On Thanksgiving evening 2008, TNT aired a profile piece on Wayman Tisdale, former NBA star who was battling bone cancer, with a love of music. The segment aired on the TNT program “Inside the NBA” with Charles Barkley.
The network contracted Bob Humphrey Video Services who hired Director of Photography Tracy Ready and Sound Technician Bob Fazio to work with TNT producer John O’Connor and Correspondent Jim Huber on the story.
Note from Tracy Ready:
Sadly, Wayman Tisdale lost his battle to cancer, but he was a true champion of the spirit. I had the opportunity to shoot this story for TNT, thanks to my good friend and colleague Bob Humphrey. Wayman seemed so strong, so vital when we were shooting on location with him, that I never dreamed he would be gone after a few short months. When we met him, he was being fitted with his prosthetic leg, and his good nature and positive attitude made everyone feel welcome, it what would have been for any of us, a very awkward situation. I can honestly say he was one of the most kind, gentle, joyful individuals I have ever met.
When Sound Mixer Bob Fazio and I were driving back to Texas from the production in Oklahoma, we talked at great length about how fortunate we were to have had the experience of being in Wayman’s presence for a couple of days. In our business we meet and shoot with all types of people from celebrities to scumbags, politicians, visionaries and air-heads alike. There are very few shoots that stick with you as being memorable, and this was certainly at the top of memorable occasions in my career. Most remarkable, is that Wayman’s moving performance at his brother’s church left no doubt in our minds that we were in the presence of greatness, and had just witnessed something none of us will ever forget.
I am eternally grateful to Bob Humphrey for having the confidence in me to shoot on his behalf, and to John O’Connor at TNT to have had this once in a lifetime experience. I am also sad to say goodbye to an amazing presence in life – Wayman Tisdale.
Tracy Ready is a Director of Photography / Writer / Producer based in Dallas, Texas.