How to Make Editing Your Play-by-Play Demos MUCH Easier

Editing my play by-play demos used to be so frustrating.

Either I would find the perfect segment, except it took 45 seconds or a minute to get to the play-by-play. Or if it started in a timely fashion, there was something afterward that I didn’t like.

A sports broadcaster emailed me about topic. He wrote:

“Many of the basketball demos I have include a 30 to 45 second set up before the play begins, after we’ve returned from break. Should this be included in the demo even if it has a color commentator involved? I’ve tried editing it down to just the action, but it never sounds right with the time, and score, and the setup no longer there. So, what do I do?”

Avoid the long setups. Employers will have anywhere from thirty to a hundred and thirty demos to go through for a given job. They don’t want to waste a minute or 90-seconds on each one waiting for them to get to get to the play-by-play.

Build an editing point into your broadcast

Here is a great tip for you:

Always repeat the time and score immediately before play resumes.

By doing this you are:

  1. Doing a service to your audience
  2. Giving yourself a perfect place to begin any segment on your demo

Set up plays for self-contained calls

While we are on the topic of play-by-play, here is another tip about setting up plays. It doesn’t relate to how to construct your demo but it is valuable advice from Kevin Harlan:

“Every play, any play.”

What Harlan means is to set-up every play because any play might be a big play. In football for instance, always be sure you give the pre-snap down, distance and yard line. If other broadcast outlets — radio, television, Internet — are going to be sharing your highlight of that play, you want your call to be self-contained. You don’t want the anchor to have to provide the missing information.

Good luck editing your demos moving forward. I hope this helps.  

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