Behind the Scenes: Auburn’s Mission Control

Unknown to many students and friends is the hub of all things Auburn media, War Eagle Productions. (Photo on right: Julie Anne Jacobs)

A modest brick building, War Eagle Productions is situated on the corner of Donahue Drive and Samford Avenue. Though small in stature, it packs a big punch.

War Eagle Productions oversees all video content for Auburn sports including ESPN and SEC Network broadcasts, video board, the web and social media content.

“Pretty much any creative video, we are involved with it,” Andrew Young, Assistant Athletic Director of Video Services says.

From highlight reels to feature videos, creative content comes from every direction. Ideas from War Eagle Productions staff and coaches along with team requests contribute to making content worthy of showcasing.

“If they want something, we do our best to make sure they get it,” Young says.

On scales both big and small, the minds behind the magic work relentlessly to engage the Auburn Family, churning ideas all year long.

For students and fans, content displayed may be viewed for just a few minutes or maybe even seconds. However, for War Eagle Productions, The project may be months in the making.

“You can have one clip that takes no time at all, and then something that you spend six to eight months developing,” Young states.

An Unlikely Subject

One particularly special project was developed after the second grade class from Schmid Elementary School visited the Plains.

The students were given exclusive access to all things Auburn and War Eagle Productions was there to capture every smile and heartfelt “War Eagle!” (Photo on left: Office of Communication and Marketing, Auburn University)

Football sets the tone for every other sport and every other video board. Therefore, several months are devoted to perfecting every detail for the game day experience.

“We are already getting ready for football now for next year,” Young says, “developing its look and feel.”

While fans are enjoying tailgates and Tiger Walk, you can find over 50 people working on television shows, video board projects and creative content in the War Eagle Productions headquarters.

“We mainly use students to help fill those roles,” Young says, “actually pushing those buttons and doing the camera work.”

The Intern Experience

Henry Cowan, a senior majoring in media studies is one of those students. Currently training to be an engineer, Cowan works as an intern with War Eagle Productions.

Cowan says his responsibilities involve setting up and breaking down equipment, assisting SEC Network broadcasters and operating cameras at events.

“I have learned so much working at War Eagle Productions,” Cowan states. “I wish I had started sooner.”

Out of all the sports Cowan has been able to work with, he says – not surprisingly – football games are the most enjoyable. (Photo on right: Auburn Athletics Department)

“I was able to see big plays happen right in front of me while recording them on camera,” Cowan says. “It was really satisfying when my camera shots got up on the jumbotron.”

War Eagle Productions also utilizes full-time staff. Young says students are the heartbeat behind the operations.

“Seeing how they come in with no experience and leave here being seasoned veterans, is fun,” Young states.

Hands-on experience is key in the media industry and Auburn students are taking advantage of every opportunity.

“We have a great opportunity right in front of us to be able to get in a setting where we can learn live sports broadcasting and learn it well,” Cowan says. “The jobs that I am performing right now are jobs that are actually in live sports broadcasting in the work world.” (Photo on left: War Eagle Productions)

Workplace Ready

Staff and students are committed to showing off every aspect Auburn offers. This commitment paired with the skills gained from experience prepare students for whatever their future holds.

“They do so much in their time here that they are set up to go out and have success if they choose to go on that path,” Young says.

So the next time you tear up watching a feature or get chills during a pregame hype video, remember Auburn’s mission control and the team only a few blocks away in a little brick building.

They work when no one’s watching to help Auburn do what only Auburn can do, make each member of the Auburn Family feel a little bit closer to home.

To watch the Schmid Elementary video, click below.


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