team gears up for Super Bowl madness

By Ken Kerschbaumer

To say that Don Sperling, New York Giants Entertainment VP and executive producer, has had an eventful first year guiding the franchise’s creation of video products for distribution online and via local broadcast partners is an understatement. The team began the year with a controversial holdout and two lackluster losses but next week Sperling and his crew will bring Apple and Avid editing systems and a variety of Sony cameras to the ultimate stage: Super Bowl XLII.

“During the regular season our features are typically shot at the stadium or the hotel but the Super Bowl could require our crews to be in five locations at once,” he says. “There is not only the team hotel and stadium but also the media center, the NFL Experience, and more.”

The team will set up a headquarters at the team hotel based around a couple of Apple Final Cut Pro systems and an Avid editing system that runs on an Apple G5. Laptops outfitted with Apple Final Cut Pro will also be available to help the crews edit in the field, something that will be paramount during a week when fans will be demanding quick access to fresh material. The Website has seen a jump in traffic to 900,000 hits a day during the team’s dramatic playoff run.

“We have multi-taskers on our staff who can do Web production or alternate between radio and TV and,” says Sperling. “The advantage is that the same people who are out shooting for the TV shows can also work on Web productions.” Sony DV and HDV cameras are used for shooting pre-game elements while a Sony Betacam is used for sideline material.

The typical regular season or even playoff game requires the crew to fly out with the team on a Saturday, shoot some reports on Sunday morning and then the game and some post-game wrap-ups. The Super Bowl, however, changes all that. Next Monday he and his crew will head to Phoenix with the team for Super Bowl XLII, embarking on the whirlwind of press conferences and media opportunities. Media Day is on Tuesday and the crew will be hard at work bringing material back from those interviews to the headquarters to incorporate B-roll and edit packages with dissolves and other effects. As much as possible Sperling wants viewers to know the team is on site.

“We don’t want to do a studio show at the venue because we want the viewer to know that we are at Super Bowl,” says Sperling. “So we will shoot outside the stadium and at relevant Super Bowl-branded locations.”

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