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CBS Sports Gives Ole Miss Students Behind the Scenes Access

During the Ole Miss Men’s Basketball game, a group of Ole Miss students got to experience first hand as to how a live production is broadcasted.
CBS Sports Director Mark Grant gave the students a tour of the production trailers, where he and his staff work up to 16 hours to prepare before the game.
Grant took students on an exclusive inside look of Tad Smith Coliseum to see exactly where he and his crew strategically place all the cameras they utilize during the game.
“To be honest, I had no idea. That’s the whole reason I wanted to do this whole thing. I always wondered where they go, talking about going from camera to camera,” senior Ole Miss student Pete Porter said.
Students volunteered their time on Saturday morning by acting as runners for Grant and his staff. Students not only got to run errands for the staff, but also got a chance to watch the live production of the Ole Miss-Florida game.
According to Grant he works in unison with 35-40 people for college basketball games, but the staff could increase depending of the magnitude of the game. Each person inside of the production trailers and inside of the arena had to communicate effectively with Grant to correctly time what people saw on television.
“I’m Mark’s right hand man, whatever Mark wants to see, visuals or full-screen graphics I put that up,” technical producer David Saretsky said.

CBS Sports Director Mark Grant talks to Ole Miss students about the intricate process of being responsible for directing a live sporting event.
CBS Sports Director Mark Grant talks to Ole Miss students about the intricate process of being responsible for directing a live sporting event.

Although Grant is the director, he indicated he not only must direct the game to his satisfaction, but take into account what his bosses in New York would like to see.
“The most stressful part of my job is the pressure, the pressure of network television, millions and millions of people are watching,” Grant said, “the expectations are high with our bosses…there is zero tolerance for mistakes.”
Grant told the students if you never have been inside of a production trailer you would not expect, it’s nothing as it seems.
According the the students inside the trailer for the game the experience was mind-opening, and the environment of controlled chaos was impressive. They also said the staff was very personable during the entire experience and truly felt as if the staff went out of their way to help them better understand the overwhelming scene of how to put on an effective production.
– Story written and video produced by Ashleigh Culpepper and Gabriel Austin, who are students in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

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