BU Today

Arts & Entertainment

Vacationing as a Freelance Producer

Tim Smith of University Computers worked on an Emmy Award–winning TV show on the X Games.

For many people, vacations are a time to relax. For Tim Smith, they’re a time to work. During one break, Smith, departmental sales manager for University Computers, was a production assistant on an Emmy Award–winning ESPN feature program on the X Games.

As part of ESPN’s previews and features department, Smith worked with producers to select clips and sound bites for the winning feature, which explored the close relationship of siblings and professional snowboarders Ben and Lindsay Jacobellis. Ben was injured while competing in the 2005 Winter X Games. Instead of giving up, Lindsay focused on her own competitions, taking home the Snowboarder X Women’s gold medal that year. The feature program, titled Best of Winter X Games Nine, ABC, won the sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Event Turnaround.

Smith, who began working with ESPN as a student at Temple University in Philadelphia, is a freelance associate producer for the sports network’s X Games coverage. In some ways, he says, his BU job is similar. “Time is of the essence,” he says. “There are customers who need things right away, so there are deadlines here just like there are on TV.”

When the X Games roll around, Smith takes his vacation time and heads west to be part of the action. “It’s fun,” he says. “When you talk to people who watch the stuff you created, you feel good about yourself.”

Brittany Jasnoff can be reached at bjasnoff@bu.edu.