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Students Vie for NESN's Next Producer Top Prize

February 01, 2018

NESN Next Producer Students 2018

It all started with an email and an invitation: come to a meeting to find out more about submitting a sports-related short film for NESN's Next Producer competition.

Greg Camillone '17 and Alexandra Clancy '20 were intrigued by Associate Professor Meryl Perlson's outreach. Both attended that initial meeting back in the fall, and both now have short films included among the top 12 entries in a competition that could lead to a $20,000 grand prize and a yearlong internship at NESN, the New England sports cable network owned by the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. "This competition is a great opportunity to highlight the strengths that we know exist here," said Perlson, who leads the communication program at Lasell. "We have a dynamic media program and students can hone their storytelling craft while they study here."

Described by NESN as "part Shark Tank, part America's Got Talent," Next Producer invites individual students or teams of students to enter their sports-related short films (no longer than 4 minutes) to be judged by Hollywood producers Tom Werner and Brad Falchuk. Now entering its third season, Next Producer will begin airing on February 17, highlighting two films -and the related student filmmakers - in each episode.

Clancy's episode will air on February 24, and Camillone's will air on March 10. Both of their documentaries are included among the top 12 films submitted by participants from several New England colleges - all of whom are vying to become one of the final three contestants. Once the final three individuals or teams are named, they will then meet with executives from the Boston Red Sox franchise with a final task to create a 60-second short about the team. The winning video - and the winner of the show's third season - will be announced live at a Red Sox game in April.

In addition, all contestants have an additional chance to win by generating votes for their films available for viewing on the Next Producer website. The "fan favorite" selected by public voting will determine which filmmaker receives an undetermined cash prize for their effort.

For Camillone, who graduated in December 2017, the competition provided him with the perfect opportunity "to practice some skills and to learn new things along the way. I thought it would also be a great networking experience and it has been." His short, "Get Your Head in the Game," focuses on the impact of multiple concussions on a student athlete.

Clancy's film, "Doug Santos -Opportunity," features an undocumented high school football star whose academic and athletic future is uncertain after his parents return to Brazil and he struggles to navigate life on his own.

After winning awards in high school for her public service announcements, Clancy said there are no words to describe how she feels about making it this far in the competition.

"This feels like an incredible opportunity, and it's almost unreal since I am only a sophomore," said Clancy. "I am so thankful."