“I have a storyteller’s heart, so I try to bring that to the team,” said Dustyn Blindert, Senior New Media Producer for the Detroit Lions. “ I try to do whatever is asked of me. Mostly producing and editing video content, and that initially was going to be graphical with a focus on storytelling in post-production, but things have really changed with everything COVID-19, so we’ve had to go more the live route.”
Having worked as a producer and editor on everything from a regional sports network to a TV show he co-created with his brother, to now heading up new media production for the Detroit Lions, Dustyn lives and breathes all things video production.
He wears several different hats, and in this episode of #Storyteller, Blindert walks us through his latest foray into live production amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The insights into his storytelling process and vision for the future of production offer learnings we can all take to heart.
On changing trends in consumers:
“With the fans and people who are coming to our platforms wanting information — We’re seeing this trend that they’re wanting to watch longer-format content, which I don’t know if that was really the case in the past pre-COVID. At least not so much as it is now.”
On the process behind creating impactful long-form content:
“It’s just a conversation. That’s how I try to approach any interview with someone. I just want to have a conversation, with a person. And I think that the players respond to that well, and they appreciate that. I’ve had a number of them actually say that after the interview — that they appreciated the genuineness to want to get to know them as a person. That goes a long way and you get some really interesting stuff out of it approaching it that way.”
On the segments and tactics that worked well during Training Camp Live shows:
“Overall, just giving them a lot of information at such a crucial time. I think people were ready for some sort of normalcy. They wanted to see the guys suited up and out there on the field, so to be able to provide them a live look into practice, and then provide a lot of useful information to them within our Tagboard graphics. I think it went a long way, and people really enjoyed that. They enjoyed a little bit of normal again.”
On the use of trackable QR codes within a production:
“That’s the type of thing that I think not just folks in the sports world are looking for, but in all kinds of production worlds. It’s how do we get people engaged, and not only that, but how do we keep them engaged? How do we get them wanting more later on? So to have some interactive element like that [QR codes], I think that’s what we’re doing at least the immediate future.
As of right now, it doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight to some of the practices we put in place because of COVID-19, so if we can get people engaged remotely like that, that’s huge. And to have data and feedback about the engagement is also a tremendous benefit for us, and for our partners.”
On recommendations to those getting started on live production:
“Don’t get too frustrated if things don’t go exactly as planned. Within each separate show we did for Training Camp Live, and even so now with pre and postgame live shows for the Lions, we have to adapt and a lot of times it’s right on the fly. So don’t get discouraged if things aren’t going the way that you had it laid out in a script or storyboard. Just roll with the punches because the great thing about live is you do it and it’s done.”
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