Long before toe ever touches leather in Georgia Southern’s home football opener against Maine on Sept. 7, you can expect dozens of meetings and hundreds of hours of preparation for the game.
That sort of buildup is expected from the football team, but it also holds true for the production team that will work through Georgia Southern’s Multimedia Development Center to broadcast the Eagles’ first home game of the 2019 season.
In order to bring fans tuning in via online streaming a top-notch production, there are already hundreds of hours being poured into the process that will give anyone unable to attend a game the next best thing to standing in Paulson Stadium.
“It’s a big process,” says AV Production Specialist Ben Powell. “We have to make sure of the full crew and setup well beforehand. Once that is done, there’s still a go-through with cameras and the control room about 90 minutes before any event and then we put on the show.”
Powell might make things sound easy, but there is plenty that goes into any production of a sporting event at Georgia Southern. Just as every game has its unique moments and storylines, every production has its own challenges.
“Part of the preparation is to be ready for anything that has to be adjusted,” said Multimedia Specialist Bryan Dykstra. “We always need to be firing on all cylinders and ready for anything that comes up.”
For every live stream of a Georgia Southern athletic event, up to two dozen people are involved in the planning, shooting and broadcasting. Initial plans and storylines are laid days in advance as the team prepares for the live event. Once the game is underway, the directors and producers at the Multimedia
Development Center are tasked with keeping a ball in the air - keeping with the initial script as much as possible while adapting on the fly to any emerging stories that present themselves during the game.
“Storytelling is 80 percent of what we do for any game,” Dykstra said. “Even as the game is unfolding, we try to figure out how to tell the story best. After that, we look at what we did and try to find how we can tell the next story even better.”
The Multimedia Development Center will be streaming over 100 events occuring on the Georgia Southern campus - from athletics, to graduation ceremonies - throughout the new academic year.