Co-teachers Casey Timmeny and Chris McGloin in the new media department must be doing something right in order to get their class out of bed at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday.
This past spring Timmeny and McGloin offered a new course, ‘Sports Production.’ The class entailed students producing four sports games – lacrosse, baseball, softball and tennis live on Cablevision.
‘It takes a ton of work to create a production and through this class I was able to see the impact each person involved in the project truly has,’ said Ruby Mateo ’10, a television major.
‘Successfully producing high-quality sports television takes the full cooperation of a large group of skilled individuals with clearly defined roles,’ said Timmeny, who hopes to increase the class size for when he teaches the’ course again next fall.
Each student held a different role for each of the games produced. Roles included producer, director, graphics, announcers, camera people, tech director and engineer.
‘This semester, the class was a smaller group, and at times it forced students to take on multiple roles during broadcasts,’ said Timmeny.
But that did not hamper the student’s ability.’
‘I think the students did a fantastic job,’ said Timmeny. ‘We had an incredibly talented and well-prepared group of students and it showed in the quality of the broadcasts.’
In order to produce the games, students had to quickly form a close network among them in order to help production run smoothly.
‘It was a small class in a small major, so we all know each other pretty well, which was helpful since we learned it takes a lot of collaboration and teamwork,’ said Mateo.
Timmeny’s idea to create the course began in the Fall of 2007 when he realized there was a growing interest in television sports broadcasting.
‘Because of the unique connection between the visual and performing arts and the Fairfield University Media Center, we were fortunate enough to have access to the high-end equipment needed to produce quality sports content that rivals professional sports broadcasts,’ said Timmeny.
The energy of the small excited group of students volunteering their time and effort to broadcast Fairfield University basketball alongside Media Center staff created a ripple effect in the New Media Center majors and the numbers nearly tripled by the Fall of 2008.
‘The logical next step was to develop a course that engaged these students in projects they were passionate about and provided a framework for teaching them the skills necessary to successfully produce professional sports content,’ said Timmeny.
‘My goal was to develop a course that challenged students to learn every major aspect of producing a multi-camera sports broadcast,’ said Timmeny.
Mateo agrees that students definitely faced challenges in learning how to produce sports live.
‘I quickly learned that with live T.V. there is no time for mistakes. But the mistakes we made along the way really helped to show how us difficult live sports broadcasting is,’ said Mateo.
In the end, amidst minor mistakes along the way, students came out of the class successful.
‘Look for us in the Fall,’ said Timmeny, who after a successful pilot course looks ahead to producing more games come next semester