Erik Ashel is a young, talented and hard-working videographer and producer with Time-Warner Sports in Kansas City. Laura and I knew this even before he approached us about doing the video you see with this post. However, our appreciation of Ashel only grew greater after we saw the very nice, and very embarrassing, video he put together on our photographic relationship at KU. Our thanks go out to him for all his efforts and to host Leif Lisec, who introduced and closed the piece on air. We know for Ashel the work had to be difficult. Neither of us likes being on what we feel is the wrong side of a camera.
During the summer before the 2013-14 school year, Time-Warner Sports and the communications department associate AD, Todd Kober completed negotiations for extensive coverage of all KU sports. Suddenly volleyball and tennis matches, baseball and softball games and so much more were airing live on Time-Warner Cable, with many events on ESPN3. The production has been first-class. For a recent tennis match, the production crew erected platforms to allow coverage of the first three courts. Another camera gave side action views and roving cameras covered the other courts.
Besides the live action, a cornerstone of the joint effort is the weekly Jayhawk Insider program, hosted by Lisec. The half-hour show highlights student-athlete’s efforts in their sport as well as their successes in the classroom and in student life. KU fans everywhere have benefited.
What I loved the most about the piece Ashel put together on us was the exposure he gave to Laura’s photographic talents. Her skills continue to grow in the midst of her full-time job as an academic advisor. The brief selection of her images in the piece were just a taste of the outstanding work she provides KU out of the kindness of her heart. What began as an opportunity for us to be together more, given my insane work schedule, grew rapidly into a second career based on her desire to do the very best work possible. I could not be prouder.
I have climbed up to or crawled into so many places to make photographs during my career, my trips into the catwalks at KU never give me pause other than asking God to be with me and please not let me drop anything. I never thought about how the height, the sway of catwalks or the heat might affect others until Ashel climbed up with me for the early portion of the video, shot during the Oklahoma State basketball game in January. It was clear to see he was not comfortable to be up there with me. However, he gamely did his job and did it well.
Those efforts showed throughout the piece and helped make us look better than we deserved. Laura and I again offer up our thanks to a very talented young man for a job well done.