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On the air with North Georgia Productions

From humble beginnings, Gainesville company now airs high school sports

POSTED: January 3, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Long before Friday night's lights are on local football fields, it's time for cameras and action for the film crew at North Georgia Productions.

Arriving at least three hours before game time, the "Hall County Game of the Week" crew hauls in tackle boxes full of video equipment, stretches out cables and plugs in its editing equipment.

Usually the crew uses three cameras: one on-field camera and two other cameras -- one for close-up shots and another for widescreen shots -- on the roof of the field house.

Once the cameras are set up and debugged, those who work in front of the camera start conducting pre-game interviews.

"These guys have this thing down to a science," one of the production company's partners, Augie DeAugustinis, said. "They come in, they get it set up and they run cable everywhere."

The local film production company is in its fourth season of filming area high school football games, and film production can be a rough business when you are surrounded by big teenage brutes in pads.

When the job is to film a football game, its one long camera cable versus the feet of 40 football players.

"Last year, I was working the field camera, and we got hit by a player during a play," Allen Smith, an employee of North Georgia Productions said.

"There are times when everything in the world is going smooth, and there are times when everything is going wrong," Smith said with a laugh.

Smith is described as the maestro of the football game broadcast.

He has been a part of the camera crew in seasons past, but this year he orchestrates the cameras and cues the commentators, DeAugustinis said.

Most of the game's editing is done live by Smith, the "brains" of the control board, so when things go wrong he must think quickly, he said. But the editing team adds the bells and whistles, and tweaks the raw footage in the first half of the following week.

"These guys work hours and hours and hours to make these things look good," aid Garry Glenn, a full-time employee and color commentator for the games.

Most of the film crew is fairly young; some are in college and others are in high school. The oldest member is full-time employee Pat Campbell, who is 22.

Glenn, a former head wrestling coach and broadcasting teacher at Johnson High School, said that though the weekly production is mainly run by young people, it is worthy of praise.

"ESPN would be envious I think, because we've got professional journalists for the most part and also people who have both coached and played the game," Glenn said.

"If the SEC game of the week is major leagues, we're right in there at triple-A."

In their fourth season of high school football broadcasting, the owners of North Georgia Productions are looking to expand their community-based business.

Pauline Giles, owner of North Georgia Productions, started the business in her house with one camera, putting on the "North Georgia Gospel" show in 2000.

She hired her son, Jimmy, to do all the company's production, and his passion for sports led to the beginning of the "Hall County Sports Show."

"From the get-go I wanted to do football," Jimmy Giles said.

"I didn't want to do it if I couldn't do the production as well as we possibly could with what we had."

At first, Jimmy Giles spent most of his time filming and editing the football games. But now that the production has grown the company has added enough employees that this season he's been able to hand Friday nights over to Smith and the crew.

"Each year we've kind of added new and bigger things to it," Jimmy Giles said.

Jimmy and Pauline Giles said the weekly production gives the kids in Hall County the coverage they deserve.

"It adds back so much to the community," Pauline Giles said.

Now the production company has its own building and is a corporation with Jimmy Giles as the president and his wife, Tracy, as the vice president.

Soon, the owners of the family business want to expand to cover local sports such as volleyball, softball and baseball.

They would also like to broadcast middle school and elementary school sports, Tracy Giles said.

"What we have basically done is to progress from the laundry room, with tripods in every single bathtub to ... five editing suites and two studios," Pauline Giles said.

North Georgia Productions currently creates the "Hall County Sports Show," a home-improvement show called "It's More Than A House," and the "North Georgia Gospel" show.

It also films special events such as weddings, dance recitals and graduations as well as commercials and surgeries.



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