"When I was 10 years old, I vividly remember watching football
highlights on This Week in the NFL," remembers Steve Andrich, the
vice president of cinematography and a 16-year veteran of Films. "I
will always remember watching the camera following a pass in slow
motion. The ball was just leaving the quarterback's hands and the
camera was able to follow its rotation. It was just so different
than anything I had ever seen before. I wanted to know more."
Andrich has learned plenty. As the man who decides which
cinematographer goes to which game, Andrich is the offensive
coordinator for NFL Films. He's also a full-time quarterback, still
shouldering a camera and capturing the weekly action from various
parts of the field.
So, what does it take to play the game at this level? "For a young
guy starting out, they need to be a super action shooter and an
even better storyteller," says Andrich. "It's the storytelling that
really makes the difference between good and great in this
Another critical adjustment is the use of film. After all, it's not
called NFL Video.
"Young guys come up using only video. We only use film, and there
are some distinct differences," Andrich says. "For one thing,
there's a flicker in the viewfinder because of the shutter that
young guys aren't used to. You must also clearly understand the
intricacies of the camera and how to handle film after you take it
out of the camera."
At this point in his career, Andrich is like Jerry Rice running a
post pattern. Everything just comes naturally, almost effortlessly.
Still, when Sunday arrives, he's like a kid in a candy store.