BACK OFFICE BUSINESS: High School Nation takes Blackmagic Design Cameras to NFL Pro Bowl and MLB Spring Training


Blackmagic Design today announced that High School Nation is using Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini Pro as their main cameras with the organization’s nationwide high school outreach program. The URSA Mini Pro cameras were recently used by High School Nation to film interviews at the NFL 2019 Pro Bowl and Major League Baseball’s 2019 Spring Training events.

High School Nation was founded in 2014 by Jimmy and Mike Cantillon when their efforts to help their younger sibling’s band find a place to perform evolved into a nationwide effort to support schools and young artists. 

Cantillon and his team regularly takes student broadcasters to such events as the NFL Pro Bowl, NBA Summer League, MLB All-Star Week and more. But their beginnings were much simpler. At the start, HSN focused on radio broadcast by encouraging young, up and coming musical artists to stop by high school radio stations for an interview. Often this was followed by an on campus performance during lunch. From there, it seemed a logical extension to move into digital production.

HSN Videographer Ryan Slattery welcomed the upgrade to the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K, simply because it gave them professional options. “The footage quality is amazing. After shooting S-Log 3 for years, we found codec transition relatively smooth, but the 10-bit color depth is an important improvement. As a package, the URSA Mini Pro did give us an easier set up, by already having a monitor (with LUTS), having the XLR inputs, and the built in shoulder mount already in place,” said Slattery.

Moving from DSLR technology into an URSA Mini Pro was a leap, but one that was welcome by HSN and the students, who had the opportunity to put the systems together and experience the setup as they prepared for their interviews. “They all commented, including the teachers, on how much better their on campus departments would be if they had access to gear like this,” said Cantillon. “They were blown away.”

High School Nation hopes to continue expand their programs, and intends to push further into digital production.  “We want to help schools start classes and eventually full departments that focus on these careers,” said Cantillon.  "We want to help them set themselves up for life after high school, and head off to college or careers with as much familiarity with new technologies and gear as someone who is in their mid late 20's.”