Game Changer

Posted on Jun 11, 2014

Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners

On a glorious sun-splashed Seattle day I was where you often find yourself in the filmmaking business…in a room without windows color grading footage that was shot on a glorious, sun-splashed Seattle day.

While we were finessing colors about half a mile away, at Safeco Field, Felix Hernandez was finessing both sides of the plate on his way to a historically significant day; historical because he would face the minimum of 27 batters and significant because I had the good fortune of having a 5D in the back seat of my car that day.

By now anyone who is the least bit interested in filmmaking is no stranger to putting a “5” and a “D” together. Canon’s remarkable accident of streaming jpegs has had a profound effect on the business of moving imagery. If you prescribe to the idea that the best camera in the world is the camera you have with you, the Canon 5D might be the one you’d want.

King Felix had ruled the Tampa Bay Rays with an iron fist through five innings. Having finished the color grading session and eyeing the camera in the back seat, I parked the car to listen to the sixth. Felix struck out the side. Armed with a 24-105mm lens and a strap, I jogged to the ballpark and was sipping a beer on the concourse behind home plate by the time he took the mound to pitch the seventh. I wouldn’t finish the beer. The 5D is a powerful tool best operated with two hands.

And it is a game changer. The quality of imagery it spontaneously captured that day, thanks to a riveting performance by Felix Hernandez and some brilliant editing by Distillery contributor Brian Lee, turned into The Perfect Game. The commercial aired just five days later during the broadcast of Felix’s next start and accompanied him on his walk to the mound in front of 45,000 gold-clad fans.