March

Students Create Video to Compete on NESN Next Producer

News Story: March 7, 2018

Media Arts studentsEric Torrens and Ian Baron are interviewed by NESN.

Vote for JC 440 as the fan favorite!

Two students at Sacred Heart University’s School of Communication & Media Arts are contestants on the TV show, NESN Next Producer.

Junior Eric Torrens, 20, and senior Ian Baron, 21, developed, filmed and edited a short, sports-related film in about a month’s time during the fall semester and submitted it to NESN, a regional sports cable and satellite television network out of Boston. Sacred Heart students have been finalists on all three seasons of NESN Next Producer.

“It is a testament to the strength of our sports media program and more specifically the hard work of our students that School of Communication & Media Arts majors have been successful contestants every year the show has been on the air,” said Andrew Miller, director of SHU’s sports communication and media graduate program.

In addition to the video by Torrens and Baron, NESN chose 11 other film projects from northeastern college students for the TV show, which highlights students’ film-producing abilities.

The videos will appear on NESN through March, and fans can vote for their favorite video online. Ultimately, judges will decide which student producers will win a grand prize of $20,000 and a job at the sports network.

“We’re excited to have our film on the show,” said Baron, who is from Queens, N.Y. When he learned about the NESN opportunity, he said, he thought the chance to win the cash prize was great, but a job would be even better. He immediately asked Torrens, a native of Medford, N.Y., if he wanted to work on the project with him. “I knew we worked well together, and I didn’t want to do it by myself,” Baron said.

The duo became friends in 2015, when they were in the same communications course and had mutual acquaintances. “We also have a similar sense of humor,” Baron said. “We became friends quickly.”

Last spring, Torrens and Baron studied together in Dingle, Ireland, where they worked on nearly 20 video projects, further proving they made good partners.

Before Baron could even ask Torrens what sports topic they should film, he already had a subject in mind: Torrens’ maternal grandfather, John Cammarata, who played third base for Hofstra University and won the school’s batting title in 1956.

Torrens filmed interviews with his paternal grandfather last summer, to document his life and pass on his stories to future generations. That project went so well, Torrens wanted to do the same with his mother’s father. “I was going to do this on my own time at some point,” Torrens said. “It just happened sooner than I thought.”

Baron thought the “baseball nut,” as Cammarata refers to himself in the video, was a good subject, so both students went to New York in early October to see him. “He had so much emotion telling his story,” Baron said. “He had all these great stories and memories to share.”

Torrens and Baron submitted their video and eventually learned it would be featured on Next Producer. Family and friends are excited for the students and are rooting for them. “We’re in it to win,” Baron said.

Recently, NESN staff came to SHU to interview the duo for their segment, which will air Saturday, March 17. Once all films have aired, judges will choose three finalists, who will then submit a final project before an overall winner is selected.

In the meantime, Torrens and Baron wait.

Even if they don’t proceed farther in the contest, they said the overall experience has been positive. “We had a glimpse of what a real project could be like,” Torrens said. “We started with an idea and built something from the ground up.”

Baron said he appreciated working with his friend and learning what the industry is all about.

Tune in on Saturday, March 17, at 4 p.m. to see their segment on NESN Next Producer. To vote for their video as the fan favorite, visit http://bit.ly/JC440.