Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Legends Behind the Lens: Doug Wilson

10/07/2020

Legends Behind the Lens: Doug Wilson One of sports TVs most creative minds took viewers on a 50-year journey spanning the globe By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Friday, July 10, 2020 - 12:00 pm

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

The story of American sports television is engrained in the history of this nation, rising on the achievements of countless incredible men and women who never once appeared on our screens. During this pause in live sports, SVG is proud to present a celebration of this great industry. Legends Behind the Lens is a look at how we got here seen through the people who willed it to be. Each weekday, we will share with you the story of a person whose impact on the sports-television industry is indelible.

Legends Behind the Lens is presented in association with the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund. In these trying times - with so many video-production professionals out of work - we hope that you will consider (if you are able) donating to the Sports Broadcasting Fund. Do so by visiting sportsbroadcastfund.org.

___________________________

By P.J. Bednarski

When the Director's Guild of America gave Doug Wilson its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, the word Lifetime must have seemed adequate. By 2008, when he retired, it seemed an understatement.

Wilson worked on ABC's Wide World of Sports as a director or producer for 50 years - nearly the entire existence of the landmark show. He says he covered 51 sports for that show, traveling the globe.

He produced and directed for 10 Olympics Games for ABC and Roone Arledge. Most of all, though, he made his reputation for excellence directing figure-skating competitions. He says he witnessed 360 performances featuring some of the Olympics' most beloved American heroes: Scott Hamilton, Dorothy Hamel, Peggy Fleming, JoJo Starbuck.

I tried to make the camera part of the performance, he says.

He would go to rehearsals and, at the end of the day, ask the coaches if the skaters could talk to him rinkside. I'd have them play their music and start a stopwatch, and they'd draw what they are doing at certain points in the song on special paper I had made.

That worked to a point. But it was tough to decipher all those chicken scratches. So Wilson began watching the performances and speaking camera directions to his assistant. She would furiously write down what he said at what point in the music and in the routine. Later on, they would decipher them and, by the day of the performance, decode that into instructions for the crew.

It worked. One of his favorites, and one that brought him much acclaim, was Brian Boitano's Gold Medal performance at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Chicago Tribune Olympics expert Phil Hersch, on the 20th anniversary of the skate, said, There may have never been a greater sports performance under pressure than what Brian Boitano did at the final at the 1988 Games.

Doug is a pioneer because he could do any sport. It could be a motorcycle jump. It could be the Olympics. Any sport you gave Doug, he'd figure out an innovative way to do it. He was one of the great storytellers of all time. CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus

Wilson's directed rendition of that performance has been seen over and over again.

Amazingly, after the Games, Boitano got in touch with Wilson who recalls that the skater declared, I want to skate on a glacier in Alaska.' I told him, Well, I don't think a glacier will be possible.' But ABC found a lake 3 hours north of Anchorage, amid mountains and wilderness and nothing else, and there Wilson produced a performance that he says was really a spiritual happening.

Boitano described it as the closest I'd come to being so touched I cried during a skating performance on a YouTube video of the event. It's worth watching.

Wilson's 2013 autobiography, The World Was Our Stage, recalls, Just by showing up for work I regularly saw people do extraordinary things.

Wide World of Sports revolutionized television, letting people learn about the real lives of the athletes they saw. It was a formula perfected by ABC's Olympics telecasts and carried over to ABC News when Arledge took the reins there, too.

The 84-year old Wilson has decades' worth of stories. Some just indicate how far television and technology have come. Today, live transmissions from Olympic sites are old hat. In 1964, pioneering satellite Telstar was orbiting Earth. I remember we had something like a 20-minute window to upload material, Wilson recalls, or we'd miss it.

And he remembers that sad Olympics in 1972. He didn't have a hand in covering what he repeatedly calls the horror but can't forget being in the control room when Jim McKay famously and sadly announced, They're all gone about the 11 Israeli athletes killed by Arab terrorists.

Whenever anybody tries to trace the history of terrorism, Wilson says, they trace it back to the 1972 Olympics. That was the beginning.

There are silly stories, too. Evel Knievel , though not a very good motorcyclist, was a shrewd businessman whose stunts often showed up on Wide World.

In 1975, he planned a stunt in which he would jump over a group of London buses at the 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium. Days before the jump, Wilson recalls, the stunt performer discovered that only 3,000 tickets had been sold. So, when he arrived in London, Knievel went on a rampage of insulting Britons to get them riled enough to show up to jeer him and hope for the worst.

He filled the stadium and successfully flew over 12 buses. Unfortunately, 13 were lined up. He fractured his pelvis and broke a hand, and Wide World and Wilson had a great story to tell.

Wilson arrived at WWS in 1963, two years after its debut, and was there at the end in 1998.

B
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2020/07/10/legends-behind-the-lens-doug-wi...
See more stories from svg

North America Stories

09/08/2020

TikTok Heads to TV

CULVER CITY, Calif.-TikTok has launched its first TV app on Amazon Fire TV devices. More on TikTok features curated video playlists and compilations from the m...

08/08/2020

Cisco Completes Acquisition of ThousandEyes

SAN JOSE, Calif. - August 7, 2020 - Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced it completed the acquisition of ThousandEyes. ThousandEyes' internet and cloud inte...

08/08/2020

Ross RSVP Helps Drone Champions League Deliver Virtual Racing

-- The ongoing pandemic has affected sports and live events everywhere, and esports has also had to adapt. The international esports company ESL recently work...

08/08/2020

Crystal Vision Releases First Dedicated M-PIP Device

-- Crystal Vision has released the industrys first dedicated picture-in-picture device. Designed for IP or SDI playout applications that need one or two pictu...

08/08/2020

METLIFE FOUNDATION COMMITS $500,000 TO LEBANON RELIEF EFFORT

METLIFE FOUNDATION COMMITS $500,000 TO LEBANON RELIEF EFFORT NEW YORK, August 07, 2020 MetLife Foundation announced today a commitment of $500,000 to help Le...

08/08/2020

NBA Returns: Inside the League's Monumental, Multi-Pronged Effort To Produce Quality Coverage

NBA Returns: Inside the League's Monumental, Multi-Pronged Effort To Produce...

07/08/2020

How we re working to keep our community safe, trusted, and ...

How we re working to keep our community safe, trusted, and professional Published on Aug 7, 2020 LinkedIn Corporate Communications Share LinkedIn Fac...

07/08/2020

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL, PRESENTED BY AT&T, WILL CELEBRATE TWO DECADES OF STORYTELLING WITH 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION JUNE 9 - 20, 2021

Press Materials: https://tribeca1.app.box.com/s/ow41lv1tyicpqprknsblwzj5sha4qdco...

07/08/2020

NAB Leadership Foundation Accepting Applications for 2021 Broadcast Leadership Training Program

NAB Leadership Foundation Accepting Applications for 2021 Broadcast Leadership T...

07/08/2020

NAB Highlights Wide-Ranging Support for Bill Expanding Broadcaster Loans

WASHINGTON-As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its fifth month, there is wide-ranging support for broadcasters to have greater access to loans that will hel...

07/08/2020

Report: Streaming Ads Experience COVID-Related Decline

FOSTER CITY, Calif.-Streaming is not immune to COVID-19-related impacts, as Conviva's State of Streaming report for Q2 2020 found that streaming video adv...

07/08/2020

FCC Sets C-Band Auction Procedures

WASHINGTON-The details for how interested parties can apply and participate in the C-band spectrum auction have been finalized by the FCC. The FCC, during its ...

07/08/2020

USC Partnering With Hollywood Studios to Test Limits of Virtual Production

LOS ANGELES-The University of Southern California has been the starting point for many well-known entertainment careers, and could now serve as a key point in t...

07/08/2020

Comcast Shelves' NBC Sky World News

PHILADELPHIA-Comcast has reportedly shelved its plans for an international news channel, which would have united its NBC News and Sky News brands. According to...

07/08/2020

NAB's Smith: Prognosis is Extremely Positive'

WASHINGTON-NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith provided an update following his medical scare on Aug. 5, sharing some positive news. According to his statement,...

07/08/2020

Dish Loses 96,000 Pay-TV Subscribers in Q2

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.-Dish Networks lost a total of 96,000 pay-TV subscribers in the second quarter of 2020, which includes customers of both Dish TV and Sling TV. ...

07/08/2020

Telegdy Leaves as NBCU Announces Reorganization

BURBANK, Calif.-Paul Telegdy, chairman of NBC Entertainment, is leaving the company as NBCUniversal announced a new structure for its TV and streaming business....

07/08/2020

Artificial Intelligence Alchemy

Artificial Intelligence AlchemyBy Paul Shen, TVU Networks August 7th, 2020 View Related Products Sir Isaac Newton, the 17th Century genius known for the law...

07/08/2020

Bill Hensley Joins RTI as Head of Global Marketing

SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Aug. 6, 2020 - RTI, a leading control and automation manufacturer, today announced that Bill Hensley has been named Head of Global Marketing, ...

07/08/2020

Bucket Brigade Delay FX Chain

I wanted a Bucket Brigade Delay (BBD) effect in Studio One. Seriously. Although some analog delays (e.g., Binson Echorec) were based on tape, others used analo...

07/08/2020

Ross RSVP Helps ESL and Drone Champions League (DCL) Deliver Drone Racing Virtually

Ottawa, Canada, August 7th 2020 - The ongoing pandemic has affected sports and l...

07/08/2020

Open Broadcast Systems launches SDI Card for Low-latency Software Era

-- Open Broadcast Systems has announced the launch of its own Serial Digital Interface (SDI) card. The SDI card features a range of operational advancements t...

07/08/2020

L-com Launches Passive Optical Fiber Taps for Fiber Optic Links

-- L-com, a preferred manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, announced today that it has just launched a new line of passive fiber optic ta...

07/08/2020

FOR-A Video Switcher Helps SeaCoast Church Expand Streaming Content

-- SeaCoast Grace Church in Cypress used to produce live streaming coverage of its three weekend services with its HVS-490 HANABI video switcher from FOR-A C...

07/08/2020

Brightline Expands LED SeriesONE Offerings for Studio Lights with Variable Color Temperature, RDM Control

-- Brightline, a leading manufacturer of energy efficient lighting systems, to...

07/08/2020

Digital Sprockets Restores Classic Mexican Films with Cintel Scanner

-- Blackmagic Design today announced that its Cintel Scanner and DaVinci Resolve Studio are being used at film restoration and post production facility Digita...

07/08/2020

Financial & Creative Implications of Filmmaking Amid the Pandemic

As Hollywood gets ready to reopen production after the global pandemic put filmmaking on a months-long hold, directors and producers are faced with tough questi...

07/08/2020

Get SoundEngine Sounds for 30% off!

Enjoy 30% off of all Sound Engine products right at shop.presonus.com! All are up for grabs at 30% off including: Clavinet and Pianet: Instantly recognizable, ...

07/08/2020

Get Justin Lassen's incredible Black Fox Society sounds for half price!

SAVE 50% Justin Lassen's incredible Add-ons for a limited time. Justin's Black Fox Society is available in two editions: Abstract, the lite edition...

07/08/2020

PBS Programs Lead News and Documentary Emmys with 48 Nominations

For the seventh consecutive year, PBS programs have earned more News & Documentary Emmy Award Nominations than any organization, with 48 nominations. The Natio...

07/08/2020

News Corp Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results for Fiscal 2020

News Corp Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results for Fiscal 2020 Fiscal 2020 Fourth Quarter Key Financial Highlights Beginning with the fourth quarter, ...

07/08/2020

Nielsen Annual Auto Marketing Report Encourages Brands to Pay Attention to Multicultural Consumers

We recently published the new Nielsen Annual Auto Marketing Report: Drive Connec...

07/08/2020

FOR-A Video Switcher Helps SeaCoast Grace Church Expand Streaming Content During COVID-19 Restrictions

FOR-A Video Switcher Helps SeaCoast Grace Church Expand Streaming Content During...

07/08/2020

SMPTE PUBLISHES MESA'S LANGUAGE METADATA TABLE STANDARD, PROVIDING NEEDED CODES FOR 200+ LANGUAGES

SMPTE PUBLISHES MESA'S LANGUAGE METADATA TABLE STANDARD, PROVIDING NEEDED CO...

07/08/2020

Berklee Establishes Danroy DJ Henry Social Change Scholarship

Berklee announces the establishment of the Danroy DJ Henry Social Change Scholarship. The scholarship was created in honor of Danroy DJ Henry, a Pace Univer...

07/08/2020

Berklee, ICA Present Harborwalk Sounds Virtual Concert Series

Berklee is partnering with Bostons Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) to present Harborwalk Sounds, a four-week virtual performance series. All concerts will...

07/08/2020

NAB Statement on NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith

NAB Statement on NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last night, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith, a former two-term Senator from Oregon, s...

07/08/2020

Message from NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith

Message from NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith WASHINGTON, D.C. - NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith today issued the following message: To my friends, I a...

07/08/2020

NAB Statement on Elimination of Radio Duplication Rule

NAB Statement on Elimination of Radio Duplication Rule WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to the Federal Communications Commissions approval of an order eliminatin...

07/08/2020

Inside the Launch of VENN 24/7 Gaming-Lifestyle Network in the Midst of the Pandemic

Inside the Launch of VENN 24/7 Gaming-Lifestyle Network in the Midst of the Pand...

07/08/2020

ESPN Tees Up Expansive PGA Championship Coverage

ESPN Tees Up Expansive PGA Championship Coverage NEP ND7 is home for featured-group coverage By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director Thursday, August 6, 2020...

07/08/2020

CBS Sports' PGA Championship Production Spans the Globe; Embraces Drones, Toptracer, 4D Replay

CBS Sports' PGA Championship Production Spans the Globe; Embraces Drones, To...

07/08/2020

Broadcast Management Group Keeps TD Ameritrade Network On-Air With Quick Thinking, Remote Production

Broadcast Management Group Keeps TD Ameritrade Network On-Air With Quick Thinkin...

07/08/2020

NBA Returns: Steve Hellmuth Discusses the Monumental and Multi-pronged Effort to Produce Quality Coverage

NBA Returns: Steve Hellmuth Discusses the Monumental and Multi-pronged Effort to...

07/08/2020

World Rally Championship To Return in a Flurry of Dust, Dirt, Remote Production Plans

World Rally Championship to return in a flurry of dust, dirt and remote producti...

07/08/2020

LAFC Accelerates Its Digital Fan Engagement With Live Social Video During Pandemic

LAFC Accelerates Its Digital Fan Engagement With Live Social Video During Pandem...

06/08/2020

TVyVideo: AVTech Ltda represents Broadcast Pix for Colombia

Colombia - Aug. 5, 2020 - Radio is listened to, it is what has always been experienced. However, today the radio is also seen. For this reason, AVTech Ltda, as ...

06/08/2020

Nautel and Telos Alliance Announce Collaborative Webinar Series

Nautel and Telos Alliance Announce Collaborative Webinar Series August 06, 2020 New collaborative webinar series kicks off August 13, focusing on the future ...