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The Man Behind The Videos:  An Interview With Michael LaPlaca
The Man Behind The Videos: An Interview With Michael LaPlaca
Jim Meadows
Published by Swampy Meadows
The Man Behind The Videos: An Interview With Michael LaPlaca

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) -- As Flyer fans, we’ve all marveled at the continuous stream of high quality videos emanating from the UD Athletic Department the past several years. Just this week, UD Athletics was honored at the College Sports Video Summit for “Outstanding Promotional Video or Campaign” for the UD Pre-Season video:


“From the Swamp’ thought that it was high time that we all got a chance to learn a little more about the man behind the videos, Director of Multimedia Michael LaPlaca.

What’s your background? How did you get into this line of work? How long have you been with UD?

I just completed my fourth season at the University of Dayton. Prior to UD, I went to school at the University of Missouri and earned my degree in journalism. After graduation I worked as a public relations intern at the Boston Market Corporation and in the same position the Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League. I moved to Texas and spent a year with the El Paso Buzzards in the CHL and worked three years as the sports information director at Manhattanville College out in Purchase, N.Y.

What is your typical day like? Do you attend all of the games?

If I had to describe my job in athletics, it would be similar to a utility infielder on a baseball team. I work in athletics on the athletic department website, GoDaytonHoops.com site, social media sites, video editing and production, live video broadcaster and producer, graphic design, text messaging, media relations, sports information and marketing. It is a position that is new, exciting and challenging in the world of college athletics. I attend all of the home games and a select number of road contests. The only practices I will attend are if there is a media event connected with it, like a shoot around or interviews before or after.

What’s the process for putting together a video? Who is involved? Do you edit it and choose the music? How does that work?

The process for putting together videos is highly varied. Athletics has partnered with Mind Over Media to produce the high level men’s basketball promotional videos and develop the GoDaytonHoops.com site. They usually shoot in standard HD using Panasonic and JVC camcorders and used multiple green screens. We also utilized an inventory of men's basketball highlights from the previous seasons. Video editing occurred in Final Cut Studio Pro and the graphics were created in Adobe After Effects. Usually, we use smaller crews to establish more of a connection with the student athletes. We will also work with UD’s Media Production Group as well. In terms of the music, we have an agreement with a music production company and purchase the rights for various audio tracks. This helps alleviate any potential copyright issues and helps the athletic department continue to strengthen its brand and presence.

How much of what gets shot ends up on the editing room floor?

About half of the video content makes it to the final version. With video, you tend to overshoot and gather as much footage as possible. There is an unlimited source of story ideas, especially with student-athletes.

Do you share ideas with other Multimedia guys from other schools? Whose work do you admire?

Ideas are not shared that often. If we do discuss processes or feature story ideas, the conversations are usually basic and surface level. We admire a lot of the corporate videos and production pieces. Those videos are professional, direct, impactful and strategic.

What was it like following the Flyers in New York at the NIT Semis and Finals?

Fun, sad and exhausting. At that same time of the NIT in New York, Doug Hauschild, our primary men’s basketball media contact, was back in Dayton working the NCAA Women’s Regional. I subbed in and handled all of the media relation duties which included working with reporters, ESPN commentators, producing the game notes and communicating news and information. Winning the 2010 NIT Championship was a thrilling experience and seeing the Flyer Faithful support the student-athletes and coaches was great to see. However, before the championship game against North Carolina, I was working with campus to help with a communication plan after the unfortunate death of Kacie Hausfeld. Fortunately Doug was able to be at the title game and gracefully handle the media relations responsibilities before and after the contest. However, it was difficult to be as excited about the championship considering we were all working with heavy hearts.

Who was the biggest ham on this past season’s Flyer squad?

In regard to working with the men’s basketball players, everybody on the team was first class. They did a tremendous job of opening up, communicating and having fun with the process. From my experience only, I would say Marcus Johnson was the most comedic and Chris Wright looked like he was the most comfortable in front of the camera.

Of all the videos which one is your favorite?

From the ones I have produced, the 2008-09 Women’s Basketball Season in Review, the 2009 Flyer Football Season In Review and the game highlights after a big victory are the most fun to create. Overall, I believe the 2009-10 Men’s Basketball Preseason Top 25 video was one of the best produced pieces our fans, alumni, donors and student-athletes have seen. Not only did we utilize that piece to appeal to the national media and help UD earn a Top 25 national ranking, but it served as an energizing tool for our fan and alumni base as well.

What do you do during the off season?

I continue to work on the development of DaytonFlyers.com, GoDaytonHoops.com, planning for next season and helping out where I can in athletics.

What is Doug Hauschild really like?

Most people might not know this about Doug, but he is a tremendous family man, husband and father. With how time consuming his job is, Doug is one of the best I’ve seen when it comes to taking care of his family. He is wonderfully patient, understanding, wise and passionate. I admire him immensely on a personal and professional level.

What can we look forward to for next season?

We will continue to do the best we can and deliver the basics at a high level. We are in the early stages of producing the 2010-11 men’s and women’s basketball preseason videos and generating new feature story ideas for the web and video.

A lot of credit has to go to the UD administration. Without the support of folks like Tim Wabler, Dave Harper and Dr. Daniel Curran, we would not be even close in terms of the success we have enjoyed and the positive feedback we have received from recruits, fans, donors and alumni.

Thanks Michael and congratulations on the award!

You can find some of the latest videos on the DaytonFlyers.com site, including the NIT highlights. Here are some links to a few of the older ones, the last being my personal favorite, the weight room video:

“We’re All Flyers” promo:


“Dayton Players Storm the Stands” after the final regular season game of the 2009 season:


“Band of Brothers” weight room video:


Thanks for spending some time with us Michael and keep up the good work!

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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By Chris R on 06-09-2010, 11:21 PM
They are doing a great job!! Im surprised they are using FC Pro as I thought the basketball teams were on the Avid platform. Im a Sony Vegas man myself.

Short story. About 10-12 years ago I approached then assistant AD Megan McAllister about being the lead in spearheading an effort to do much of the same thing being done now. I got a lot of "wow those are great ideas" and never one call back.

I think she took offense to me wearing a UCLA shirt, as she was a USC grad.
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By Fudd on 06-10-2010, 01:41 PM
Swampy, thanks for writing this story. I absolutely love the videos that the team at UD is producing. I am always anxiously waiting for the next one. I have not seen any other schools producing videos of this quality, and it is just plain exciting.

It's the best marketing that UD has ever done, in my opinion.
Last edited by Fudd; 06-10-2010 at 01:44 PM..
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