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Behind the lens, the story of NSCtv

07/15/2013, 3:00pm CDT
By Ryan Lund

Keeping a tournament like Schwan’s USA CUP running is no easy task.

From registration and officiating, to scheduling and maintenance, each member of the staff at the National Sports Center can recall a number of late nights at the office.

But for video producers Jake Frantzen and Heidi Hedstrom, every night at Schwan’s USA CUP is a late night.

The NSC video team can be seen across campus, shooting footage for new episodes of NSCtv.

“Our average during USA CUP is probably around midnight,” Jake says, laughing off the time crunch as just another day at the office.  The duo is the brains behind NSCtv, the National Sports Center’s long-running weekly video show.

Because while the crew of NSCtv is afforded a week’s worth of planning, shooting and editing time throughout the year, USA CUP shrinks the team’s production schedule to just 24 hours, as the show becomes NSCtv at USA CUP.

“Setting small goals, like interviewing someone, or finding the right song for a video helps,” Jake says.  “And a lot of the process, finding stories, setting up interviews, that can happen before USA CUP.”

Still, compiling a daily video show is no small feat.

“A lot of those events, a lot of those stories, they happen here,” he said. “We like to be open to spontaneous things that happen on campus.”

And just as Jake and Heidi like to keep viewers on their toes, spontaneity has been a key part of NSCtv’s history.

Barclay Kruse, Chief Communications Officer at the National Sports Center, originally tasked a pair of interns with bringing video production to USA CUP in 2007, a goal that quickly began to evolve.

“They originally wanted to do an NSC audio show,” Jake says.  “Something like a podcast.”

The idea expanded rapidly, as the show that would become NSCtv began to take shape.  Veteran host and NSC Marketing Director Scott Clasen joined the video team in 2008, becoming the face of the fledgling production.

Jake came on board in 2009, and notes the advances that the show has made in those four short years.  A show that started as an idea, backed by a $200 camera, quickly evolved into a far more elaborate production.

“It’s been amazing to see how much technology has changed,even as long as I’ve been here,” he said.  “This is my fifth USA CUP, and it’s amazing how much video technology has improved.”

Video intern Heidi Hedstrom, who works closely with Jake on the entire NSCtv production, has seen her own skills develop to fit the tight demands of the show.

“I was really nervous coming in,” she says.  “I had done a lot of production, but I was kind of nervous about how my skills were going to evolve.”

Hedstrom was a part of the summer intern class at the National Sports Center, and has developed an effective rapport with the experienced show-runner, even when the pressures of the job begin to take their toll.

“It’s nice because Jake will meet you where you’re at,” Hedstrom said. “He was really willing to let me explore the software and let me work my way into it.”

According to Frantzen, Hedstrom has acquitted herself well, even as the demands of the job have begun to mount.

“It’s hard to know what you’re going to get when you hire an intern,” he said.  “You really never know how someone is going to react to the pressure of a daily video show.  She’s handled it very well.”

While Jake and Heidi are a common sight around campus during USA CUP, shooting video and interviewing potential subjects, the bulk of their work occurs once the camera has stopped rolling.

“It’s funny, because a lot of people see you filming and they just think that, well you take that back and you’re done,” she says.  In fact, Frantzen and Hedstrom spend the bulk of their time in the NSC’s main offices, editing video, synchronizing audio, and bringing the final product together.

For all of their efforts, the minds behind NSCtv are content to work outside the spotlight.  It’s midnight at the National Sports Center, and there’s video to edit, b-roll to sort, and audio to synchronize.

For all of the hurdles however, the NSCtv video production team couldn’t be happier.


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Tag(s): July 15, 2013