Video-Production Pros Talk Execution, Strategy at SVG College: Boston

For many video-production professionals across the college-sports landscape, the opportunity to meet with peers and discuss best practices and common growing pains is rare. Providing such an opportunity was the goal of the first SVG College regional forum, SVG College: Boston.

Imry Halevi, Director of Multimedia & Production for Harvard Athletics served as host for the first SVG College regional forum, SVG College: Boston.

Imry Halevi, director of multimedia and production, Harvard Athletics, served as host for the first SVG College regional forum, SVG College: Boston.

Hosted by SVG and the Harvard University Athletics Department at Harvard’s Murr Center Hall of History, the event brought together more than 40 college and conference professionals from across New England and beyond for idea-sharing and professional networking. It offered informative panel discussions and hands-on opportunities to interact and play with some of the newest video-production equipment.

“[I’m a] huge believer in [SVG’s] events and everything it brings to our industry,” says Matt Panto, who was recently hired to oversee the new Ivy League Digital Network. “[I’m] incredibly grateful for the organization and the work to pull these together. It’s continued motivation to raise the bar with each one.”

The day began with an in-depth discussion on the style and strategy behind the production of a three-camera arena live broadcast of a basketball or hockey game. Speakers K.J. Cardinal, co-founder of Pack Network, and Sean McCluskey, director of multimedia services, Athletic Communications, at St. John’s University, broke down all the steps that go into creating a top-flight production with limited resources. While taking questions from the crowd, the panel discussed everything from camera placement to directing strategies and personnel management.

More than 40 attendees took part in discussions of three-camera productions and digital-network strategies.

More than 40 attendees were on hand to take part in discussions of three-camera productions and digital network strategies.

Later in the afternoon, the forum shifted gears to address the growing presense of digital networks in the college space. For the New England area alone, three digital networks for America East, the Patriot League, and the Ivy League have been launched this academic year. A panel of digital-network experts shared their experiences on how to execute this large undertaking. From the philosophical to the technical, what digital-network strategy is right for you?

From the conference perspective, Richard Wanninger, senior associate executive director for external relations at the Patriot League, and Sean Tainsh, director of communications at the America East Conference, reviewed their experiences in launching digital networks. Providing additional insight on some big-picture issues, Jason Bernstein, senior director, programming and acquisitions, at ESPN, doled out some advice on the value of a digital presence and best ways to engage fan bases and audiences.

The event’s host, Imry Halevi, director of multimedia and production at Harvard University Athletics, made a highly informative presentation on the three levels of productions he designs for various Harvard athletic events. Attendees got the chance to see and interact with a mid-level flypack setup as well as with a small laptop-based production center.

The event wrapped up with an exclusive tour of the Alexander H. Bright Hockey Center, which has been home to Harvard hockey since 1979. Halevi guided attendees through a look at the university’s main video-production control room and other video-infrastructure improvements in the building.

For more information on the SVG College initiative and future SVG College regional forums, e-mail SVG Senior Editor Brandon Costa at brandon@sportsvideo.org.