In just a few short months, as the SB Nation YouTube channel has taken shape, I have worked as Senior Producer on "The Full Nelson," collaborating with Amy K. Nelson to craft incredible stories, getting to know some of the most unique personalities in sports. This week, as Memorial Day has come and gone and summer has unofficially begun, we wanted to air a special episode, recapping some of the best moments from Full Nelson. As I sat with our esteemed and talented editor, Jimmy Shelton, it was hard to pick the best moments, but easy to realize I will never take my job for granted.
My favorite story has to be that of Willie Mays Aikens. If you haven't taken time out of your day to watch it, it is a truly American tale. Aikens sat down with Amy for nearly four hours of interviews over the course of just two days, not once asking for anything more than a glass of water. His story is an inspiration, and it is also one of the best pieces to ever come from our studio, as the entire crew came together to pull off something groundbreaking and original for YouTube.
It's worth noting that several of the things we cover are thanks to Amy's dedication to finding the most interesting angles. After making a connection via Twitter with Washington Nationals pitcher Drew Storen, Amy traveled to Florida for spring training. Once there, Storen provided us with another memorable story, as he practices hot yoga as part of his daily routine. I will never forget filming in a Bikram yoga studio as Amy and Drew spent over an hour in 90+ degree heat, making sure to cover every pose while the camera equipment suffered.
As sports fans, spending three days in Los Angeles with some of the NFL's best rookies has to be one of the best shoots we have ever been on. The NFLPA invited us to be exclusive partners at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere, and the access we were given was second to none. By the end of the weekend, Amy was trying on Giants RB David Wilson's helmet, Colts TE Dwayne Allen was showing love to our crew of eight (the most we have ever rolled with at SB Nation Studios), and Dan Rubenstein was off playing catch on the Rose Bowl turf. It's safe to say working at SB Nation affords certain perks.
One final highlight for me has to be talking with Amy as she made a split-second decision to fly to Miami and cover the Ozzie Guillen controversy as it was happening. While we cover a wide range of stories, Amy K. Nelson's instincts are that of a true journalist. It was a seminal moment for SB Nation Studios as Amy and Shelton (yes, not only does he edit but he shoots everything, too) scrambled to break real news in real time, and it's some of the most well-received work we have done to date.
To tell a story, and to tell it well, requires a certain dedication. While the team working on "Full Nelson" is small, we are all dedicated, and I think it shows in the finished product each and every Wednesday. Thank you for continuing to watch, and I hope you enjoy this week's episode and those yet to come.