Approximately 7,000 miles across the globe, you’ll find two Spartans working on the world’s largest remote television operation: the Olympic Games.
Cindy Hsieh ’13 MFA and Max Negin ’08 MFA are two of approximately 2,500 NBC employees at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Hsieh, a former figure skater, is an associate producer for figure skating events, using her experience with the sport and her television expertise to assist the director in picking the perfect camera angles for viewers at home. When she’s not at the Olympics, she works as a camera assistant on feature films and TV, and helps produce domestic figure skating events.
Negin, an assistant professor at Elon University when he’s stateside, works in creative services – clipping and sending raw material to editors, overseeing the delivery of final packages, guiding interns and troubleshooting technology.
The media studies alumni, who met in 2010 at the Vancouver Games, are Olympic veterans – it’s Hsieh’s fifth Olympics, and Negin’s sixth.
Yet each Olympic Games is distinct – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for professional growth and cross-cultural exploration.
“It’s a feeling and an event that can’t be replicated,” Hsieh said. “There’s a camaraderie among those working the event – our goal is to provide viewers the best possible experience, telling everyone’s stories and showcasing athletic feats.”
Negin calls it “the greatest collection of television professionals.”
“I always go home with a greater understanding of cutting-edge television production,” he said.
When it comes to TV, the stage couldn’t be bigger and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Yet the two Spartans feel well-prepared to handle such a large-scale, complex production.
“UNCG provided me the tools to work confidently in the media world,” Hsieh said. “It was the jumping-off point for my career.”
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography provided by Cindy Hsieh and Max Negin