Have you ever wondered what would it be like as a woman working behind the lens in sports? Sheen Magazine had an opportunity to catch up with Fox Sports own Peyton Langston to discuss her career working in the male-dominated industry. Peyton definitely knows what it takes to work under pressure working in production at Fox Sports and as a former Pepperdine college athlete. Let’s hear what Peyton had to share.
How did you get your start and what is a typical day like for you working in production?
I got my start in production by connections and perfect timing. A typical workday usually requires me to arrive at the venue at least six hours before the game starts to set up the equipment. After all the equipment is set up, the director double checks with everyone to make sure everything is working properly and do rehearse the game plan for the broadcast. Once the game starts, I operate my camera and try to get as many different shots to tell the story of the broadcast. After the game is over, we strike all the equipment and call it a day.
What special qualities or skills do you see as important for success in working behind the lens?
When working being the lens, there are a few skills important for success.
1st Know the sport- Knowing what sport you are shooting is extremely important. Different sports require different shots and being able to identify the players quickly helps make a better broadcast.
2nd Hand-eye coordination – There is only one chance to capture a moment in sports. You must be able to maneuver the zoom and focus controls simultaneously while keeping the player in the shot.
3rd Listening- Determining what camera shots to get requires listening to not only what the director wants but also what the announcers are talking about.
4th Practice- The more repetition you can get while operating a camera, the better your skills will become.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy being apart of the behind-the-scenes process. A lot of times I am in areas restricted from fan access. I also enjoy learning from veterans and getting their advice on how to reach the next step of my career.
Do you ever see yourself transitioning out of sports into other fields?
I don’t think that I will ever fully transition out of the sports industry just because it has been a big part of my life. I would like to work in the esports and entertainment industry one day. Having a good mix can be healthy and it can be beneficial with learning about new trends.
How has your experience been so far as a woman working in this male-dominated industry?
I have only been in this industry for a year, but my experience as a woman working in a male-dominated industry has been pretty good so far. The majority of the men have been nothing but respectful to me. I know this is not every woman’s experience, so I am very grateful that I have worked with good people. I do wish there were more women working in the director positions. So far, I have only seen one female director.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a person who hopes to break into the sports industry?
The most important advice I would give is to make connections as early as possible and be vocal about what you aspire to do. If you’re in high school, start meeting people outside your friend group, volunteer, intern. You will never know who you will bump into. I was at a Drake concert one day and I met two ladies who work at ESPN and later I was able to get a tour of the studios! If you do start working in the industry, make connections with everyone on the production team. Connections are better than an impressive resume.
Featured Image provided by Peyton Langston