Taking games from courts to couches

Paper’s always more satisfying to work with – fight me about it. Scott Graham

Learn how the U of R’s creative media team puts together the best experience for game viewers

Last week, the Carillon took you through an interview with Braden Konshuh, the sports information director at the University of Regina, and he highly suggested that we do an interview with Morgan Fleury and Matt Degenhardt, two interns for the creative media team. They have been working side by side for four years, and are going to be graduating this year with degrees in film production. They wanted to share with you what it looks like to put on a game for the Regina Cougars, and the ups and downs of the job.

How did you get this job, and what past education or training do you have?

Degenhardt got the job by being at a welcome barbecue where the dean of kinesiology asked what program he was in, and then suggested Degenhardt come see him in his office where the job began. He started just working the camera, moved to director of replays, then eventually he started to run the shows.

Fleury started looking into this job during her second semester after hearing the stories from Degenhardt, as she wanted a piece of the action. She contacted the dean of kinesiology as well, also starting off on the camera before working her way up the ladder.

Who is all involved on your team and what are their main roles?

When it comes to game night, Degenhardt and Fleury focus on the broadcast and not experiencing any technical difficulties, but the entire team works together. Everyone has an equal value in production and everyone else oversees the “getting in the zone” part. So, they get their equipment set up, have people directing, setting up replays, making highlight packages, taking pictures, and camera operators right on court side.

What happens when you have more than one game happening at once? Who helps you with that?

Fleury explains the crew comes in an hour before the game and starts off with downloaded graphic packages, then they run the show separately. Recently, either Fleury or Degenhardt have been heading to the hockey rink while the other stays at the university for a basketball game. Then the two teams split up, set up all the gear, and start the stream. Once the game is over, they clean up, come back, and do it all over again the next day.

Degenhardt wanted to add that “people don’t realise how much prep work actually goes into making a sports game happen live.” It involves looking and planning ahead a week, and constant improvement to give their entire team an equal chance to learn. This media team itself has improved so much over these past four years, but there are still more ways to improve in upcoming years.

Can you give a step-by-step run down of the action?

When a game is going on inside of the production studio, they can control everything from inside of their control room from a tricaster. Before it is game time, Fleury and Degenhardt prep for the game by making scripts for the game, schedule who is coming for each game, and what their roles are. Then, once the teams arrive, it is time for the action and to start the broadcast.
            This involves making sure they are on the correct channel, have the correct information, making sure the score board is working along with all angles of the cameras, and confirming that the commentators have their script and content. It all concludes inside of the control room where they can take in camera inputs, and they can switch between the feeds live to show what is happening on the court, twitter, recordings, highlights, and other areas too.

What is your main goal of the job, and what is your favourite part?

Fleury’s main goal is that she wants everything to go smooth, start to finish, including set up, streaming the game, following the script of the game, and the tear down. Her favourite part is feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment for having great content for Canada West and watchers.

Degenhardt’s goal is to get the Cougars and Rams to one of the most recognizable Usports brands. His favourite part involves gaining and having four years of career work before graduation, and “experiencing the growth every weekend since I’ve started, we have gone from having a little folding table to an entire control room.”

We understand you made some content for convocation in a gymnasium; what did work on that involve?

Convocation was very different this year because it was done inside of the university, and the media team was in charge of streaming it rather than it being at the Conexus Arts Centre. Although, it sounds like something both Fleury and Degenhardt are proud of doing for the school, as they made it enjoyable for the people watching at home, made sure the students could watch themselves walk across the stage and their friends, and they made sure the switches for presentations and speeches were smooth and produced well. For something that they did for their first time, it went extremely well. To have 800 or more viewers at home, and the people watching in the gymnasium is extensively important for not just the university but the media team as well.

Where do you plan on working once you graduate?

Fleury wants to work making movies and finding work in the art department and film design side.

Degenhardt wants to work in broadcast producing. He explains “I like the administration side over the creative side. I like the process of the prep being stressful for three hours, then the next day it’s something new.”

Any recommendations for what would help people get into a job like this?

Both recommend just reaching out. This entire team is made up of students who work hard and well. The entire team helps represent the university on a public front. If you are involved with film, journalism, or kinesiology, and want the chance for more experience, just reach out!

Now you know more about the stress happening behind the television while you watch a basketball game from the luxury from your own home.


Comments are closed.