Meet the Playtesters- Behind the Scenes Part 1

Hi Everyone,

As you may know, I finished up the Meet the Playtesters series two weeks ago with our final playtester Jose.  Many of you seemed to enjoy the inside look at our playtesters and that gave me the idea to do a behind the scenes interview with our camera man and editor.  You may not know these guys but you all watch their work! First up is our camera man, Daniel.  He is in charge of shooting all the footage for the shoe and racquet reviews as well as vlogs. Check out his interview below.


How long have you been working at Tennis Warehouse?

3 years

What does your job entail?

As Director of Photography for Sports Warehouse Inc., I am responsible for the camera and lighting on all the Warehouses’ productions. This includes hanging with the Tennis Warehouse playtesters and shooting their shoe and racquet reviews on the Tennis Warehouse court. When I’m not working in San Luis Obispo, I travel to sporting events and sports manufacturing facilities to cover new sports gear. I get to meet professional athletes and experience the development of their sports equipment, which is the best part of my job.

What video experience do you have? (education)

BA in Commercial Film and Video from Brooks Institute of Photography

What is your favorite part about working at Tennis Warehouse?

The playtesters are awesome and traveling with them is too much fun.

Who is the playtester that gives you the most trouble and why?

Sean is always throwing off my composition because he is too tall.

Who is the playtester that is the most efficient and why?

On court, Brittany and Chris are pretty efficient. For interviews, I would say Spencer and Carol are the most prepared.

Who is your favorite playtester?

My favorite playtester is whoever happens to be hitting the best that particular day!

What is a typical playtest like for you?

About 15 minutes before the shoot I go down to the court and set up the lights and camera for the interviews. Once the players arrive, then we shoot everyone’s experience of the shoe/racquet being reviewed. Once we get all the dialogue shot, the playtesters warm up for about 15 minutes. During that time, I crawl up into our crow’s nest with the camera and frame up for point play. Everyone will then play points for 10 – 15 minutes each. Once we have all the points I need, I move onto the court and shoot the other angles. After that I pack up the gear and we call it a day unless we have another review scheduled.

What has been your favorite roadtrip with Tennis Warehouse?

Every year, the BNP Paribas Open trip gets better and better. 2012 was no let down thanks to the Blalock’s hospitality and a quick visit from my girlfriend Angeline.

What has been your favorite commercial to shoot and why?

Just recently we were able to get our hands on a Phantom V10 high speed camera. High speed cinematography was one of my main interests in school and being able to use it for work was really fun. Everything looks way cooler in slow motion! (Check out the two commercials we shot with the camera:  TW Commercial BNP 2012 #1 and TW Commercial BNP 2012 #2)

What has been your favorite vlog to shoot?

The vlog where Chris chased Jason on Segways was funny. Also, the vlog where Jason and Spencer were “making it rain” was very enjoyable to work on.

Any comments on bloopers?

Keep the camera rolling at all times! You never know. Well, actually I know something funny will happen with these people.

What is your best memory being a camera man for the TW playtest team?

This would be the same as my favorite road trip. I’d have to say the Indian Wells trips are the highlight of every year.

Do you play any tennis? What is your current racquet and shoe of choice?

The first time I picked up a racquet was a year ago and have been playing once a week for the last few months. I am currently using the Prince EXO3 Black Team racquet and the adidas Barricade 6.0 shoe.

Daniel shooting for Tackle Warehouse


Check back next week for another Behind the Scenes blog with our very own video editor, William!

Ad Out,


Images from the BNP Paribas Open

Here’s a quick pictorial with some of the action from the BNP Paribas Open. Our cameraman, Daniel Montellano shows off his BOS (ball on strings) photography skills in some. We hope you enjoy the pics!

Rafa serves it up on Stadium Court 1 (Photo by Daniel Montellano)

Djokovic slides into contact on Stadium Court 1 (Photo by Daniel Montellano)

Maria Kirilenko strikes a forehand (Photo by Daniel Montellano)

Mardy Fish plays a forehand approach (Photo by Daniel Montellano)

Jack Sock winds up so fiercely, we had to go black and white for this forehand on the practice courts (Photo by Chris)

Delpo is back! Here he is focused and looking good on this forehand (Photo by Daniel Montellano)

VIctoria Azarenka contemplates which tennis ball she's about to crush here (Photo by Daniel Montellano)

Stay tuned as we’ll be bringing you more from the BNP Paribas Open.

Sock it to me!

Socks. I think they might be becoming an obsession. This is, after all, my what … third or fourth blog about them?

My favorite socks remain the Feetures! No Show Tab. However, lately I’ve been upping the fun factor by choosing socks with some color and designs. I’m not sure if it’s because I began to find my all white or black tennis socks to be rather boring compared to my collection of argyle trouser socks or if it’s sock envy from my 14-month-old daughter’s cute collection. (By the way, she can rock argyle leg warmers and look ever so cute, that’s a proud mama talking right there.)

Nike Logo No Show Socks

This latest mission to add color to my tennis socks began with the Nike Women’s Logo No Show Socks, which handily come in a three pack. We now have these in a second color option, so yeah, my sock drawer is starting to get rather full (and I just cleaned the thing out!).

KBell Tennis Love Low Socks

Then came along the KBell Love Tennis Low Socks. Cute little hearts in multiple colors adorn the low cuff. Tennis with hearts decorate the top of the foot for an added bonus, and while no one can see that part, I know it’s there and that’s what counts.

I have never been the kind of girl who’s into fashion for fashion’s sake. (OK, maybe that’s a bit of a fib because all those high heels I own are truly not all that comfortable and don’t really serve much of a purpose other than looking cute. Wait, they make me of the vertically challenged set look taller. Yup, there’s the purpose right there.)

Getting back on track, these decorated socks that I’m adding to my sock collection have unwittingly become about function as well. Usually I am a proponent of the no show cut, but we’ve been testing a shoe that demands a higher cut: the Babolat Propulse Lady 3. When I was breaking these in, I wore no show socks the first couple of times out, and my heel paid the price. I learned my lesson the hard way. Now when I pull these shoes out to play, I am sure to grab either my Nike logo socks or KBell Love Tennis socks because they come up high enough to protect my achilles from this high cut shoe. Bonus! Fun and functional!

Jox Sox Crew in black

In other sock news, we have added black to the color options for Jox Sox. We have these in the crew cut and low cuts for men and women. What sets Jox Sox apart is that these are performance socks made primarily from cotton, a rare sight in sports socks these days. Sock choice is a very personal thing, and many prefer the feel, comfort and, frankly, lack of stink that cotton socks can provide.

That about wraps it up on the sock news front for now. Your resident sock nerd is signing out.

Happy Hitting!
Tiffani, TW