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Stirling students help bring Games to a global TV audience

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Stirling student Jonny Shepherd (left) with the
Stirling student Jonny Shepherd (left) with the "Spidercam" used to bring images of the Commonwealth Games to TV viewers around the world.

‌Students from the University of Stirling played a key role in bringing the Commonwealth Games to homes around the world.

Fifteen people – all on BA Honours courses in the School of Arts and Humanities – were working for TV crews bringing images of the games to an international audience, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Host Broadcaster Training Initiative.

The students all study film and media and/or journalism at Stirling and were working for the host broadcasters Sunset+Vine and Global Television (SVGTV) during the Games – to provide footage to global broadcasters like the BBC.

Some students acted as assistants or “runners”. Others worked as “loggers” – helping to sort the huge amount of footage coming in across games sites – and one even helped with the medal ceremonies. Two also managed to win places as runners and drivers for the Australian broadcaster Network 10.

Dario Sinforiani, head of production teaching at the University, said: “The Games gave our students a great opportunity to work with top TV professionals and get amazing work experience. This is an unprecedented opportunity and will stand them in good stead when they enter the job market.”

He added: “In total around 200 students worked on TV production roles at the Games, under the Host Broadcaster Training Initiative run by SVGTV in conjunction with Creative Loop, an organisation that acts as a bridge between education and the media industries.”

The Stirling students are:

  • Connor Dornan, Runner, International Broadcast Centre;
  • David Chalmers, Runner, International Broadcast Centre;                 
  • David Mercer, Opening Ceremony Runner;   
  • Ehssan Shamoradi, Hockey Broadcast Information Officer Assistant;
  • Eilidh Power, Broadcast Information Officer  Assistant, International Broadcast Centre;
  • Jack Harrison, Boxing Runner;                      
  • Jonny Shepherd, Opening Ceremony Runner;          
  • Kiana Kalantar Hormozi, Editorial International Broadcast Centre;                 
  • Mike Trevett, Mountain Bike Runner;
  • Rachel Low, Gymnastics Runner;     
  • Sarah-Jane Thomson, Logger International Broadcast Centre;
  • Stephen Burton, Logger International Broadcast Centre;
  • Derek Sigurdsson, Runner/Driver, Network 10 Australia;     
  • Lewis Ramsay, Runner/Driver, Network 10 Australia; and
  • Yana Ivantcheva, Stage Management, Medal Ceremonies.   

Jonny Shepherd, a BA Film and Media student from Edinburgh, said working at the Commonwealth Games was “fantastic”.

He said: “I was working alongside guys from Germany who work with Spidercam equipment, and working alongside other guys who were setting up the Towercam which was used to film the speeches made at the podium.

“The guys I worked with really got me involved and really appreciated the help I gave them, as well as my willingness to stay behind after the games to help them de-rig everything, despite losing some sleep to get up at 5 a.m. the next morning for work!”

He added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed it and feel I have gained a huge amount of experience and it will definitely boost my CV in applying for jobs.”

David Mercer, a BA Film and Media student from Ayrshire, said: “I had a fantastic time working for the Host Broadcasters. I worked at the International Broadcast Centre on the 7 July and since I did a good job they asked me to come back. Turns out I ended up working there until the 16 July, then I started my runner role at Celtic Park for the Opening Ceremony. That was fantastic. It was amazing seeing all the behind the scenes stuff. While I was there I got to sit in the OB truck with the director, producer and script assistants. They explained to me how the broadcast worked from that room and I found it extremely interesting, especially when I see it in practice.

“The whole experience has been fantastic and I could not have asked for a better place to start in the television industry. I have found it really useful and interesting, and met some of the nicest people who have told me to keep in touch.”

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