Behind The Scenes

GameDay-ready boot camp grads

(L-R) Full Sail grads Jason Black, Eric McGrew and Emerging Technology’s Jeremiah Swartz and Sue Madden.
Editor’s Note: The Longhorn Network launches Friday night at 7 ET from the University of Texas campus. ESPN College GameDay will aid the kickoff, and two freshly minted grads of Full Sail University will help run the show. David Saphirstein, Director, Creative Technology who manages ESPN’s relationship with Full Sail University, explains.

It’s nice when a plan comes together.

When we opened up the Sports Lab at Full Sail University, we had big plans to create new technologies, produce large scale shoots, collaborate with talented and professional faculty and students and — if we’re fortunate — hire some of that student talent to work at ESPN.

In six short months we’ve done everything on that list, the final happening last week when we hired two recent Full Sail graduates to run our virtual technology for ESPN College GameDay.

We put the graduates through an intense six-week integration on everything virtual from software, jib and hardware set-up to signal flow and what it’s like to work under the pressure of a live telecast.

ESPN provided the best from the Emerging Technology Department that included Aaron Thiel, Sue Madden, Jeremiah Swartz and Hans Anderson to take them through the entire process.

Upon completion, we offered Eric McGrew and Jason Black positions as part of the GameDay team that will travel every week during the college football season.

They’ll be the guys on campus setting up and running our technology that adds banners to buildings, monitors to fields and logos anywhere we can find.

This week they’ll be at the launch of the Longhorn Network in Austin, Texas.

After that, they’ll be anywhere ESPN College GameDay is.

Now, on to the next plan.

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