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NFL Sounds Good To UWRF Senior
By David Urbaniak
A UWRF student had the opportunity of a lifetime to assist NFL Films in the audio production of Super Bowl XLII in Arizona on Feb. 3.
Ryan Stridde, a senior health and human performance major and a residence hall assistant on campus, worked with NFL Films while it was on campus this summer filming a segment on the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp at UWRF for HBO's “Hard Knocks” series, and he continued to offer services to NFL Films throughout the football season.
The opportunity came as a surprise at his home in Franklin, Wis., on Thanksgiving. After the family dinner, Stridde checked his email. The subject line, “Super Bowl,” jumped out in an email from Jerry Mahler, the head of the audio department for NFL Films.
“After reading the email, I couldn't believe he had asked me, because after the Packer game I thought my days working with NFL Films may have been over, at least for this season,” said Stridde.
But Striddes' hard work and dedication during the summer had apparently turned heads. During training camp he served as an audio production assistant, where he learned how to use different types of situational microphones, audio switches and mix boards.
At the Super Bowl Stridde stood field level behind the end-zone of arguably the best football team of all time—the New England Patriots—on the largest stage in sports. With 98 million U.S. viewers watching from around the country, and over a billion around the world, UWRF's own was responsible for making sure there were quality sound frequencies between Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and the referees to the NFL Films sound receivers, among other responsibilities.
“A few days prior to the game, I walked around the field like I was Belichick to make sure our frequency was going to sound good,” said Stridde. “This allowed me to act like the coach, and walk up and down the sidelines like the coach. I was being recorded during the test to make sure the audio feed was going through to the cameras. I was able to watch some of the footage after the test; it was pretty hilarious.”
“I went to Arizona being very nervous, and worried a lot about what I was going to do and whether or not I was going to do a good job,” recalled Stridde. “By the end of the week, I had been told by many of the people I worked with that everything had gone great, and that I was a big part of it all.”
On Super Bowl Sunday Stridde's main job was to “jam” all of the cameras' and audio recorders' time codes, done twice before the game, at half time, and after the game, taking note of time codes that had changed.
“I had never done this before, but learned that it is very important when synching audio to video, especially during the editing process,” said Stridde. “This involved going around with a “jammer” that had the proper time on it, and patching it into all of the cameras and audio recorders time code boxes to make sure everything was correct.”
Stridde said highlights of his experience included reuniting with the NFL Films crew, microphone testing, and all of Super Bowl Sunday.
NFL Films has opened new doors for him, Stridde says. “Initially, my plan has always been to teach physical education in northern Wisconsin,” said Stridde. “But since this opportunity with NFL Films has come about, I am now unsure of exactly what I want to do. Doing something in film has always been a dream of mine, so I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it in a year and a half.”
At midnight of Super Bowl Sunday, when all of the equipment was taken down and packed up, he experienced another highlight when he sat down for dinner with the crew. “The first toast was ‘to the new guy,' and everyone turned to me and gave me a little hurrah,” said Stridde. “It was a great feeling, and showed that I had done as good of a job as I could.” NFL Sounds Good To UWRF Senior sports news
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