CSMA Winners Share Tips, Techniques From Winning Videos

The winners of the 2010 College Sports Media Awards were announced in a nontraditional ceremony on June 8 as part of SVG’s second-annual College Sports Video Summit. Continuing in the CSVS spirit of peer-to-peer education, winners of each of the 10 awards took the stage not only to thank those who made the winning entries possible but to share some of the tips and tricks for producing award-winning video.

Fairfield University’s James Timmeny kicked off the presentation by explaining where he found the resources to produce the “Fairfield University Stags vs. Rider College Broncs” video that won the Sony Award for Live Game Production, Collegiate 1.

“We have a media center that falls underneath the academic division,” he said. “We were asked about four years ago, ‘Can you cover our basketball games and make it look like ESPN?’ We had an amazing donation of a remote-production truck that made that possible.”

Timmeny explained that about five students are involved in producing the events each year, from preproduction stages through working the Chyron character generators. This past year, Fairfield was able to produce games for My9 Connecticut, which helped increase the production factor, even though only six members of the 24-person crew were not current or former Fairfield students.

The Collegiate 2 Live Game award went to the Southland Conference for its production of McNeese State vs. S.F. Austin. Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett described his foray into the television business as a crazy idea but one that worked out for the best.

“We got into the TV business due to the fact that we had a great passion and interest in being in the television world, and the television networks were not beating down our door,” Burnett said. “We’re now going into the third year with a great operation, and we’re going to be over-the-air in our top 10 markets. It’s been a real success because our institutions have been passionate about getting into the television business.”

Jeff Watts, producer for the Southland Television Network, added that having a commissioner with a vision helped his cause, especially when it came to budgeting for the “crazy idea.”

“Producing in a market like Dallas/Fort Worth, we knew that we needed to have the quality that our viewers see every day on regular productions from Fox and ESPN,” he said. “The one thing that I was persistent on was creating a graphics package that would look that way. We really pushed the envelope on production.”

The University of Miami’s Michael O’Leary spoke about the creative side of producing a promotional piece like his winning Collegiate 1 Promotional Video, “Heart, the Pre-Game Speech.”

“I’ve always had a fascination with pregame and halftime speeches, but coaches often stutter,” he said. “I wanted the opportunity to write my own speech, so I did. I wrote it with a character in mind. The core of this piece was not just narration, it was voice acting.”

Accompanying the voice acting were images that amounted to a highlight video, a montage of the best footage O’Leary’s team had captured over a three-year period. The shots used a variety of cameras, shooting at 30, 60, and 120 frames per second; shots from each were used at some point during the award-winning piece.

The top Collegiate 2 Outstanding Promotional Video came from the University of Dayton, which produced its “Preseason Top 25 Promotion” not just to entice season-ticket holders and donors to come back for the season, but to promote the university on a national level as well.

“We created this video with the hopes of putting us in the top 25 in the preseason polls, and we got it done,” explained Dayton’s Michael LaPlaca. “Going into the season, we were nationally ranked in both major polls for the first time since 1968. If you go around every bar in Dayton, OH, they’ll talk about Dayton basketball, but they’ll also talk about this video. It captivated the community really well.”

The University of Oregon’s “Football Season Highlights” video took home two awards: Collegiate 1 Special Feature and 2010 College Sports Video of the Year. The secret to the success of this feature, said its creators, lay in the storytelling. “A lot of it came down to the story of what happened in the year at Oregon,” said Jayson Bosteder. “It was a great project.”

Steve Pohl added, “We do these year-ending season highlights, but we do one at the end of each week, too. We do a motivational each week, and then we draw from those to come up with this. We use [Adobe] After Effects and [Apple] Final Cut Pro, and we shoot on Panasonic P2. It’s special, and it’s a group effort.”

A full list of winners and credits from the 2010 CSMAs can be found at http://csvsummit.com/college-sports-media-awards/.

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