Before the world-televised events, before the opening ceremonies, even before the athletes arrived in London, graduates of the New England School of Communications were there getting ready to make sure the world sees it all. NESCom graduates Brandon Gassett (’09) and Keith Bickford (’10) are all ready for the 2012 Summer Olympics with their positions at EVS. Here, Rodney Verrill, Director of the Video Production Department at NESCom chats with Brandon Gassett about his work in London and his work with EVS since graduating from NESCom.
Verrill: For those who might not be familiar with EVS, what does the company do and where is it based out of?
Gassett: EVS is known for it’s Instant Replay at Live Sporting events. Over the years EVS has grown its product line and offers a variety of options other than instant replay. We facilitate customers who want a tapeless workflow. This would include a system that records all media to a server, manages the media/metadata, edits it directly off our server, or send it to a third party editing application and also play media out to air. EVS’s main Head Quarter’s is located in Belgium amongst other offices spread out around the world. I am located in NJ, which is the North America’s Head Quarters.
Verrill: How did you find yourself working at EVS and where had this job taken you?
Gassett: I got the EVS job through my work at NESCom. I have been at EVS for about two years and have traveled to more places then I have in my entire life. I have made multiple trips to Belgium. I spent 6 weeks in Germany last summer for ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup.
EDITORS NOTE: In addition, Brandon has worked with the following programs and events through his work with EVS: US Open Tennis, The Late Show, The Ellen Show, Big Brother, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, MTV Studios NY, NBC Super Bowl Support at facility and the NFL on CBS.
Verrill: During your time in London, what is your title in your involvement with the Summer Olympics?
Gassett: My title for the Summer Olympics is Technical Support. My involvement is to configure the EVS system that will be used at the IBC (International Broadcast Center). Myself and another colleague arrived in London 3 weeks before the opening ceremony to configure the system. While the games are going on, my responsibility, amongst a few other colleagues, will be to monitor the system and make sure it runs with out any issues. I will also be performing small trainings and answer any questions that the operators may have.
Verrill: What are you doing in London? (duties, job description)
Gassett: I will be in London working for NBC. Configuring the system, training people how to use the system and then monitoring the system through out the entire event.
Verrill: What happens behind the scenes that the viewers usually don’t see or hear?
Gassett: The viewers don’t see how much work and people it takes to put an event like this together. Viewers only see what is on air, they don’t see the 24/7 hour operation behind that. Editors and producers working shifts in order to provide the best coverage as possible. At times, we will be removing a couple pieces from our Database and pointing them to a database at a venue. This will allow the operations to connect into the venue and view the media on there entire system. They will then be able to initiate a file transfer back to the IBC. At the IBC we have 14 XT3 Servers, 1 XS Server, 13 IP Directors, 12 XTAccess PC’s and two redundant Database Servers. NBC’s facility will also have connections for file transfers back to the US.
Verrill: You also, visited the USA Olympic Training Center before heading to London. What was that like?
Gassett: I went to the facility to set up a miniature system to replicate the workflows we will be doing for the actual events. It was a good experience to see what we would be dealing with before arriving in London.
Verrill: With all that you’re doing now at EVS, did NESCom prepare you to work in that field?
Gassett: NESCom prepared me to work in the Live Production market. At EVS I deal with Mobile Production units on a daily basis. NESCom’s Mobile Unit prepared me by showing me how the Live world operated, operationally and technically.
For more information on EVS, visit: http://www.evs.tv/