In the realm of sports media, working for ESPN is a dream for aspiring broadcasters, producers, journalists and many others. This stays a dream for most, but a select few receive the opportunity to work with one of the top sports networks. Indiana Wesleyan University student Matt Lippman (sr) is among the few.
Lippman, a media communication major, worked at the NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 27-29 in Indianapolis. Indianapolis-based satellite uplinking company Midwest Uplink hired him as a freelancer for the weekend. This company links video and audio to television networks that need footage of an event. Lippman said he usually shoots video, but ESPN wanted him to collect audio for the combine.
“So, whenever I go do a shoot, I have no idea what I’m going to do,” Lippman said. “I just go in and just be willing to put myself out there and really just do anything.”
After an internship last summer, Lippman said he started to enjoy freelance television. He interned with a freelance videographer who had worked with Midwest Uplink. Through that internship, Lippman gained contacts that ended up hiring him for the combine.
“Whenever I go to these different shoots and I have my connections from my internship, whether it’s with cameramen or whether it’s with audio, when it comes down to it, they are great people,” Lippman said. “They teach me because they know that I’m just starting out, and they know I’m not supposed to know everything right now.”
Dr. Randall King, IWU’s Communication Division Chair, said students getting these chances to do freelance has occurred sporadically in the past, but Lippman received an exceptional opportunity.
“Matt has really grown, particularly in the last year, and his internship was a big part of that,” King said. “As a visual storyteller, he’s really grown as far as being able to understand what’s needed and just take good direction.”
Throughout the combine, Lippman captured audio for press conferences, live shoots of events and analyst discussions. Some of the ESPN analysts that he worked with included Adam Shefter, Todd McShay and Chris Mortenson. Lippman said working with well-known television analysts was shocking and surreal at first. After getting over this shock, he said that it was all business.
“We had live hits probably every 30 minutes or an hour,” Lippman said. “It just depends when ESPN needs something or whenever there’s a big conference going on of Andrew Luck or any of the other top prospects.”
In addition to Luck, Lippman worked on set when Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III had an interview with the analysts. He said working with the analysts and players while still being in college turned into a great opportunity, as well as a fun one.
“One of the coolest things that I would probably say is just being able to be in the press conference room because there were maybe about 200 to 300 cameras in there,” Lippman said. “It was just a cool aspect to see everything behind the scenes. What you are seeing on TV is totally different than what’s happening in actually real life.”