Communication Studies Students to Film Summer Olympics

May 7, 1996

WACO, Texas - Approximately 20 graduate students in Baylor University's communication studies program will travel to the summer Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., this summer to help film and archive all of the sporting events for Atlanta Olympic Broadcasting 1996 (AOC 96).

Working as "VTR-loggers," the students will videotape live feeds of the events and make a written record of each event.

"Their job will be to help produce live feeds for approximately 200 different international broadcasters to send home," said Chad Watkins, a member of the AOC 96 Archives Services Department. "They also will have to make a written record of each event for the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. They are helping create the legacy for the Olympics."

The Baylor students were selected to participate in the project after going through two days of intense training by Watkins and Chris Brown, another member of the Archives Services Department. Following a lead from Baylor alumna Erin O'Brien, Watkins and Brown coordinated with Dr. Corey Carbonara, associate professor and director of telecommnication and Brian Elliott, lecturer in communication studies, to visit the campus and train the graduate students on an advanced digital taping machine.

After the training, the students had to take a written test and a skills test which they had to pass to be invited to participate in the project. All of the Baylor students passed the tests.

"We had a great turnout from the Baylor students," Watkins said. "We threw a lot of information at them. They were able to take it in at a quick rate, retain the information and give it back to us the way we wanted. We were really pleased."

The Baylor students are part of an effort by the AOC 96 to use the talents of college-age students. The AOC 96 is using an upwards of 600 college students as camera men, runners, VTR-loggers and camera assistants.

"We are excited for the students because they will be able to experience the highest level of production," Elliott said. "We hope they benefit from the opportunity of interfacing with broadcasters from all over the world."

Shawn Risner of Waco and Brooks Grigson of Springfield, Va., are two of the students going to the Olympics.

They both believe the emphasis that Baylor's telecommunication studies program places on new technologies gave them an upper hand during the training.

"They were really impressed with our skill level," Grigson said.

"Especially with our ability to do non-linear editing on the computer," Risner added. Risner will serve as the assistant leader for the Baylor students while the group works at the Olympics.

The students will work in Atlanta for approximately one month, from July 8 to early August. During the games, they will work 10 hours per day with no days off. While each student will earn approximately $200 per day, each is responsible for airfare, food and lodging. The students are coordinating with Baylor alumni and Baptist churches in the Atlanta area to arrange for lodging.

For more information, contact Elliott or Risner at (817) 755-1511.

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