Friday, April 27, 2012

Quick Update

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update.  I'd like to reiterate once again to feel free to contact me about anything you'd like to bring my attention to, whether it's music I can possibly use, Pirates related clips in the media that are interesting, or fans like yourselves with interesting stories you'd like to share.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I just spent a few hours editing a little Opening Day "episode".  It is still just a rough cut, but I hope to have something uploaded for you all next week.  I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Moving forward, while I do work a lot, I am going to try to attend at least one game from every homestand.  If you're an out of towner or anyone that wants to be involved, feel free to contact me.  Even if it is a game that I won't be at, I live really close to the ballpark so there is still probably a good chance I can meet with you somehow even if I'm not actually going to go inside and watch the game.

Until next time, hope everyone is doing well.  Let's hope our team's trip to Atlanta works out a little better this time around!

EDIT: By the way, what do you all think we should title this documentary?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Music anyone?

Hope everyone had a fun Opening Day despite the outcome.  Just wanted to make you all aware of some things that were crossing my mind.

While I am looking to release the final project during the offseason, I've been toying with the idea of releasing short "episodes" here and there during the season.  Maybe just a few.  This will give me a chance to do some editing on some sequences that are more or less self-contained (like Opening Day) which will make the final edit a little less overwhelming because I'll at least already have some things done.  This will also give you all a taste of the style and feel of the documentary and allow me to hear your feedback of what you liked and what you didn't so I can keep these things in mind when making the final edit (this documentary is for you after all).

That being said, I want to reach out to all of you for some thoughts on music.  Specifically, I'm looking for people who know any local bands/artists because not only would I be able to get permission from them to make this a little more official (and hopefully not get sued), but why not use this opportunity to help them reach some new ears?  Of course I would give them proper credit in the film.  I'm interested in all genres, though I will say that if it is rap, I may be only interested in the instrumental (don't get me wrong, I'm a big rap fan, but since it has such a heavy emphasis on the lyrics, it doesn't quite mesh well for this kind of thing).  So if you guys make music or have friends that do, send their info my way, I'd love to hear what we can come up with.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quick Thoughts As Opening Day Approaches

First of all, I want to give a big thank you for the support and feedback I received so far.  The response has been great.  This is a project that I really want to be special and I am my own harshest critic, so knowing that there are plenty of people waiting for the end result is good motivation to drive on when things start to get rough.  So thank you for all of your emails and continue to spread the word and send me your thoughts.

With that being said, I just wanted to address some things for the short term and things to keep in mind as the season begins.  I will be at the open practice tomorrow (Wednesday) as well as the opener on Thursday.  I added a profile picture on this site, but it seems to automatically resize it to a very small size.  I'll include a picture of me at the bottom of this post.  If you see me around in the next two days or at any point during the season, feel free to say hello and if you're up for chatting and I have my camera, perhaps we can have you share some thoughts for the documentary.  I promise I'm always up for talking to new people so don't hesitate to stop me to chat.

In the meantime, I want to remind you all that if you see anything of note in the media that I may have missed that you think would be interesting to include, let me know.  I can always just chose not to include it, but it's better to have that choice than not have it at all.  Things I'm talking about are ESPN guys joking about the Pirates or Regis Philbin once again pronouncing his love for the Pirates after Opening Day and then never again.  Any interesting tidbits like that they may have slipped by me are welcome.

Another thing I wanted to ask for is (if possible) YOUR footage from games.  The official television broadcasts have their advantages obviously for showing the action, but they don't quite capture the incredible atmosphere of the stands.  Videos like this get my adrenaline pumping just as much as the official replay and having multiple views of epic moments like this is something that would be great to have.  And with higher quality cameras coming to the iPhone and other phones, things will only get better.  Now I'm not asking you to ruin your game experience by trying to stay perfectly still while recording every pitch.  I'm just asking that if you feel inclined, at high leverage moments like this, consider pulling out your phone/camcorder and recording the situation and subsequent reaction.  Another thing to keep in mind is don't worry too much about zooming.  For one, often times zooms on those camcorders are digital zooms which are just making the pixels bigger.  That's something I could do afterwards if I really wanted to.  Also, the more something is zoomed in, the shakier it will be.  While it is completely understandable to have some shakiness when you and 30,000 people around you are celebrating an amazing comeback, if you've zoomed in too much it may be hard to tell that you're even at a baseball game.  Besides, I'm not concerned with you necessarily capturing the action on the field (that's what ROOT is for).

My interest is in YOUR reactions and YOUR celebrations.  I want to see perspectives from all corners of the ballpark so outsiders can really see how gorgeous PNC Park is from all angles. Shoot, even if you're not at the ballpark, but if you're at a bar or somewhere else where you have a ton of fans glued to a television screen with every pitch, I would love to see that footage soon (side note: now that I'm 21 and new to the bar scene, if anyone has any recommendations of great places to catch a Pirates game, let me know).  I hope you are all noticing a common theme in that I want EVERYTHING you have to offer.  The more material I have, the more I have to choose from to make an awesome final project.

That about covers what's on my mind at this point.  Stay tuned for updates on the progress of the film here and there and feel free to email me and tweet me.  Oh yeah, here's that picture of me (taken at PirateFest).  Hope to see some of you in the next few days!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

An Introduction

Fellow Pirates Fans,

My name is Greg Allison.  I am a lifelong Pittsburgh Pirates fan and a recent graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh where I majored in film making.  This past winter I started toying with the idea of combining my two passions into a project exploring what drives people to still root for the team with the most consecutive losing seasons in history (19 and counting).  As a 21 year old, I have no memory of winning baseball here in Pittsburgh. 

For that reason, I feel like the Pirates fans that are still here are the greatest fans in professional sports.  There's no other way to describe their dedication and loyalty.  I want to make a film that explores who these people are.  Why do they still buy tickets?  Why do they buy jerseys for players that will be playing for another team before August?  Why do they comment and debate over who should be the back up middle infielder on a 90-loss team?

I want to shed some light on the people that support these lovable losers who are treated as a laughingstock by the rest of the league.  I want this to be a film about us.  I want to hear your stories about the season tickets that have been in your family since the 60s.  I want to hear about that trade that made you want to rip your hair out.  I want to hear about your love for the game and for this team.  I'm interested in talking to fans young and old.

I can't do this alone.  This is not my story, this is our story.  I want this to be a season-long celebration of our fandom.  This blog and following contact information are a means of opening a dialogue between you and I.  If there's something you want me to include, let me know.  If you have a story to tell about your Pirates love, let me know.  I want to hear your feedback and keep you updated on what's happening.  I'll likely be doing a lot of question asking myself.  Some documentaries form with a story in mind.  While I certainly have some things I want to emphasize or touch on, this project, like the season, is just beginning and like the season, I'm extremely excited to see what it has in store for us.

With that said, spread the word and check up on this blog.  Don't be afraid to get involved.  You can email me at or follow me on Twitter @piratesfandoc