GameDay Drivers

When ESPN covers sporting events at a stadium that has a direct cable link, the larger production trailers aren’t needed. It’s then that Bill Dillehay of Okeechobee, Fla., pulls up at the stadium so that Game Creek Video can produce the sporting event.

Game Creek Video of Amherst, N.H., has two production trailers. One is the main production trailer and the other is the B trailer, which is pulled by Dillehay and used for production support. Dillehay drives a white 1997 Kenworth. His trailer carries supplies and has office and production areas, and an area for the staff that produces the yellow lines that mark first downs on the screen.

In the main production trailer, there are production, audio and video feed, and interview and reporting areas. The director, producer and editor for the show stay in these areas during broadcasts. There are 20 cameras for the show, including seven studio cameras, five shoulder cameras and eight small cameras.

Dillehay and the other driver pull into hockey games on Wednesdays and football games on Saturdays during the fall. When they arrive, the drivers help set up if they have hours left to work; they come back when the event is over to load up.

“We don’t have to be present during the game,” Dillehay says. “It depends on our hours. I make sure the equipment is secure while I’m traveling.”

As with most loads, it’s important that drivers get to the game on time so ESPN can broadcast its events.

“The drivers are key,” says Jason Taubman, Game Creek Video’s engineer. “If they don’t get the trailer here then we don’t get to do the show. They’re not hauling cattle. There’s sensitive electronic equipment in here. They’re in charge of their routes and care for the load.”

Like all transporters of large trailers, Dillehay has to watch out for tight spots and low areas in the road. His schedule is tight, and sometimes drivers have to be flown in to relieve him. But Dillehay loves his job and doesn’t miss his days hauling produce and driving tankers and dump trailers.

“It’s been a good living for me for 23 years now,” Dillehay says. “My schedule is getting more hectic but it’s the nature of the business.”

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