Background Info: Don Nehlen is a former head coach of the West Virginia University “Mountaineers” football team. For 20 years, he lead the team to winning seasons and bowl games. Nehlen retired from his successful coaching career in 2000. You know you’re appreciated when the road to Mountaineer Stadium is named Don Nehlen Drive.

A few years ago, West Virginia University Healthcare performed triple-bypass heart surgery, which saved his life. Coach Nehlen agreed to be featured in a TV commercial for the WVUH Heart Institute.

This commercial is an example of combining the best image quality attributes of 2 completely different 1080P HDTV cameras. I shot all of Coach Nehlen’s on-camera interview scenes with my Sony F900R. All the cutaways or “B-Roll” scenes were shot with my Panasonic AF100.

Personally, I’m sick of seeing “interview” spots where the subject is looking and talking off-camera to some nondescript, unidentified person. I wanted Coach Nehlen to tell his story, first person, directly to the home viewer. I resurrected an idea and technology that I first pioneered in the mid-eighties. We hooked 2 cameras and teleprompters together so the coach could talk directly to a virtual image of the interviewer’s face which appeared to “float” in front of the camera’s lens. The technique worked very well and added to the believability and sincerity of the Coach’s on-camera delivery. Thanks to Gary, Jay, Heidi and Mary of WVUH’s marketing team for putting up with my crazy production techniques…

The HDTV commercial is scheduled to begin airing in August throughout West Virginia.

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