Alumnus Lectures on Broadcasting Experience with NBC

Morgan Giordano

Several weeks after the New York Giants won the Super Bowl, the director of the broadcasting, Drew Esocoff ’79, came to speak to a large group of students about the experience and his job as a director for NBC. Esocoff is in his sixth sea-son as the director of Sunday Night Football. Additionally, he has carried over his directing expertise to the Na-tional Basketball Association and the 2008 swimming events of the Beijing Olympics. Esocoff won an Emmy for Monday Night Football in 2006.

In his lecture, Esocoff ex-tenuated that you do not need a broadcasting degree to get into broadcasting. He took his political science degree and liberal arts edu-cation and went to ESPN in 1983 to try to become an announcer like his idol, Marv Albert. In 1985, he switched his career direction and worked for ABC for 16 years with famed sports commentators like Al Michaels. In 2005, the NFL land-scape changed, and Monday Night Football went to ESPN.

“The key thing is the audio you hear and the video you see needs to be matched. It should match the replay. I was responsible for the Victor Cruz salsa miss. Camera 17 is a locked off wide shot and is the last camera I am looking for,” Esocoff said.

Over 41 cameras were utilized for the Super Bowl. Typically 20 are used for Sunday Night Foot-ball. The additional cameras were placed where they would have de-fining views of controversial plays.

“We had stuff that could po-tentially determine who wins the Super Bowl and who does not,” Esocoff said. “The NFL dictates you need a minimum of eight cameras per game; like no of-fense, but a game between the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills will use eight.”

People must be identified beforehand like David Tyree, the hero of the last Giants-Patriots Super Bowl match up. After the big sidelines catch by the Gi-ants Mario Manningham, Esocoff’s team searched for Tyree to show while discussing the comparison. Other prep-aration includes reading clips on the NFL’s website, talking to the coach and quarterback and attending the home practice on Fridays. They meet with the quarterback’s coach beforehand and re-hearse every element that could happen down to the microphones. There has not been a change in the camera crew for ten years so they have established a cohesive relationship.

Esocoff explained how the film crew needs to speak in snippets. “I do not want hear ‘hey I have a great graphic on Eli Manning’. I want to hear ‘graphics right 10 blue.'” This short speech allows more time to place the clips in. Cuts can be used to create tension.

A clip was shown that allowed the audience to see the game, but dubbed with the sounds from within in the studio. The interactive portion con-tinued later when two students were allowed to follow the voices of Al Mi-chael and Chris Colinsworth to cor-rectly pick what shots they should use from the monitor wall.

Millions will view Esocoff’s next assignment this summer. His team has been assigned the task of cov-ering the swimming events at the 2012 London Olympics and the closing ceremony.

“It is a fun business. I recommend it but [you] just do not care about being home for Thanksgiving or Christmas or most holidays,” Esocoff said.

Drew Esocoff was brought to Colgate through the newly formed Colgate Entertainment Group On-Campus. Senior Pete Stein, co-founder of the Colgate Entertainment Group On-Cam-pus, explained how Esocoff came to Colgate.

“We wanted a showcase speaker who had a unique but substantial success in the industry…Colgate En-tertainment Group’s head alumnus, Steven Brookman ’81, reached out and Drew expressed interest. Other speakers are planned for the future including an analyst for ESPN, someone from motion pictures and someone from Anderson Cooper 360°. Esocoff is the first of numerous this semester and longer term in our speaker series” said Stein.

The Colgate Entertainment Group was created by an alumni group a year and a half ago to es-tablish a presence and to connect to campus in a meaningful way.

Contact Morgan Giordano at [email protected]