The two bronze Telly Award statuettes that grace the offices of Boston University Productions will soon have company: two more bronze Telly Awards, which are the television and video equivalent of an Oscar.
The University’s full-service video and production group was recently notified that two programs it produced over the past academic year had picked up the second pair of accolades. The first, a 10-minute tribute to longtime men’s hockey coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97), was shown at an October 2005 event in his honor at Agganis Arena. The second was a student-recruitment video filmed for the Office of Admissions. Both were produced by Nancy Marrs, Chris Palmer, and Phil Zekos of BU Productions.
The awards competition received more than 18,000 entries. “Production companies only submit what they consider to be exceptional work,” says Marrs, the group’s manager. “I felt that we had produced strong, effective, and creative videos and I’m thrilled that our peers in the industry agreed.”
The Parker video, which features hockey action footage, was written and coproduced by Doug Brown (COM’78), the radio voice of BU men’s basketball. Interviewed for the program were former players, coaching colleagues, and friends, among them Bernie Corbett (CAS’83), who does radio play-by-play for Terrier hockey, UMass-Amherst coach Don Cahoon, New Hampshire coach Dick Umile, and former hockey Terriers Mike Eruzione (SED’77), Mike Sullivan (SMG’90), coach of the Boston Bruins, Travis Roy (COM’00), and Mike Bavis (COM’93), now a BU assistant hockey coach.
“The video didn’t fit precisely into any of the categories that were offered in the awards competition,” says Marrs. “So I entered it into a miscellaneous category for nonbroadcast productions.” The footage and interviews “struck an emotional chord as former players and colleagues reflected on Jack as a teacher, mentor, and caring friend,” she says. “I think the audience was moved by the video tribute, and I think that Jack was too.”
One of BU Productions’ previous Telly Awards is also sports-related — for a 2003 video about the John Hancock Student Village produced for the athletics department.
The new 17-minute admissions video, titled Inside Boston University — Student Portraits and shot between the summer of 2005 and this past March, was shown at admissions receptions all over the country — exclusively to students who had been accepted to BU but had not yet committed to attending the University. The video will likely have a shelf life of three to four years, according to Marrs. “Producing this program is tricky because we have to appeal to both 18-year-old prospective students and to their parents,” she says. The video won in the recruitment category of the competition.
Last spring, Marrs and company won a Telly Award for another student recruitment video. “Videos that we produce for the Admissions Office are a labor of love for BU Productions,” she says. “We work extremely hard over the course of an entire academic year to create an effective program that will help convince prospective students and their parents that BU is the right choice for them.”
Their recent student-recruitment video features profiles of six students, including Ashley Cheng (COM’06), who interned at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and at a Boston public relations firm, and Austin Davis (CAS’06), who took advantage of several study-abroad opportunities as an undergraduate. The video incorporates high-end graphics and animation. Freelance cinematographers were part of the team, and the score was original music, composed for the video.
“I have a very talented and dedicated staff that puts its heart and soul into projects like these,” says Marrs. “We spent a lot of late nights and weekends in the edit suite, and 16-hour days are typical during the last month of production. It’s a total team effort.”