Sunday’s For Teacher AND Interview Nine!

Please check out my previous Storytelling posts here.  And my 365 Reviews here.

Hey, all!  Just wanted to let you know that this week, I’ll be celebrating Teen Read Week with a good number of graphic novel/comics reviews just like old times!  I know Teen Read Week was technically last week but my school is celebrating this week, and so am I.

As most of you know, I usually post an interview on Fridays, and I use Sundays for my education posts, but I’ve saved this Sunday for both!  Reason being…I think these interviews are great for everyone, including teachers that might have students that can benefit from the advice, or are looking to break into one of these careers, so I’ve made a page with links to just my reviews here.  Click and check them out!  I’ve already interviewed some great people!

I have been extremely lucky to make acquaintance with many amazing peeps in my time, and leaning on them for some sound advice has been great!  Today, I bring you an interview with a guy that has been to some amazing locker rooms: Matt Byrne.

Me: Hey Matt!  Before we get into the meat and potatoes, can you tell us your title and a bit about what you do?

MB: My work title is Minicam Engineer.  Which some may not know what that is so I say Sports Videographer.  I’m an experienced videographer with years of experience in high pressure situations to deliver stories, editing, and live shots from everyday situations to high profile events like the World Series or Stanley Cup Final.  The picture I sent you for the bio pic is of Peggy Kusinski and myself on the ice after the Blackhawks won the 2015 Stanley Cup.

Me: Super dope!  As a sports cameraman with as much experience as you, how do you see storytelling existing in what you do?  Not the sports stories, per say, but what you actually capture with the camera?  How important is storytelling to what you do?

MB: The reporter and myself talk about a story we’re about to cover before we even enter the building.  It’s a team effort. Typically there is an interesting angle to a person or team that we target.  While we’re conducting our interview of the subject I need to really listen to the details in the answers.  Those details are shots I can shoot later to show the viewer while we are editing.  Storytelling is the backbone of each package we deliver.  Without a beginning, middle, and end of a story, the package won’t have a good flow or vibe.  I use video and audio to provide those details in storytelling.

Me: In person we’ve discussed the more personal stories that you have covered in your years behind the camera.  What would you say has been the best story that you have covered with your team?

MB: Covering the championships or Chicago Bears games are nice, but I really enjoy special interest stories of local people.  For example a record breaking dead-lifter who overcame homelessness and also turned out to be this gentile giant.  Story link below on

Record-Setting Weight Lifter Overcame Adversity to Achieve Incredible Feats | NBC Chicago

Another great story we covered in the past year was an after school program teaching kids boxing rather than being out on the streets of Chicago.  A really positive community story from a former professional and Olympian Boxer:

Montell Griffin Uses Boxing to Help Change Young People’s Lives | NBC Chicago

These are the stories I’ll remember for years after they’ve aired.

Me: These are fantastic!  I have a heated question for you…what Chicago sports team do you think has the best overall storied past?

MB: Chicago is full of storied franchises so that’s a tough one.  But I love the Chicago Bears history the most.  Being one of the charter franchises of the NFL with a number of Championships is pretty remarkable.  Now if they can only get back there.  I think the Bears have the top sports fan base in the city.

Me: What advise would you give young videographers out there trying to capture their own stories?

MB: Watch other stories and study how those videographers shoot.  Look at the framing of interviews, how does it compare to yours?  Some videographers want shoot fast paced quick shots but may lose focus of the point of the story.  We often learn in college or our first job to shoot wide, medium, and then a bunch of tight shots.  Don’t forget that, it’s important.  You need to get the basics down before you get fancy.  Use a tripod.  Also, capture good audio as well.  If you watch the stories above, you’ll notice that the subjects were mic’ed up.  I used that natural sound to keep the pace of the story and keep the viewers interest.

This one was a ton of fun, and I want to thank my high school buddy for his time!  My takeaway from this interview has to be that success is in the details.  Put in the work that others might not.

Matt has sparked my interest in sports reporting, even though I’m not a big sports guy, so in the the next couple of weeks I’ll have an interview with another pal that has broken into the Chicago sports reporting scene!  Stay tuned!

Happy Storytelling!


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