More In-Depth Player Profiles For Third Season Of 'The Season'

June 24, 2013

Bo Wallace

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss creative team recently started production on the third season of "The Season: Ole Miss Football."  When the award-winning and Emmy-nominated weekly show returns in the fall, the behind-the-scenes access to the Ole Miss football program will be much of the same, but the player profile portion of the weekly show will feature added depth to their individual stories.

"I think any time you give fans an inside look at the team, and reveal more of the personalities of the team, you're accomplishing the main goal of the show, and really of our department and marketing strategies as a whole" said Micah Ginn, director of creative services and co-producer. "Our top-down directive is to personalize and humanize our players, coaches and administrators."

"We would like to give even more detail, a more in-depth look at these student-athletes, and that's what we're focused on this year.  We're going to some hometowns and high schools where these young men are from, talking to coaches, family members and former teammates, and trying to paint a more complete picture of our student-athletes."

Much like the popular HBO series "Hard Knocks" has been a model for the creative team, the "E:60" documentary on Patrick Willis was an inspiration for the in-depth look at the student-athlete.

"They went and talked to his dad, his brother and sister and his guardians," said Shane Sanford, director/editor and producer of "The Season." "After looking at it, there were interviews with everybody, and they were telling his story. And we can tell a piece of their story that the players themselves want focused on and shown."

Ginn likened the added interviews to literature, when you can learn more about the main character by what other characters said about them, or thought about them, than you can sometimes from the main character for a more complete story.

In addition to more interviews, there will also be footage from hometowns and high schools, whether it's photos or video, to accompany what the student-athlete is talking about on camera and engage people for that portion of the show.

Starting production in the summer has allowed the creative team the necessary time to travel for the additional interviews and footage. Another part of that is a five-question questionnaire for the student-athlete, which help gets the ball rolling for the interview.

"One of the things we're trying to do differently is to be further out in front of the season, both the literal season and the show, and try to do more over the summer than we have been able to in the past," Ginn said. "And part of that getting out in front is the chance to hand over a questionnaire to a player and be able to do that research before we get into those interviews."

Ginn added that they hope to improve on other aspects of the show, too, as it enters its third year of production.

"We have a better rhythm with the student-athletes and coaches," he said. "We have a better sense of where to be, when to be, and hopefully catch more moments that are entertaining to the viewer and/or help illustrate further the character of the team."

"And hopefully, we have learned more in our last couple of years from a shooting standpoint, so that we are able to cover games better, get in better spots to get better shots to make the game portion of the TV show even more cinematic, entertaining and exciting."

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller.

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