Started from the bottom, now he’s here

In his freshman year of college, Joe Donahoe majored in Broadcast Journalism. For a class he was taking, he was required to film a volleyball game on campus and that’s when he met Eric Ray, his future boss. Little did he know that he would be filming different events on the SDSU campus with Eric for years to come.

Joe has been involved with the production of live events for eight years now and has worked in every position from cameraman to his current role as Director of Live Game-Day Productions. Joe recalled, “I was looking for a job on campus to make a little extra money. I really enjoyed filming the games and I wanted to find opportunities to continue doing that.”

Joe directs a basketball game from the control room at South Dakota State University.

On game days, Joe arrives in the production room and checks the rundown, the minute-by-minute chart of promotional pieces that are aired during the broadcast. He then briefs the cameramen about the event and they get to work. Being able to stay calm and focused during a live and unscripted situation is crucial for the job. “I was able to handle it,” says Joe. “True with anybody, the toughest part of the job is multitasking and prioritizing items while maintaining focus on the job at hand. It took me 10 to 15 events before I knew every curve ball that could be thrown at me.”

Joe and Eric have become good friends over the past eight years, so they are excellent at communicating with each other. With that trust developed, Joe knows that Eric is always open to new ideas. “I have a great open dialog with my supervisor, so it makes it easy to approach him.” As skilled as Joe is in his position, when they run into an issue he says the best thing to do is simply ask questions. “It’s the best way to get the answer and learn what to do in the future.”

A memory that sticks out in Joe’s mind is when he and the crew played a role in making a call in a football game this past season. A one-handed catch was made by a player and he appeared out of bounds. Joe and the team saw a different camera angle in the booth and immediately played the angle on the video display. “It was pretty cool to be a part of the outcome of the game,” said Joe.

Joe holds two B.S. Degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Geography as well as a minor in G.I.S., and is enrolled in a graduate program for Geography. Once he finishes school, he plans to head back to his hometown, Washington, D.C., where he plans to search for jobs in both the journalism and geography fields.

Written by Joey  – Daktronics Live Events Marketing

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