Follow 12 Park School students as they intern at NBC's New York studios covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Let's make one thing clear: I had a blast working for NBC's Olympic Highlight Factory. That's as obvious as Misty May and Kerri Walsh winning gold in beach volleyball - you knew it would happen. What I didn't expect was the responsibility I was given. I worked on the set of Saturday Night Live as a shot selector. I edited footage from the Beijing games into highlight reels and encore footage for nbcolympics.com. One of my videos received 2.2 million hits in less than 24 hours, which just validated the enormous impact us interns had. Our videos were seen by millions and millions of people, what other interns at other places can say that?
- Brendan O'Keefe
Friday, August 29, 2008
The age-old icebreaking question tossed around by college friends (how was your summer?) is the first of the same few when I say I worked for the Olympics:
Did you go to Beijing? No.
So you worked in New York? ...No.
I am the one Ithaca College student who worked in Stamford, Connecticut for the NBC Olympics website. It's no 30 Rock nor is it close to Beijing, but its employees gave me the opportunity to request and retain responsibility like nothing I could imagine in the biggest broadcasting endeavor in the history of television. Located on an office floor deserted by producers having escaped to China, I first thought it would be a lonely month with just my supervisor to keep me company. Little did I know that more than 30 different experts representing the vast majority of Olympic sports would be bustling around the area, constantly seeking my assistance. It was my job to help manage them while they contributed text commentary to complement live video streams of almost every sport. I fixed technical issues, published expert answers on the website, helped publish photo galleries and above all, made sure the commentators were satisfied.
People may claim that video streaming and text commentary has been around for almost a decade, but it's never been presented like this. All the hardcore fans of sports from table tennis to basketball to equestrian to water polo can watch every match online as much as they please with color commentary scrolling beneath many of the videos. Through this internship I've met past Olympic medalists and coaches, current Olympic hopefuls, and even athletes promoting their own instructional DVDs. I was also fortunate enough to meet Louie Volpecelli, a former director of the Olympic Games who once supervised Dick Ebersol, now chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. Besides the sleep schedule adjustment, I had to get used to being treated like an equal employee in this operation. I'd say the sleep adjustment was harder.