, have you ever seen me wrap a cable?

Clem Harrod:

You didn’t load any bins?

Greg Hartung:
You’ve never seen me wrap a cable. I did. I admit my over under form is terrible. I have no problem loading bins or tubs or camera cases or anything. I have no problem loading that on the truck but you do not want to give me a cable because it will look terrible when I’m done with it.

Stephen Bowles:
So, give me and our audience an idea of what you mean by technical director. Are you talking about TD switching?

Greg Hartung:
Yeah, TD switching just, you know, punching buttons.

Stephen Bowles:
Punching cameras, that’s right. Okay, so then you were doing that for the Nuggets. We’re you doing that for like the local broadcast or were you interacting with the team that sort of dong the jumbo tron, like scoreboard production?

Greg Hartung:
I was doing, I was working for, I believe at that point it was Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, so I was the technical director on, I started on the away shows for the Rockies away shows, away crews when they would come to Denver, the Nuggets, the Avalanche. Didn’t really involve myself with the Broncos any because those, you know, with being the local stadium shows and the big networks coming in, you know there’s not much of a need for people with, people that are locals except for the utility work when they come to town. So, I didn’t bother myself with with the Broncos but between the Rockies, Avalanche, Nuggets, you know I was probably working, just from those 3, upwards of 150 days a year.

Stephen Bowles:
Geesh.

Clem Harrod:
Okay. When you were with the local station, you were full time correct?

Greg Hartung:
I started off as part-time just because it was going to be easier to start doing sports, but I worked my way into full time, you know, after [inaudible 00:11:09]. There were I don’t know 5 or 6 directors on staff and you know, so I would say within …

Clem Harrod:
So, you had a full time job and then transitioned into freelance?

Greg Hartung:
Yes. I’ve mentioned the story a few times. When I bought my house in 1997, it was April of ’97, and I ended up because of double dipping and whatnot. Clem, you know what double dipping is.

Clem Harrod:
Yeah, yeah.

Greg Hartung:
I worked.

Clem Harrod:
What you trying to say? Hold on, hold on.


Greg Hartung:

Yeah, I know. I know.

 

Clem Harrod:
Just because I was tardy a couple of times.

Greg Hartung:
By a couple, you mean dozens right? No, I would say that I worked 32 days in a 30 day month.

Stephen Bowles:
Geesh.

Greg Hartung:
In that month, I probably had 4 or 5 days where I was doing local news in the morning and then going and TDing, well in April it could have been any 3 of those sports. So, you know, I said I worked 32 days in a 30 day month.

Stephen Bowles:
What were the switchers you were TDing on back in the day?

Greg Hartung:
Oh back then we were on the Grass Valley 3K and 4K. You might see an old 300 floating around probably back in those days. I think … I remember when Mountain Mobile which turned into Mobile TV group, which is what we still, they’re still the vendor for our Magic shows for the TV trucks. They built, back then it was mobile 2 and mobile 3. They both had a Grass Valley 3000 in there, so.

Stephen Bowles:
Wow. My first production switch I ever switched on was a Grass Valley 110 I think they called it or a 100 whatever it was.

Greg Hartung:
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stephen Bowles:
It’s like this little tiny switcher composite only and, but I loved it. It did the basics preview. You [inaudible 00:13:09] program, you know, with like 1 [inaudible 00:13:10] out. So, it was great.

Greg Hartung:
Somebody on Facebook a couple of years ago posted the switcher that we had in Bowling Green at my first job and to look at that thing from 34 years ago and look at what we have today. It’s unbelievable. The switchers that we’re running now. The latest greatest Grass Valley K Frame has over 1000 buttons on it.

Stephen Bowles:
Geesh.

Greg Hartung:
You’re not even talking about the menus that it has, you know once you get into the computer side of it. There’s physically over 1000 buttons on the switcher now.

Stephen Bowles:
Did you see the recent …

Clem Harrod:
How many buttons did you have before?

Stephen Bowles:
What’s that?

Clem Harrod:
I was just wondering how many MEs did he start off with comparing to what they are now?

Greg Hartung:
Oh, I think we might’ve, there might have been 2. One for sure. I mean program preset and probably 1 ME, if I had to remember what the picture looked like

Greg working on a laptopStephen Bowles:
That’s nuts. Did you see the recent Star Wars Rouge I?

Greg Hartung:
I haven’t yet. I have been trying to get there because we’ve been on a long road trip.

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah.

Greg Hartung:
I had plans to go see it twice and I have not seen it yet.
Stephen Bowles: Well, the best part about it is, I mean anyone who has ever directed and switched cameras pretty much knows that the original Star Wars …

Greg Hartung:
Yep.

Stephen Bowles:
Death Star gets launched on a Grass Valley. I forget which one it is, but a pretty classic-like production switcher.

Greg Hartung:
I think it might have been the 1600, yeah.

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah. So, in Rogue 1 it’s, you know, sort of going back in time and telling stories at a very similar point in time. They totally pull out the original production switcher again. You see them pull the T bar and it just makes … Anyone who has ever called or punched cameras just kind of, you get this smiley belly laugh going on when you are watching it.

Clem Harrod:
I know I did.

Stephen Bowles:
You did? Yeah, that’s cool.

Clem Harrod:
Greg, I heard you mention that you hadn’t seen it yet because you’ve been traveling so much. What is that season schedule like with the Magic?

Greg Hartung:
It’s fun, it’s exhilarating and then they’re days its grueling. We got in last night, traveled in from Denver. Last night wasn’t too bad because we had a 3 p.m. local time tip, so we got here to New Orleans, yeah we’re in New Orleans. So, we got to the hotel just about midnight last night. A lot of days we are, you know, traveling after the game because we have 41 road games. We’re traveling after the game 41 times a year.

Stephen Bowles:
Dang.

Greg Hartung:
We’re never, you know we never take off before 11 p.m. If you happen to be flying east and cross time zones like we did yesterday, it gets even later. We are routinely getting into the city we are going to and getting to the hotel after 2 a.m. A couple of weeks ago we had 2 instances out of 3 days, just with travel and delays and airports, where we got New York at 3:45 in the morning and then after the game 2 days later we got to Orlando at 3:30 in the morning.

Stephen Bowles:
Yikes!

Clem Harrod:
You’re talking about delays, but we’re talking about private plane, the team plane though, right? They’re private.

Greg Hartung:
Yeah. Not necessarily anymore. There’s a charter service that Delta runs that most of the NBA teams and a lot NHL teams subscribe to. So, I’m not going to complain. It is luxury flying. It’s a whole plane, a 757 now of all first class seats and whatnots.

Stephen Bowles:
What?

Greg Hartung:
I’m not going to complain about that. That’s not too bad. Yeah, Clem you’d have enough leg room.Greg at Orlando City Soccer

Stephen Bowles:
Do you get your miles with Delta for traveling all that?

Greg Hartung:
No and we don’t get any hotel points either. That is 1 downside but I’m not going to complain.

Stephen Bowles:
Oh my gosh. I would be. That much travel and I don’t get my miles. I would be …

Greg Hartung:
Well, I’m not paying for the flight and it’s always like I said, you know, we are in the back of the plane, but it’s first class seats. It’s only 4 across.

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah.

Greg Hartung:
There’s room to get stretched out.

Stephen Bowles:
All right. So, I got a question then. I mean, I guess just give us a high level overview of this sports broadcast industry where you’re sort of traveling with 1 team, like how does that work? Basically, are you, do you have a contract for the season and then how do you sort of get your marching orders? Who are you interacting with? Are you interacting with Fox Sports on when the bird’s live? All that kind of stuff. Give us kind of like an overview of what this part of the industry is as a whole.

Greg Hartung:
For us, we have, you know I get my paperwork for our TV trucks, transmission info, crew info, and all that, that comes from the office. I would say they pretty much leave us alone for the most part once the season starts. We’ll have a few meeting before the season. Once the season starts, I wouldn’t say we are on our own. If there’s something that needs our attention they’ll let us. They know and understand that we’re professionals and we’ve, you know and in my case and my producer’s case, between the 2 of us in sports TV, we’ve got, just doing sports we’ve both got combined over 30 years experience.

Stephen Bowles:
Yikes.

Greg Hartung:
They know that we know what we’re doing, so they kind of leave us alone. We have our, generally on game days we’ll get up and have a production meeting. The producer, myself, the announcers, our sideline guy, the graphics person, our main EVS or tape person, we’ll have a production meeting in the morning and discuss what we are going to do that day for the pregame show, whatever our responsibility is for the pregame show whether it’s just a couple of hits because we’ve got studio support of if we have to do the whole pregame show ourselves. Then, you know, the most important part of that meeting is deciding what we are going to do with the open of the broadcast. That is kind of where we get the most ideas and discussion. Then, after that we’ll get a couple of hours off, go get some breakfast or something. Then, we show up at the truck.
We’ve also sort of got our own responsibilities once we get to the truck. You know, I will talk to the TD and get him started on what we need for the day. I’ve got it, after so many years I’ve kind of got it down pretty pat. There’s 4 sheets that I will hand the TD. One is sort of outlining what my expectations are with what he has got to get built. Another sheet will list all the cameras we’re going to have for the day. Another sheet that’s got all the video effects we are going to need for the day. Then, the latest one I did is sort of, it’s almost a storyboard of what some of the effects look like.

Clem Harrod:
That’s like getting your presets together?

Greg Hartung:

Yeah, yeah. So, I will get that to the TD. Go over the run down and sort of mark that up with, you know once we hit air so I’m not totally unfamiliar with what exactly is gong to happen. Then, I will usually grab the Fox box because I have a … I like to see things a certain way on the Fox box with how our statistics, that we pop up out of the box, are presented. So, I’ll usually sit back there on the away games. On the home games, I let my guy at home do it, but on the away shows I’ll take responsibility for it. I’ll sit back there for an hour or 2 and just make sure that’s all our sponsors are loaded correctly. All the roosters and stats are updated. Put in the stuff that I want to get put in how it’s going to look.

Clem Harrod:
So, you go back your graphics in news too?

Greg Hartung:
Well, sort of. I like being hands on. I just don’t like …. So, it’s good for me. I can’t TD and direct the show, which would be great. You just can’t do that anymore. The shows have gotten way too big for that. So, for me I can still keep my hands in it and be a little more hands on if I’m getting the Fox Box set up for the operator. So, that takes up, you know a good probably 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours of what I’m trying to get done throughout the day. Then, it’s meet with the … Once the cameras get all set up and stuff, it’s meet with the camera guys. Hand out my head shot sheets. We take our meal break and come back and do the preproduction we need to. Then, you know all of a sudden, usually most days before you know it, it’s time to tip off.

Clem Harrod:
Talking about tip off, I would love to kind of get … I mean you and I have worked together for, you said 9 years. You said you started with the Magic 9 years ago. So, you and I have worked together for 9 years. Our crew has pretty much stayed the same. Maybe 1 or 2 people have changed but we’ve established, you know, working relationship. I understand or I guess I would say that we both understand what each other needs and what each other can do. So, how do you work with your home team versus your away team?

Greg Hartung:
Oh Clem, you know what the answer to that is. No. Our camera meetings at home are very short and simple compared to the ones I do on the road. We have a lot more fun on the home show camera meetings. I all the time ask hey what was your … One of the ones that I did earlier this year, I asked everybody on the crew, I just sort of informally what’s the nontraditional food you are going to have at Thanksgiving? You know, we don’t have that much fun on the road. Usually, the camera meeting on the road we’ll discuss more of the schedule of what’s going to happen throughout the day as far as any pretaped interviews or sound bites or where they handheld cameras need to be at certain points of the day.

Clem Harrod:
If we need to go in the locker rooms.

Greg Hartung:
Yeah, if we’re doing what we call Laces and Faces in the locker room, any of that stuff, I’ll go over that.

Clem Harrod:
Walk-ins, don’t forget the walk-ins.

Greg Hartung:
Yeah, the walk-ins. Clem’s favorite shot. Clem watch out for the pole.

Clem Harrod:
You got to walk the player. For anybody who doesn’t know, the walk-in is when you walk the player off the bus and to the locker room. Almost every game, we are picking a player and walking him from the bus to the locker room. We’re always like well why can’t we prerecord these and just pull them out whenever?

Greg Hartung:
Well, because they change their clothes and hairstyles and all that.

Stephen Bowles:
They get a new tattoo within a day.

Greg Hartung:
You can get somebody of Clem’s height and pretty much just put some generic clothing on him and we could Photoshop a face in and just have Clem walking.

Stephen Bowles:
Clem is the ultimate NBA pro star stand in right there. That’s right.

Greg working in front many screensClem Harrod:
I was. That was my job as an intern.

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah?

Clem Harrod:
With the Magic, yeah.


Greg Hartung:

His beard is getting a little gray now though, so.

Stephen Bowles:
So, I got a question for you.

Greg Hartung:
He looks more like a coach now. Yeah, go ahead.

Stephen Bowles:
Talk to me about, kind of like the hand off or relationship you have with in game entertainment, sort of like the production, so i.e., Shelly, I know that we get to hang with Shelly quite a bit just because they use Show Flow for like kind of doing their run downs and all that stuff. So, I’ve gotten to see how they sort of go through preparation of pregame.

: Shelly at the Orlando Magic.

Stephen Bowles:
Shelly at the Orlando Magic, yep, that’s right. Talk to me about how the truck and sort of the in house sort of control room interact. How much do you guys overlap your sort of times leading up to tip off?

Greg Hartung:
For us, really we don’t have, to be honest we don’t have much of an interaction once we get in the game. The break structure is set by the NBA, so they kind of do their thing in house and we just do our thing. We toss to commercial. We get paperwork from them, you know generally who’s the anthem singer tonight, who’s the halftime entertainment, but really the only time that we … You know we may see Shelly on camera when there’s a review of a call just because the camera shot you know. She is sitting right down there near the monitors for the referees.

Stephen Bowles:
Right.

Greg Hartung:
Other than that, there’s not … Other than seeing her in the hall and saying hey Shelly how’s it going, there’s not much that I see her on. My producer probably sees her and talks to her a little more but I don’t necessarily interact with her.

Stephen Bowles:
On the games when one of the major networks are picking it up, are you guys replaced at that point or you running parallel? Is Fox still shooting?

Greg Hartung:
It depends.

Clem Harrod:
You haven’t done that in a while huh Greg?

Greg Hartung:
We do have 1 coming up. I don’t remember who it is but we do have an ESPN game. I believe it’s a home game too. There are exclusives for TNT on Thursdays and ABC on Sundays. If it is an ESPN game any other day we are right there next to them. So, those are kind of nice. They usually have a couple more resources than we do and there is a pretty good working relationship. They have to come over and they’ll want some video or something. So, it’s usually pretty good give and take as far as you know hey do you have this? Can we borrow this? So, that’s kind of nice on those days. Like Clem said, yeah it’s been a couple, maybe 3 or 4 years since we have even had an ESPN game.

Clem Harrod:
Yeah. I remember when we were doing very well, the Magic. We had Dwight Howard. We just had a better record overall and we had a lot of those overlapping games. We were traveling. The team was exciting. Everything was going well for us. I think during that time is when you got married. Am I right with that?

Greg Hartung:
Actually, it’s been 4 years now.

Clem Harrod:
Four years, okay.

Greg Hartung:
That was the first Jacque Vaughn year, so it was right after that.

Clem Harrod:
Yeah, yeah. How has that whole schedule, the Magic and all that effected your relationship with your wife? I know she is in the industry as well, but overall …

Stephen Bowles:
Oh, she is? That’s awesome.

image-uploaded-from-ios-6Greg Hartung:
Yeah. So, luckily my wife is fantastic. Love her to death. She gets what I do. She understands the demands of being on the road for, in this case, 12 days. She is very excited that I’m coming home tomorrow. She doesn’t like to look at the schedule. She does not like to know when I’m gone, but she understands that’s what I need to do. So, it’s usually not an issue. It makes the honey do list a little bit bigger when I got home.

Stephen Bowles:
Honey do list.

Greg Hartung:
All the stuff that has been, you know, put off for the last 12 days all of a sudden has to be done.

Clem Harrod:
We over stand. Other people in the industry over stand what you are saying.

Stephen Bowles:
So, what does she do? What kind of stuff does she do in the industry.

Greg Hartung:

She does graphics at a golf channel.

Stephen Bowles:
Oh, nice. Here in Orlando, nice.

Greg Hartung:
Yeah, she started there when they launched, so 22 years ago whatever that number is. She has been with them that whole team.

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah, I get it. My wife, Carley, she works for an Orlando based production company, TEK, that Clem and I know very well. Anyways, it’s funny by the time I came off the road from gigging, you know, pretty much a couple of weeks a month and really worked on Show Flow and getting that off the ground, I met her. Then, she goes and works for a production company and so know she’s on the road. It’s like a trade off. We get it and that’s just kind of the nature of the injury I guess.

Greg Hartung:
Well, my wife and I knew each other from local news in Tampa back in the early 90s and, you know, we would socialize at work but that was about it. Then, you know, I get the job with the Magic and all of a sudden we found ourselves spending more and more time hanging out with each other. So, that was kind of nice.

Stephen Bowles:
So, what do you do when you’re off season from the Magic? What is kind of your summer sport, etc., what do you do?

Greg Hartung:
I still have 1 foot in the Denver market. I would not say I have both feet anymore but I sill have 1 foot in the Denver market so I get back there 5 or 6 times a summer just to do some TD work. You know, I still love punching buttons. There are visiting teams that come in and do the Rockies and they request me to work their games. You sort of have to admit Denver in the summertime might be a little bit better than Orlando in the summertime.

Stephen Bowles:
Just a little.

Greg Hartung:
So, it’s a nice break to get out there for 4, 5 or 6 days and, you know, tend to things out in Denver. Enjoy the dry weather.

Stephen Bowles:
Yeah. Well, we got to wrap Greg but I mean I just got to say it, this was awesome! I really, really appreciate it. Just hearing your perceptive and sort of your tiny little slice which is just the nuggets and the magic of this great industry. Already, it’s a different voice that we have had on this podcast so far. Again, I just really want to say thank you for joining us today.

Greg Hartung:
It’s been a pleasure. If you need a part 2, I’m game.Greg on an equipment box

Stephen Bowles:
That’s what I was just thinking Clem. I was like we got to get him in for part 2 because we basically just scratched the surface of it.

Greg Hartung:
Barely, yeah, for sure.

Clem Harrod:
Did you hear that if you were interested in part 2, I’m game. Did you hear the pun there?

Stephen Bowles:
I heard that. Well everybody again just thank you so much for tuning in again for another week of The Production Channel. This is what we want to do. We want to bring you guys the latest and greatest really from across the whole industry. Today, we got sports. We’re also bringing house of worship. We’re bringing event production. We’re bringing concerts. So, if you know anybody who wants to get involved or wants to share their story have them reach out to Clem or I or go to TheProductionChannel.com.

Clem Harrod:
I want to hear some Broadway, you know.

Stephen Bowles:
Oh, Broadway. Some theater.

Clem Harrod:
I’m going to get Broadway, you know. This is the last year of the circus. I want to hear about the circus life.

Stephen Bowles:
Oh, I know. I just heard about that. The circus. That stinks.

Clem Harrod:
Last year of the Ringling Brothers, you know. Let’s talk about some of that stuff. Let’s get some of those people in here to interview them.

Stephen Bowles:
Dude, I would love that. All right, well thank you again everybody and tune in next week on The Production Channel.

Clem Harrod:
[inaudible 00:33:07]

 

To find out more about Greg, Fox Sports and the Orlando Magic check out these links:

“Enterprising director Greg Hartung looked up the box score of the 1989 game…”

“FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Sun receive 25 Suncoast Emmy nominations”

FoxSports Florida

The Orlando Magic


Learn more about Shoflo at https://shoflo.tv
Learn more about clemco.av at https://www.facebook.com/CLEMCO.AV/

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