Oct 21

Easing into the weekend … with an 11-hour day at the office

My morning started with a meeting. I used the Zoom option, because some people have trouble with masks. My day ended with another meeting. There was no Zoom option. I wish there had been a Zoom option. But not because of the masks.

My day should have ended with that meeting, but I ended up running into a prospective student and her father and talked about the school for a while. And I shot an instructional video and finally left the office at 7 p.m. On Friday. All of this was made possible because that Friday afternoon meeting ran until 6 p.m.

In between those meetings, though, I caught up on a week’s worth of emails and many of the small chores that fill up everyone’s work week. I also went to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get a temporary handicapped driver placard. The Yankee can’t drive for a few weeks, doctor’s orders, but parking on every college campus in America is a premium commodity, and she’ll be limited in her walking distances the next few weeks.

So I got the temporary tag. And I updated my car’s registration, as well. And this was the time of the day when the sun broke through the clouds. It was a wonderful moment to be outside doing things.

The other thing I did was to notice that the BMV office is close to Carson’s, the best barbecue in town, so I picked up a sandwich to take back to the office.

It isn’t Bob Sykes, but it will do get the job done in the moment.

I haven’t updated this space with any of the student television this week, so let’s get caught up.

The morning show introduced us to some service dogs and had some other great segments, as well.

The best part is when they’re trying to introduce the dogs, who are trying to be service animals, and one of them immediately hides under the chair. You couldn’t have coaxed that out of that pup any better. Never work with animals, they say. Whoever says that doesn’t appreciate the joy of the spontaneity.

Here is one of IUSTV’s new shows this semester. Bring in a student filmmaker, have them talk about a project they’ve produced. It’s pretty cool.

I say one of their new shows, because there are two new shows this term. Here’s the first episode of a new sports project, almost everyone on it is an underclassman. I’m excited to see where they take this as it grows.

Of course that isn’t enough sports for you, but not to worry. I’ve got more sports for you. Here’s the oldest sports show in our catalog. They produced this one Wednesday night, and it has all the highlights and the looks ahead you’ll need for the weekend of IU sports.

And tomorrow is homecoming around here. (Naturally they have scheduled a top 10 conference foe for homecoming.) The Toss Up has your deep dive ready, right here.

One of the entertainment crews was in the studio this evening, as well. And we should see that episode early next week. I’ll have it here in a timely fashion.

Until then, have a great weekend, and don’t forget we’ll have Catober updates on Saturday and Sunday.

Oct 21

Sometimes, somehow, the day goes quickly

Computers arrived today. Sixteen pallets of them. Ninety-six machines. We unloaded the pallets and took the individual computer boxes out of the larger ones. We put them in temporary storage, waiting for the holidays or some other slow time to install them in our building. (Slow time. The next slow time is scheduled to be three weeks spread out over next summer.) Also, we have 80-something more machines due in next week.

Computers are strenuous exercise around the office. We have six computer lab style classrooms and the giant computer lab.

I remember when the now old ones went in as new ones. It’s an experience that lives with you. How the guy in charge of all of those machines — and their software and the many updates — is able to keep it all straight in his head never ceases to amaze me.

Here’s the first sports show that they shot last night. It’s all the highlights fit to highlight.

The second show will be up on Friday or so.

And now I have to record an interview for the podcast. And then I’ll produce it. And I’ll share it with you, and the rest of the world, tomorrow.

(Update: It was a great subject, and an interesting interview. I think you’re going to like it.)

Oct 21

We had an important, historic night in the studio

Tonight it was the sports group in the studio. The producers came to me and talked about a special program they were considering and they teased out all the necessary details. They wanted to walk about the health of women’s sports. They had topics, subtopics, timing, guests, all of it figured out. They wanted to break their normal routines and do something they felt was important. They took the initiative and those are the days that make the rest of the days worth it. One of the shows looked like this.

It was timely, topical and pointed conversation about where we are in women’s sports, and why, and where we should be. They were excited to do it, and excited afterward, as they should be. Every episode deserves this much gusto.

Also, since I have mentioned this show in this space in the last week, we can make one more historical note.

Today’s shows will be up later this week. I will, of course, share them here.

For now, here are the shows the news team produced last night. First, HNS:

And after Hoosier News Source we have What’s Up Weekly:

And here’s today’s pocket square. I must warn you, it’s a loud one.

Tomorrow … I have no idea what will be here. But you can at least count on the continued presence of Catober.

Oct 21

It is once more Friday, let us away to … the Institute!

Please enjoy social scientists talking about their work, and the opportunity that I have to share a bit of it with you, the casual viewer.

And if that’s not enough video content with which to wind down your week, here’s more quality teevee programming the IUSTV crowd has recently produced that I haven’t yet shared here. This is the late night comedy- variety- experimental- awkward- affirmative- comedy- show. It’s a comedy.

“Always Be Recording. Always.”

Here’s the morning show. It’s their first episode of the season, and they have two brand new co-hosts. Still a good way to start your mid-morning, if you ask me.

This is a brand new show. They’re showing off video works of other students, and talking to the creators. It’s a pretty cool concept!

And that’s how we’ll get to the weekend. Have a lovely one!

Sep 21

Let us talk about sports shows

Let us talk about sports shows. Here are two of them. First, this is your standard issue updates-from-the-desk, reports-from-the-field highlight show, Hoosier Sports Nite.

And this is The Toss Up, your standard issue sports talk show. Four people sitting and talking at great depth, and with some degree of fandom, about the upcoming Major League Baseball playoffs.

Now, The Toss Up dates to 2016, when I got here. It has, more or less, always been shot as a show in-sequence. They do little pitches to another person for a sidebar, or a package, and they will sometimes shoot those out of order, but, generally it just makes sense to shoot it in that straightforward way. It has always felt natural and done in realtime, over the course of the four regular hosts it has had in those six years.

The first show above, Hoosier Sports Nite, is 11 years (or so) old. It has always, at least in my experience, had elements produced out of sequence. This means that if the anchor “pitches” to a reporter in another part of the studio, it’s an editing trick. The reporter part was done earlier, or later, and they just put it together in post-production. There’s nothing wrong with this. It happens in the industry all the time on programs that aren’t live. (Sometimes, for example, the person doing the pitching is live and the person catching the pitch is on tape.) There are different ways and reasons for doing that. They’re all legitimate. From our perspective, it usually has a lot to do with practical reasons like time, or our experience and so on. (We’re all still learning in this shop, of course.)

So imagine my pride when, last night, they produced Toss Up as they normally do — timing segments and getting in and out in a logical way and leaving me only two or three constructive criticism points to make — and then they did Hoosier Sports Nite straight through, a show produced truly live-to-tape. They did two bits over to correct small errors, also not unusual, but it’s all there as one live show.

I stopped by their post-production meeting to tell them so. To thank them and congratulate them for their work. It’s no small thing, doing a live show, and they’ve been building to this for a while.

When they rolled out the first episode of The Toss Up, the talk show, this semester, I noticed they’d changed the last of the original bits of the show. I remember all the components well, as it was the first show* I helped IUSTV bring to life. Every year something would change on this particular show. The logo improved. They added lower thirds or sharper segments. The last thing to go was the music. And that got updated this year. The guy that really brought this show to life, Jacques, he’d be pleased with the program today. He specifically wanted to start this show and give it to the people that came after him and let them run with it. And they have! The music was really his thing. He’d probably like that his music stuck around the longest from the original show. But now, aside from the name of the show and one line at the very end, they’ve organically grown the premise of his project, just as he’d hoped.

When I was watching them shoot Sports Nite last night, and talking about it and congratulating them after that, I was thinking of the through line of that show. Jacques was the first sports director I knew here. He graduated and then came Ben. Ben produced and improved those shows, graduated, and is now a producer at ESPN. When he moved to Bristol there came Auston. He produced and improved those shows, graduated, and went into the local sports writing business. The next year Michael was the sports director. He ran the shows, had his senior year in the studio cut short by Covid closing campus, but they grew a ton nevertheless, and he’s now doing sports at his hometown TV station in Iowa. So Drew and Jackson moved into the sports director roles after Michael. Drew graduated and is doing news in Fort Wayne now. Another Michael came along to help Jackson out and he just graduated and is on the market. Jackson will soon be graduating. Each of those guys have always told me what they liked about what the previous sports director did, and what they wanted to do differently. And as I stood there, beaming with a little pride, I could see all of that distinctly running through the night’s work. Those sports directors, and all the women and men working on those shows, were a part of making that particular episode a special little effort.

The thing is, all of this hard work is foundational. And, sometimes, you necessarily have to wait to see the development. It just keep building, though. From here it’ll grow through a room full of talented young folks learning from today’s upperclassmen, because those sports directors I mentioned have always aspired to raise the bar. It’s all cumulative. If all those now-graduated people had a mysterious little chill, or felt the hairs stand up on the necks, last night, I suspect they’ll get a more profound sensation when we have our next big moment. The thing is, it won’t be long now.

*Since I’ve been their adviser — and helper and cheerleader and all the other things — we have created seven new shows from the very air. Five of them are still running.