CNU Hall with videographer in front

The NNPS Telecom TV production crew successfully completed five major end-of-the-year productions on the campus of Christopher Newport University, covering the college's two graduations and the President’s Leadership Program Senior Celebration, plus the Alumni Illumination and the Latin Honors ceremony.

The arduous schedule meant long days Saturday-Wednesday-Thursday-Saturday, May 8-15. CNU's 2020 and 2021 graduations were held on back-to-back weekends, with specially-adapted events to allow for health protocols as the COVID-19 pandemic eases but continues.

For the first time, the Telecom team was asked to cover other ceremonies in addition to the graduations, so that parents and relatives who were unable to attend could watch via livestream. This included the candlelight Alumni Illumination on Wednesday, May 12, on the Great Lawn, the Latin Honors ceremony held Thursday, May 13, at 10 a.m., and later that evening, the PLP celebration at the Ferguson Center Concert Hall.

9 TV production crew members pose by TV truck
The NNPS Telecom TV production team poses by the TV truck on CNU's campus.
Photo: Sean Wamsley

For the two graduation ceremonies, Telecom provided the video feed for the large video monitor on the stage on the Great Lawn, as well as the YouTube livestream.

The crew was made up of NNPS-TV staff and recent graduates of the NNPS Telecom program.

Because of the two different locations (Ferguson Center and Great Lawn), Producer/Director Ray Price, who is Telecom Supervisor, and NNPS-TV Broadcast Engineer Greg Lesko decided to use two different setups for streaming the events.

To avoid moving the large TV truck back and forth, the team used their ATEM portable switcher for the indoor PLP ceremony. The Blackmagic Design device is what allowed them to broadcast live high school football games this spring with a tiny crew.

Three cameras were used for the PLP ceremony, and for the graduation events an additional wireless camera was added, making it a four-camera production.

2 male TV crew members in front of monitors and audio equipment
NNPS-TV Broadcast Engineer Greg Lesko and Telecom grad/Technical Director Derick Miracle in the TV production truck
Photo: Ray Price/NNPS-TV

Telecom Instructor Carl Daniels, Jr. served as Setup Supervisor/Graphics Operator/Assistant Director.

Telecom graduates rounded out the crew. First and foremost, three recent Telecom grads who were part of the downsized football crew this spring served as graduation crew members. They are:

Brandon Hedgepeth, 2020 Woodside High graduate, Camera Operator/Audio Technician

Joshua Stuck, 2020 Denbigh High graduate, Wireless Camera Operator/Technical Director

Collin Smalls, 2019 Menchville High graduate, Camera Operator

Additional graduation crew members were:

Derick Miracle, 2019 Woodside High graduate, Technical Director

Tyson Odette, 2019 Woodside High graduate, Camera Operator

Muriel Gamble, 2017 Achievable Dream graduate, Camera Operator

Michael McClellan, 2020 Woodside High graduate, Setup

CNU administrators and event organizers, as well as parents and families of the graduates, were impressed with NNPS-TV's production truck and the professionalism of the young crew. Graduates and families walked past the truck as they made their way to the stage.

Price was thrilled with his team as usual. It was a "huge event" to do that many productions in a short amount of time, he said, but "we handled it."