30 for 30
Dan Silver, Director of Development, ESPN Films
#Hashtags of the year for 2012:
#Broke. This was the most tweeted about film we’ve ever produced, and was the most tweeted about TV show on the night of the premiere. From athletes to fans, as the film played out, it was clear that “Broke” sparked a conversation in the social space. It was an incredible way to commence the second volume of 30 for 30.
#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#9forIX. This coming summer we’re launching a series of nine documentary films about women in sports directed by outstanding female filmmakers. The series is executive produced by Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal for ESPN Films.
#ComingSoon. How’s that for an unsatisfying movie teaser? 2013 will see the release of some films we’re really excited about. We’ll be bringing our fans stories from the sports of baseball, basketball, football, hockey, tennis and even surfing.
A big prediction for your property in 2013:
As they say in Hollywood, you’re only as good as your last film. So my big prediction for us in the coming year is that we’ll continue to push the limits of cinematic sports storytelling by seeking out fresh new voices with unique visions on old, new and little known narratives. We’ll continue striving to make our next film our best film.–by Jen Cingari
Editor’s Note: With this two-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2013/2012 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2013 and some of what transpired in 2012. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.
Best off camera moment:
This started as an off camera moment but then quickly became an on camera moment. After three months growing a Yosemite Sam mustache, studio analyst Alexi Lalas finally shaved it during halftime of our live MLS Cup 2012 telecast from the Home Depot Center on ESPN. We went to break following a live interview with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and by the time we came back on air, Alexi was clean shaven. We showed a brief highlight of the Alexi shaving on the set as we returned from break.
Favorite segment or interview:
Our halftime piece for the U.S. Women’s National Team match versus Japan in the Kirin Cup on April 1, 2012, featured a Julie Foudy interview with US midfielder Shannon Boxx. In the story, Shannon, for the first time on television, discussed her struggle with Lupus and also revealed that she had been playing with Sjögren’s syndrome for most of her national team career.
#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#NWSL3isACharm. After two previous unsuccessful attempts to launch a professional women’s soccer league in the U.S., a country that has set the standard for the sport of international women’s soccer, this #hashtag captures my wish for a thriving league beginning in 2013. (Rosenfeld was lead producer for two marquee women’s soccer events — 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup title match on ABC, the most-watched soccer event in U.S., and the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup title match on ESPN, cable TV’s most-watched soccer telecast.)
New Year’s resolution for soccer production:
Continue to respect the game and its fans through our top-quality production, and to do so to the very best of our abilities.
What makes your group a family:
After the USA-Guatemala 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday night, Oct. 16, 2012, the entire crew gathered for dinner at the Quaff Bar and Grill. In my time as a producer, I have come to appreciate how everyone on a crew has a role to what fans see on TV as a great product. As such, whenever we can, we try to create opportunities to bring everyone — on-air commentators, producers, directors, technical crew and operations team — together. It helps that we have great people like Ian Darke, who’d come all the way from London, UK, and spend the time catching up with just about everyone on the crew, or Taylor Twellman, who’s always welcoming the idea of hanging out as a team.
Most times, the dinner topics are just not about the games we just produced — they end up being very familial conversations. It is just one of the things I really love about our crew.
Forward/Rewind logo by Samantha Baron