The folks who are normally behind the scenes to give fans a front row seat for South Carolina Athletics with video features and highlights, took center stage recently after earning a pair of prestigious awards. Gamecock Productions, the video production department for South Carolina Athletics, recently earned an Emmy Award and an award from Sports Video Group (SVG) for last year’s “Gamecock Confidential: Forever to Thee” series on the football program.
“It just shows the depth and quality of people we have here,” said Paul Danna, Director of Gamecock Productions. “The storytelling is what makes this piece so good, along with the quality of the videography. You really see the depth and quality of work. It shows the versatility of things we’re able to do. The awards are nice, but it just shows how well everyone here works.”
“Gamecock Productions has done outstanding work in the past, producing content for coaches’ shows, the web site, and social media,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “They synergy developed between Gamecock Productions and our new creative video unit will set us up for excellence in this area for years to come.”
Sport Video Group is the national organization within the industry, ranging from networks to colleges to manufacturers who produce video equipment. The recognition is the eighth SVG and third Emmy Award Gamecock Productions has earned in the last decade.
“We tried to cover each practice differently, whether it was wiring coaches or looking at different featured content,” said Marissa Cockrell, Assistant Director of External Affairs/Gamecock Productions, who was also heavily involved with the series. “Anyone can cover a practice, but trying to make it different and interesting and finding those stories was the challenge. To hear our name called for the award was great.”
“It’s awesome to see all of your hard work pay off,” added Associate Director for Gamecock Productions Joe Buschur. “It was a challenge to be in all of the different places where everything was happening that you see in the series. There was a lot to keep track of, and you still had to stay on top of all the things that needed to be done for the other fall sports and have them ready for the beginning of their seasons.”
Everyone at Gamecock Productions did an outstanding job on the Gamecock Confidential series. It was one of the most popular video series that’s we’ve done.Charles Bloom, Exec. Assoc. A.D.
Danna credits former colleague Jonathan Hillyard, who is now running a private company in the Atlanta area, for taking the lead on the “Gamecock Confidential” series last fall.
“He deserves all the credit for it,” Danna said. “This was his project. A lot of people chipped in, but he spearheaded it to the high quality for it was. They shot for about five weeks, and worked about nine or ten hours per day on this.”
“Paul Danna and everyone at Gamecock Productions did an outstanding job on the Gamecock Confidential series,” said Charles Bloom, Executive Associate Athletics Director. “It was one of the most popular video series that’s we’ve done.”
The South Carolina Baseball intro video, which was created by Buschur, and promos created for women’s basketball by student Patrick Clancy were also nominated for SVG awards. The baseball video series “Win Anyway,” which was produced by two former students in the spring of 2016, was also nominated for an Emmy Award this year.
“What really comes through is the knowledge of our staff and our students of knowing what they can capture with the cameras, and editing a darn good piece of content,” Danna said.
At a time when a lot of video content is consumed in short clips on social media, Danna noted that there is still plenty of room for quality storytelling about student-athletes.
“People want to know about other people they care about, including athletes and coaches,” Danna said. “There is always a place for good stories. There’s a place for every aspect of content, and social media is getting bigger and bigger in the world of recruiting. Good stories are always going to be there, otherwise you wouldn’t have prime time TV or see the success that Netflix is having with their original stories, or the ‘30 for 30’ and ‘E60’ series that you see on ESPN.”
In its current form, Gamecock Productions has been around since 2008. In addition to feature content, Gamecock Productions creates highlight videos after home events for every sport, intro videos, and other videos for use on social media, the athletics department web site, as well as the “Gamecock Insider” and weekly coaches’ television shows, which they also produce.