Behind The Scenes

ESPN goes all out in celebration of US military here and abroad

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Vin Guglielmina captures firefighting training. (ESPN)
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SportsCenter salutes the troops


It was 38 degrees early this morning (thanks Weather.com) in Annapolis, Md. when Coordinating Producer Michael Fountain arrived outside Brancroft Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy. He and his team were there to prepare a SportsCenter set for the 9 a.m. ET show and day-long reports as part of ESPN’s fifth annual “America’s Heroes: A Salute to the Troops Presented by USAA” initiative.

SportsCenter anchors Hannah Storm and Kevin Negandhi will be based outside Bancroft Hall today because, “It is one of the largest dormitories in the world — it houses all 4,400 Midshipmen and is the focal point of the Naval Academy,” Fountain said.

Kevin Negandhi with Naval Academy students.
Kevin Negandhi with Naval Academy students.
“What an honor to be here to celebrate our veterans today and acknowledge their service, sacrifice and love of country,” Storm said. “This is especially meaningful given that my father was a US Marine. The Marines Hymn was the first song I learned as a child — in addition to the Notre Dame fight song of course!”[/box]

ESPN’s pieces running today from United States Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, as part of ESPN’s fifth annual “America’s Heroes: A Salute to the Troops Presented by USAA,” were shot during a five-day stretch in September by a small crew led by ESPN Feature Producer Jennifer Chafitz.

From fires on the ground (the camp’s all-civilian Korean Fire Department), to panoramic air visuals from a Blackhawk helicopter (above Jamsil Olympic Stadium, site of the XXIV Olympiad’s Opening Ceremony), the pieces give viewers a good sense of where tonight’s Armed Forces Classic (Georgetown-Oregon) basketball game will be played.

This is Chafitz’ first “Veterans Day” assignment and third handled by members of Oakland, Calif.-based production company Seventh Movement (Thomas McCallum, Vin Guglielmina, Justin Fredericks and Anton Herbert) for ESPN’s Feature Unit. Last year they shot at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and in 2011 they set the scene for the Carrier Classic between Michigan State and North Carolina on The USS Carl Vinson in San Diego Harbor.

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Tom McCallum shoots Jamsil Olympic Stadium. (ESPN)
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