Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bucs Calendar Update 

Posted by Sasha at 7:49 PM ET

Coming Soon: 2008-2009 Cheerleader Calendar!
Jul 14, 2008

The upcoming 2008-09 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders Calendar, full of beautiful photos of all 32 members of the team, required more work to produce than you might imagine.

It may seem like a simple collection of snapshots against exotic backdrops, but it took countless hours of behind-the-scenes work in order to produce such a stunning final product. Just ask Sandy Charboneau, the Buccaneers’ cheerleading manager.

“From the conception on, it’s a really long process,” Charboneau said. “We had our suits custom made and that's been in the works since last season, plus finalizing the location and timing. You have a 4:00 a.m. call for most of the girls to start hair and makeup, and it takes about an hour for hair and about 30 minutes for makeup. Then there’s finding and scouting each location so they are completely different for each of the 32 girls, and then you have video crews, photographers, everybody involved.

“You want to make sure that the suit is looking the best, the girl is looking the best and the scenery is looking the best. There are a lot of elements that you put in to make sure it is a perfect photo. There were about 6,000 photos taken and we really only picked maybe 40 of the best. There’s a lot of time and effort involved. We started at 4:00 a.m. and we didn’t finish until the sun was down, and there were even days where we kept going and were still shooting and making the lights work so we could get better shots.”

Thus, when the new calendar is unveiled on the opening day of training camp on July 26, it will be the culmination of months of hard work. Charboneau, along with photographer Michael Soo of Soo Photography, headed up a group effort to produce the 16-month calendar, which was shot at the Marco Island Marriott Resort and Spa in Marco Island, Florida.

Using the resort and the surrounding natural landscapes as backdrops, the calendar features a variety of striking photos.

“Most of our photos were on location at the Marriott, but we did take a boat out for two days and we were able to utilize all the surrounding area,” Charboneau said. “We found a few deserted islands and we also found a boat that was turned over and deserted, so it was kind of a shipwreck. We really took advantage of the locations in Marco Island. It was beautiful. I’d never been there before, but it turned out to be really pretty.”

In addition to the first-time locale, the new calendar features a very team-oriented theme and some extremely unique swimwear.

“We had all our suits custom-made,” Charboneau said. “They are made by several different designers and they are all Buccaneers-themed. If they are not Bucs colors, they are pirate-themed or have our coins, all custom-made. The whole theme of the calendar is pirates, a pirate ship and a treasure map. Every single suit is unique – there are no others like them.”

Planning, location scouting and attire aside, much of the responsibility in putting together a successful calendar shoot falls on the shoulders of the subjects themselves. Corinne Colon, a squad rookie, enjoyed the fun but tiring photo shoot process.

“It was a great experience,” Colon said. “The entire crew that came together to make the calendar shoot happen was amazing. They make each one of us feel really special and important and they’re really supportive, which is really helpful, especially for a rookie like me who hasn’t done it before.

“It is actually a lot more work than it looks like. You have an entire crew that is constantly fixing your hair and makeup and you have to be aware of your body, your face, and hold a pose that might not be the most comfortable. But it’s a lot of fun and it was a really great experience. It takes a little while to get the hang of it, but it was great.”

Much as the rookies on the football team are assigned extra tasks by their veteran teammates, the first-year Buccaneers Cheerleaders are given the task of helping out on the rest of the photo shoot. Colon said the work actually helped prepare her for her own time in front of the camera.

“Whether it’s helping put the set together or making sure everybody has everything that they need, you try to make sure everything is going as smoothly as possible," said Colon. "It was awesome – we went out on a boat for one of the shots that was taken away from the resort, so that was a unique experience.

“It was great, especially as a rookie, to see some of the vets who are talented and it all comes very naturally to them, to get some of the inside scoop before it was my turn. It was very cool to see how things come together and how everything comes out in the end looking really good.”

Although the photo shoot was plenty of work, the Buccaneers Cheerleaders were also able to use their time on Marco Island for a bit of fun.

“During the week, it’s not only us working,” Charboneau said. “While a certain amount of girls were shooting during the day, we really wanted to make sure the girls were getting to know each other and bonding as a team, because they’ll be working pretty closely throughout the season. My goal was to make sure there were great activities, so we set up volleyball games with the girls in teams, and they went out and did some volleyball pictures in their team outfits. They really got into it and were pretty competitive.

“At Marco Island, the Marriott was also really great about setting up parasailing for the girls, they went jet skiing and they also went out on a boat and went shelling. Every morning or every afternoon, there was a workout activity for all of them together. Even if they had something else going on, they were still able to meet up and work out. We either had them run on the beach, do an aerobics class, a Pilates class, a swimming contest, or some other activity where they were working out together.”

Colon said the activities the squad did in their downtime were a lot of fun, but also a great chance to build camaraderie.

“Every day we got up very early and we had a fantastic breakfast at the hotel, then we had an early morning workout,” Colon said. “One of the girls on the team is actually a fitness instructor, so we took a class with her or we would do a run on the beach and just work out together as a team. During the day, we had a lot of downtime, so we got a chance to really connect with the other girls.”

The end result of that week of hard work and fun in the sun on Marco Island is the 2008-09 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders Calendar, a 16-month edition that will first be available the opening day of training camp at the team’s headquarters at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

The calendar will be available for sale on Buccaneers.com shortly thereafter, but Charboneau urged Bucs fans to pick one up at camp.

“If you want an exciting calendar that is really geared for a Bucs fan, this is the calendar to have,” Charboneau said. “Our 32 girls are definitely beautiful and smart. You’re definitely going to see what we really stand for as Buccaneers and get a great calendar that will last for this season and next.”

Added Colon: “It’s very spirited and we’ve all worked really hard, coming from the girls’ perspective, preparing for the shoot. A lot of work goes into it, and we do it to please the fans and show our support for the team. Pick it up if you’re a true Bucs fan!”

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