Mar 292010

One summer, three friends set out to do what many baseball fans only dream of. They went on a mission to attend one game at each Major League ballpark, using their journey as a platform for journalism, storytelling and a series of documentary shorts. It’s an adventure best described as a “basecrawl.”

Last season, we released 1 hour and 20 minutes of material in 10 installments, covering our journey from Seattle’s Safeco Field to St. Louis’ Busch Stadium. With Opening Day upon us, the series resumes with new installments from our baseball road trip. These short-docs profile characters, present ideas and explore themes related to America’s Pastime. They are linked together by one epic journey.

We’ve been busy updating our Facebook page in recent days, adding our best photos from Oakland Coliseum, Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, San Diego’s Petco Park and all the rest. If you enjoy following updates on the BaseCrawl series, you can follow our updates on Twitter, too.

Sep 162008

We have two BaseCrawl updates today.

First, Troy has written a new blog titled “I thought I had seen it all …” He reveals EXACTLY how much it cost to gas up a vehicle and drive it 17,000 miles to every Major League ballpark in one summer. He also writes about the secret to pulling off a baseball road trip on a relatively small budget, and all the people who made it possible. This blog features a slideshow, too, that you can find right here.

The other update, of course, is our second trailer for our forthcoming series of documentary shorts. We were not short on inspiration or motivation, but as we dove headfirst into new territory, all three of us found video journalism more challenging than expected. This teaser reveals some of the challenges we met, the stupid mistakes we made and the overall buffoonery involved in stumbling through something for the first time. In a way, it also underscores the challenges we still face as we attempt to put it all together in the editing room.

Here’s the description for the video:

“Three friends — a math professor, a freelance journalist and an unemployed ecologist — set out to chronicle a basecrawl through all 30 Major League ballparks in one summer. But the inspiration and motivation driving their documentary is tempered by technical problems, poor preparation and a general lack of experience. Yet they didn’t let little things — like learning to use their camera — get in the way of their attempt to bring humor, insight and a unique perspective to America’s storied pastime.”

You may notice that our Videos tab at the top of this page is now working. You’ll eventually be able to scroll through all our videos there. These videos are currently being hosted on MySpace and  YouTube, and may be found elsewhere shortly. Expect most of our video pods to be hosted by Current TV, the pioneering user-powered network that’s democratizing journalism and filmmaking.

Aug 262008

We are proud to unveil the first video associated with the BaseCrawl documentary series. We don’t mean to be a tease, but this is just a sneak peek of our project. There’s a second teaser trailer on its way, too, that we’ll post soon.

If you’re curious, all the footage you see in this teaser was shot with “Gobbles,” the name we assigned Camera No. 2. It contains no footage from “Timmy,” our name for Camera No. 1. We’re still busy converting that footage to a digital format.

The videos are coming … eventually. They’ll begin appearing here concurrent with the 2009 baseball season, possibly as early as spring training. There will be one video associated with each game we attended during the summer, for a total of 31 (including the College World Series). But these short-form documentaries will not be about the games themselves. They’ll be about the people we met, the stories we heard and the baseball culture we observed. Each pod will range between 5 and 12 minutes. If you want to see an example of the style and format, feel free to check out a non-baseball video Troy submitted to Current TV regarding the 2008 election here.

In other BaseCrawl news, Daren has written a heartfelt eulogy to the trip, reflecting on his emotions and thoughts now that our journey is over. It’s called “I hate hot dogs” and gives subtle clues to his current whereabouts. Also be sure to check out his rankings of all 30 ballparks.

Again, if you’ve made your way to this site and followed our adventures, we cannot thank you enough. Please stay tuned …