Highlights video supplied by NC’s BRTF program and edited by student Jacob Kelusky.
For third year Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film (BRTF) program student James Maier, covering the Olympic Wrestling Trails in Niagara Falls in December wasn’t his first foray into event coverage, but it was the most dynamic to date.
“The project was different from others we’ve worked on. We were working with a new organization on a sport we were not used to. Not to mention we had two streams happening at the same time,” said Maier. “Everything I have been learning in Dutch’s class came back to help me. I am definitely going to look fondly on this experience for years to come.”
With the help of NC alumnus Brent Gust (BRTF, 2011), video operator with Dome Productions in Ottawa, who led on the technical side, twenty BRTF students applied their learning to covering Canada’s best wrestlers – live – as they took to the mat to compete for a spot on the national team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Gust, who regularly works on NHL, CFL and other major events in Ottawa, will be covering the summer Olympics in Tokyo. “Coming back to Niagara to work on productions with the students and staff is an amazing experience,” said Gust, “The students can do amazing things and with the support of alumni there is no limit to what we can accomplish. I love coming back and working with students. Paying it forward makes it better for everyone, and having proud grads that give back is the real NC advantage.”
Each match was covered by up to five cameras at a time, and due to space restrictions, students worked out of two on-site control rooms that had to be setup and wired for this project. This became the hub where the group managed the productions for the live-streamed broadcasts, editing stations, audio mixing, instant replays and graphics. Maier was grateful to his fellow students for their support throughout the grueling three days of filming.
The coverage garnered the interest of CBC Sports, who aired footage of the trials on their national platforms. On the receiving end of the feeds at the CBC in Toronto was none other than NC alumnus Hayden Grierson (BRTF, 2017). Grierson works as a Media Presentation technician – Streaming at CBC.
Grierson saw Peter ‘Dutch’ VandenBerg, professor in NC’s School of Media’s name on an email chain for the coverage and realized it was an NC-produced event.
“It was a little bit surreal for me,” said Grierson, who reached out to VandenBerg to let him know that they would be working together. “I was excited to watch the BRTF student’s coverage. The production was good to start, but over the course of the three days I could see the students improving. Camera movement got smoother, graphics looked better and more professional, even the directors sequencing and storytelling improved.”
“The quality of the production definitely lived up to the quality expectations of CBC.ca,” said Grierson. “I love seeing students get opportunities like this to improve their abilities and show off their skills to a wider audience.”
“My colleagues at the CBC were making fun of me because I was acting like a proud mother any time there was a nice sequence or a well-placed shot,” said Grierson. “As Dutch always says, we bleed blue. I still take pride in everything that I see NC students do and always will.”
While in the BRTF program, Grierson had the opportunity to produce the high profile IIHF World Junior Women’s Hockey Championship, another project partnering with TSN.
Thinking back to his own experience as a student, Grierson recalls the nervous energy from the crew before the game. “Everybody got into the swing of it and we were able to create something that we could be proud of. I can only imagine that the crew on the wrestling trials felt similar. They can look back on it as a highlight of their college career.”
2021 Canada Summer Games
The Olympic wrestling trials were hosted by Wrestling Canada Lutte, the 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society, and the Brock Wrestling Club. BRTF students’ involvement was just the beginning, as they’re set to cover the 2021 Canada Summer Games, the country’s largest multi-sport.
“The wrestling trials were a great opportunity for our students to get their feet wet filming live sporting events outside of their coverage of the Knights, especially in preparation for the 2021 Canada Summer Games. NC broadcasting students will play a central role in live-streaming coverage for Canada’s largest multi-sport event,” said VandenBerg.
The Canadian Wrestling Trials are set to start tomorrow – they will be selecting Team Canada for the 2020 Olympics – I would invite you to come and watch except we are SOLD OUT – watch them streamed live on our 2021 webpage: t.co/d9YN22bWzE (Thanks to Niagara College) pic.twitter.com/pxMuAuv4I4
— Barry Wright (@BarryatBrock) December 4, 2019