Meet the Playtesters- Behind the Scenes Part 2

Hi Everyone,

In our last behind the scenes section of Meet the Playtesters, we have our video editor/stand in video guy William. William is the head of the video department and likes to stay hidden behind the camera. Let’s take a look at William’s interview where he talks about what it is like to work with the Tennis Warehouse Playtesters.

William

How long have you been working at Tennis Warehouse?
6 years

What does your job entail?
-Managing the video department for Sports Warehouse.
-Editing all video/motion graphic content for Tennis & Running Warehouse
-Most importantly, cutting the heads off of Gummi Bears for the web editing dept.

What video experience do you have? (education)
-Shooting and editing since 1997
-Let’s just say when I was in school HD wasn’t out yet so my schooling only slightly prepared me.  In this field I learn every day how to do my job.

What is your favorite part about working at Tennis Warehouse?
-I’ve worked a lot of jobs before working here at TW, and it is by far the best run company I’ve ever worked for. I’ve read a lot about our customer service being great, and I think that is a result of the way this place is run. The “higher ups” actually care about you as an employee and treat you as a valuable member. That would be my favorite part.

Who is the playtester that gives you the most trouble and why?
Probably Brittany because I deal with her the most on video projects. She’s always wrong and I have to find new ways of showing her that…Kidding! (Interviewer’s Note: Hey! Not cool! I’m really the best! )

Who is the playtester that is the most efficient and why?
-Chris aka “One Take Wonder.” He’s been on camera since Day One so I would hope he’d be the most efficient.

Who is your favorite playtester?
-The one who gives me the best tennis play, which makes for the easiest time to edit their footage that week.

Who is your favorite pro player on tour right now?
-Fed4life
-Kirilenko (Even if she played tennis as badly as I do…I could watch her all day). Creepy? You’re just jealous.

What is a typical playtest like for you?
-When I’m shooting: They seem to make more mistakes just because I’m there and since it’s not scripted it can get messy. Pretty sure it’s a conspiracy.
-When I’m editing: I just love watching the point play footage. There are some great points that I get to analyze.

What has been your favorite roadtrip with Tennis Warehouse?
-French Open 2007 with Edwards shooting for Tecnifibre.  Seems so long ago but we’ll always have Gisela….

What was your favorite project you’ve done with tennis so far?
-Maybe not “project” (singular) but I really enjoyed the early vlogs. We had a lot of fun doing them back in the day because it was really the only video project our department had to do, so we could devote a lot of time to being creative.

What has been your favorite commercial to shoot and why?
-Probably our first commercial with Spencer promoting our demo program. We shot at night, the fog started rolling in (which was perfect) and we shot about 3hrs worth of footage for a 30sec spot. Needless to say, we learned a bit about shooting for commercials.

Any comments on bloopers?
-Never heard so much swearing in my life. I’ll miss Kana.

What is your best memory being a video editor for the TW playtest team?
-We played a joke on one of our old playtesters and edited his part to make him look terrible at tennis. He’d say, “I loved this racquet at net, got great volleys” and we’d show him fail after fail. He was a good sport about it and it’s only encouraged more abuse with other playtesters since. Oh and we never aired that portion of the review, we made him look good for the real one.

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I want to thank everyone for reading my Meet the Playtesters series.  I have had a lot of fun interviewing everybody and hope you learned something new about the playtesters.

Ad Out,

Brittany

Where are the short shorts?

The Tennis Channel is now airing the “100 Greatest of All Time.” We can argue all day and all night from now until eternity about who’s better, who’s best and who’s next. Preceding another “Greatest” installment, Tennis Channel aired a Wimbledon Classic, the 1990 men’s final between Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker. (Classic? Sigh, when did 1990 become classic?) It was fun to watch five sets of great tennis and oh that Edberg lob at 4-4 in the fifth for the break!

Watching this match got me thinking. Do you remember the days when the serve-and-volleyers ruled the lawns? When the wear pattern on the grass actually led toward the net? When Cyclops would beep and when there was an actual human brave enough to be the let judge at net? When women’s skirts showed less leg and men’s shorts a little more? Tennis, the game, has changed a lot in the past 20 years and so has its fashion.

Fred Perry Men's 2012 Tennis Pique Polo

We don’t see players like Edberg and Becker too often anymore, likewise we don’t see those short shorts on pros either. That doesn’t mean we should call serve-and-volleying dead, and it shouldn’t mean that guys should be scared to show off those knee caps. For the guy who likes to keep it classic, there are few options.

Edberg sported adidas on court, and Becker wore Fila. adidas has revived some old school flavor with its Modern Classics line. I particularly like the spring Spezial Jacket. But graphics with a retro flavor is where adidas draws the line. You will find no short shorts on the men’s adidas page, the women’s, yes, but not the guys. A 7-inch inseam is the shortest adidas men’s short you’ll find in tennis. Fila also brings back some of its heritage apparel with an entire vintage line that taps even deeper into tennis history with new versions of Bjorn Borg and Guillermo Vilas polos and jackets. Though the look is the same, you’ll find the fit has been updated and fits loose and baggy just like most of today’s tennis apparel. Fila does more to please the guy, though, who wants that classic tennis short with the Santoro II Short. These are great traditional shorts. With an actual constructed waistband, the Santoro II Short will give you a put-together look. Complete your Fila retro look with the Retro Wristbands or Retro Headbands.

Fred Perry 2012 Tailored Tennis Short

For the spring 2012 line, Fred Perry went all out to please the classic-minded tennis player. Start the ultimate traditional tennis look with the 2012 Fred Perry tennis polo, available in a performance nylon and classic cotton. It looks super sharp with the tipping on the collar and sleeves. A two-button placket keeps the polo neat and tidy during play as well. Complete the Fred Perry look with the 2012 Tennis Tailored Short. This cotton short has a good weight, so it will always look clean and pressed — never sloppy. It, like the Fila short, has a constructed waistband but also allows for an adjustable fit with the buttoned side tabs. Each piece is finished with an embroidered laurel wreath, the Fred Perry signature.

Sure this classic tennis look may not be for everyone, but the same can be said for the long shorts and brightly colored crews. Everyone has his own style of play and sense of personal style. It’s nice to know that those who like the classic tennis look can still sport it today.

Happy Hitting!
Tiffani, TW

The Best Seats in the House at the BNP Paribas Open

The BNP Paribas Open offers some of the best seats in all of tennis and they’re probably not what and where you’re thinking. Sure, the luxury suites inside the main stadium are amazing; they have a perfect view of the court and offer such amenities like catered food/drink and even indoor/outdoor viewing options. They’re pretty awesome but they’re not what I’m talking about. You’re thinking that I then, must be referring to the box seats at the grand stand where you’re sitting within 50 feet of the pros. Can’t get any better right? Nope, not that either.

So what am I talking about? I’m talkin’ ‘bout practice. Practice?! The practice courts that is. In my opinion, the best seats in the house. For tennis geeks like myself, it really doesn’t get much better than that. It’s at those practice courts where you can sit literally, a couple feet (not 50) from your favorite player. It’s at those practice courts where you can see what the pros are working on for their upcoming match. Who doesn’t love behind-the-scenes type stuff? I watched Ana Ivanovic practice her serve as she tried to hit colored cones in the service box. And conversely, a few courts away, Victoria Azarenka was working on her return while her coach served at her from the service line. It’s at the practice courts where you can witness some of the best match ups not in the main draw. This year I saw some ridiculous points between Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray from 10 feet away, watched Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco flatten the ball in some thunderous rallies, and Philipp Kohlschreiber rally back and forth with Gael Monfils, just to name a few.

Don’t believe me? Then I’ll let these pictures do the convincing (click to enlarge).

Yea, I’m talkin’ about practice.

Jason, TW