SVG College: Boston Brings Community and Learning to Harvard Campus

More than 60 attendees from various schools and conferences share ideas and experiences on IP, social video, control rooms, and more

More than 60 attendees visited the campus of Harvard University on Wednesday to take part in the latest in the SVG College Initiative Regional Event Series, SVG College: Boston. Guests were treated to a day of in-depth discussions on sports-video–production strategy, technology, and staffing, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the Crimson’s IP-based control rooms and video-production infrastructure.

In SVG College: Boston session (from left) moderated by SVG’s Kristian Hernandez, Bryant University’s Kelsi-Mariah Oresman, University of Vermont’s Pete Estes, America East Conference’s Erin Iwaskiewicz, and Harvard University’s Connor Coyne discuss how they take a cinematic approach to creating content for social-media platforms.

Hosted by Harvard University Assistant Director of Athletics. Multimedia and Production, Imry Halevi and his team, representatives of schools and conferences of all sizes were given the chance to see a high-powered video team in action while absorbing their own takeaways to take back to their campuses.

The day opened with a look at the benefits of IP in a multi-venue campus environment. In a session titled “No Place Like Home: Centralizing Production Through IP,” Halevi; Cody Chrusciel, assistant director of athletics – multimedia and broadcasting, Princeton University; and Kevin Hession, manager, athletics multimedia and production, Brown University, analyzed their facilities and shared how, in their experience, IP technologies are making centralization more realistic and cost-efficient than ever.

A few of the top technology vendors in the industry — and supporters of the SVG College Initiative — also got their chance to speak before the crowd. Canon’s Rich Eilers, LTN Global’s Tony Geronimos, and Quantum’s Don McNaughton discussed what their companies are developing to help meet the needs of the college sports market.

Harvard University’s Imry Halevi leads a tour of one of his department’s two control rooms that support the hundreds of live events produced for ESPN+ each year.

Anyone who works in college sports-video production will agree that their achievements would not be possible without the help of a talented crop of dedicated students. In the session “Lifeblood: Working With and Training Your Student Staff,” Leo Pare, director, marketing and digital media, Boston University; Evan Ellis, video producer, Yale University; and Dylan Hornblum, assistant director, athletic video production, Northeastern University, explained how they recruit and train their student staffs, how they meet the challenge of scheduling (especially during times when students aren’t on campus or have midterms/finals), and how to build a culture that motivates students to perform at their best in a live environment.

The event wasn’t entirely about live production. Attendees also took an informative look at the uniqueness of acquiring, editing, and distribution video in a social-media environment. Participating in a panel titled “Highlights 2.0: Leveraging Cinematic Recaps and Sideline Footage,” Connor Coyne, assistant director, multimedia and production, Harvard University; Pete Estes, director, CatamounTV, University of Vermont; Erin Iwaskiewicz, senior director. creative and video, America East Conference; and Kelsi-Mariah Oresman, director, digital media, Bryant University, explored shooting video with a cinematic mindset so that the content will shine on social, including the power of vertical video.

The day of learning, networking, and idea sharing was capped off with a technology tour of the infrastructure that helps Harvard produce hundreds of events each year for the Ivy League on ESPN+. The tour included a swing through a control room in The Bright-Landry Hockey Center, which is fibered into historic Harvard Stadium and provides coverage for all events at the rink and the stadium with the capability to run two separate shows simultaneously. Guests also poked around the control room in Lavietes Pavilion, which has full NDI capabilities and can produce any of the school’s 42 sports. As a bonus, Harvard staff explained the automated workflows behind their single-camera live productions of tennis and squash.

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The SVG College Initiative Regional Event Series is a recurring series of half-day programs hosted on various U.S. campuses that have demonstrated a commitment to and investment in live video production. The gatherings are designed to bring together content creators and production-technology specialists with some of the industry’s top technology vendors to discuss best practices for all levels of production expertise. Seasoned veterans share their experiences and help guide those looking to dive headfirst into the exciting world of video production in college athletics.

The SVG College Initiative and its events are made possible by our sponsors: Avid, BlueFrame Technology, Canon, Grass Valley, Ikegami, LTN Global Communications, Panasonic, and Quantum.

For more information on the SVG College Initiative or if you think your school would be a fantastic host for this event, please email SVG College Director Brandon Costa at [email protected].