The Pirate Sports Network (PSN), a fully student-run organization, has been producing live content for the past couple of years. The primary focus of the organization is to produce live games for varsity sports at Seton Hall, but this year the organization has turned its content up a notch by adding different feature length pieces. “A Pirate’s Life,” the main one gives a more in-depth look at some of the student-athletes at Seton Hall and their extensive backstories.
Joe Binder and Keith Egan, now seniors at Seton Hall, the two students that spearheaded the new idea and ran with it. Binder was excited for the opportunity saying, “this was an idea that we had for a while, and this year we got the opportunity and just ran with it.”
The plan was to release 10 feature stories on Seton Hall student-athletes and have them displayed on multiple social media accounts. The two students stepped up to the challenge and answered the call in a big way.
“We knew that this was a big deal and we wanted to do the best job that we could, and I feel like we did that,” Binder said. The first episode debuted last August featuring women’s soccer senior Taylor Cutcliff. It was the first for the two rising seniors and while it was an excellent episode, it offered a stepping stone for the series to reach the next level in future episodes.
“Our first episode was good, but we knew that we could do better,” said Binder. “It was the just the beginning and I think that many people can see the series grow from then to now.”
Throughout the year, Egan and Binder provided for features on student-athletes. Each episode has a slightly different composition and plot direction. This not only suits the stories of the student-athletes but also showcases the skills of both Egan and Binder. “It takes time to get these episodes out because we want to make it look good and still tell a good story,” Binder said.
Anyone that has watched one, two, or all eight episodes will know the time and effort put into this series. The product being put out is done on a professional level by a pair of students that attend class on a daily basis. For most, the on-screen production is enough for some appreciation, but the two students do much more than just shoot and edit the product you see on the screen. The process is lengthy and rigorous, but that makes the project all worth it.
The process to produce one of these pieces is extensive. The two students sit down with the student-athlete for a pre-interview just to get some basic storylines and information. Next, an intriguing story is thought of and interview subjects are contacted. Then, Egan and Binder interview two or three subjects depending on the story. Finally, the two obtain archival footage of the subjects and edits together the piece. This can be a quite lengthy process, but for Binder, it is all part of the fun. “It’s fun for us. We like to edit and interview people. This is just something that is really fun to do,” he said.
The series does not just provide viewing pleasure for those interested in the stories, but it’s also a learning experience for all of those involved. It offers Binder and Egan a chance to further their skills in the field while also learning new concepts and technical fundamentals of the business. This is part of the reason the two wanted to take on this challenge, “For us, we are still learning and there is no better way to do that than some hands-on experience. We have a great chance to improve our skills, and I want to take full advantage of that,” Binder said.
After much success, the new series has garnered some outside attention. “A Pirate’s Life,” along with one other Pirate Sports Network production, was named a finalist for an SVG College Sports Media Award in the category of Outstanding Program Series. Binder said he knows this is a great opportunity to show off his work. “This is great for us at the PSN, I’m glad that people recognize what we were able to do, and I hope that we come out on top.”
The series will continue profiling the Seton Hall student-athletes. The same two spearheading the project – Egan and Binder. Although Next year, however, they will adopt the help of some younger members to teach the ways that they once learned. Egan and Binder have raised the bar for the organization in years to come.
Dagen Hughes is a contributor to the Setonian. This article is part of an ongoing Setonian project showcasing articles from different media classes.