Jul 4, 2015
By SARAH SCRIVENS
Judson Birch outlined three words to keep in mind when crafting compelling video content: Emotion, energy and humor.
In a presentation titled “Identifying compelling video for your broadcast,” Burch, a senior coordinating producer at ESPN, discussed his approach to identifying video for a broadcast.
First, Birch presented three compiled highlight reels: footage of NBA MVP Steph Curry, set to driving music and narrated by SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett that included two clips of the Golden State Warriors guard at press conferences following two different games: Curry is sitting at a table alone, addressing the media and Curry with his rambunctious 2-year-old daughter, Riley.
The next clip captured the final play and the resulting reactions from the last moments of Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
The third clip documented Georgia State’s buzzer-beating three-pointer during the NCAA tournament that gave them a win over Baylor, which excited the Georgia State coach enough to make him fall off his stool and onto the floor.
Then, Burch challenged the session attendees to recognize what specific elements held their attention.
“If you are generating content, you are a guest in peoples homes – and people are very particular about the guests they have in their homes,” said Burch. “Your content needs to be worthy of their invitation, because there are a lot of other people trying to get in that door.”
Burch touched on the value of human-interest stories in sports journalism, using the treatment of content on NBA MVP Steph Curry’s daughter, Riley, as an example.
“I’m not sure anyone can tell me what he said because it wasn’t interesting,” Burch said of Curry’s post-game interview that was commandeered by his daughter. “It was about being able to adjust and have Riley become the story. Media organizations did a great job of embracing Riley over the simple facts of the basketball game.”
A tenured producer at ESPN, Burch also challenged the audience to employ their own experiences into their production of content worthy of being deemed compelling.
“I want you to remember your role in defining what compelling is,” Burch said. “Remember your observations and your thoughts are critical in helping compelling for your viewers; because if you looked it up in 1910 and you looked it up two days ago, ‘compelling’ is going to say the same thing in the dictionary.”