Catching Up With:Keith Dolega
Communications Graduate, Class of 2013
When Keith decided to major in communications at Molloy College, it was due to his older brother Ryan. Ryan was a Communications major and Keith watched him navigate through college, producing short films, and landing jobs at VH1, MTV, and other media companies after he had graduated. “What really drew me towards the major was the camera operation. I took part in one of my brother’s college films. Instantly, I was drawn to how the camera moves, the different types of angles created, and when were utilized. My goal was to become a camera operator for a movie production company someday”, said Keith. Camera operation was the main focus for Keith when he took his first communications course as a freshman. He wanted to learn the art of having a steady shot while holding a camera and understand when to switch to different camera shots within a scene of a movie.
Since Keith was interested in camera operation, he specialized in media as a communications major. Keith’s favorite course was editing and post production. While taking this course, he learned video editing on four different platforms and the art of storytelling, which ended up completely changing what he wanted to do with his communications degree after graduation. Keith stated, “When I first began editing in some of my initial communications courses, it was tedious and frustrating. However, when I started the class that was completely centered on editing, I was able to learn how to edit more quickly and efficiently, which made the process more enjoyable. I also learned just how much editing effects the outcome of the film, and what exactly the audience will see when they view the finished product, stated.” When Keith was asked if any professor gave him any advice for the future or the industry, he mentioned Professor Tom Kenny of the Communications Department. “He wanted to make sure that we knew that in order to get to where we wanted in the media industry, we would have to put in the time and the effort. Whether it meant editing on my own or working late nights on a project in the media lab, the completed video would have to get done if I wanted to keep my goal of becoming a full time editor one day”, said Keith.
It is a requirement in the program that each communications student intern for a media or professional company. Students gain hands on experience applying the skills learned in the classroom to the industry they wish to work for. During his time at Molloy, Keith interned at SHARP Entertainment in New York City. SHARP produces a variety television shows for different networks, such as BIO, Animal Planet, and Discovery. Keith had general office duties such as making copies of DVDs for completed shows, but also did some work for the shows that actually appeared on air. Keith added, “I was assigned to research the transcripts of a specific episode of a show, “Call of the Wildman” to find certain facts that the audience would find interesting. After finding and recording those facts, I would research information online that may support those facts. It could be anything about the specific characters on the show, or information about the animals that were involved in the specific episode. Then, one of the show’s producers would look over my work, and decide which would make it on air.” The researched facts would appear during re-runs of the episodes as small “pop-ups” of information on the screen for the viewer. Keith followed the same formula of research for the movie “Starship Troopers”.
While specializing in media, students take several courses in television and film production including field production, television studio production, and advanced video production ton a name a few. While taking those courses, students create several projects including short films, documentaries, and television pilots. When looking back at his favorites, two come to mind for Keith. The first was an editing project in which students had to take footage from a television drama, and create a classic sitcom opening, and using an opening theme song (from a popular sitcom). “I chose to combine footage from LOST with the theme song to Friends. I really enjoyed this project, because I enjoyed finding clips that suited the genre. Most of the clips came from blooper reels, which made it easy to manipulate and make LOST look like a fun loving show”, said Keith. The second favorite project was his last production, called Down and Out. It was a short film about two brothers that were both boxers, and had become enemies because a female love interest got in between them. Keith added, “I liked this project because I was very proud of the plot and storyline that I created for the characters. Also, it was the first time that I had ever edited a fight scene together. I was able to get enough camera angles of each part in the scene, and found a way to edit it together that it worked well. Lastly, the musical score of a film was always something that I enjoyed doing, and I think that this film had music that complemented the story, characters and tone perfectly.”
Currently, Keith works at Neulion as Editor 1. Neulion is a company that streams different sporting events on the internet through mobile platforms. For example, if one wanted to watch an NBA League Pass game on their iPad, the feed that they would be viewing would be streamed through Neulion. As Editor 1, he is responsible for putting up slates during commercials in order to cover them so that the viewer does see them during the broadcast. Keith also creates full archives of games, in which the entire game is clipped, while taking the commercials out. Finally, he is responsible for creating highlight packages for different teams, which Keith finds to be the most interesting part of his job. “It is up to me which clips of the game I will utilize for the highlight reel and which clips I will leave out”, said Keith.
When asked if he had any advice for students taking their first media production course, Keith advised students to get involved in every aspect of the television and film process. Keith stated, “When you get involved, you learn the equipment much more quickly, and it helps in figuring out which aspect of the profession you enjoy the most.” When asked if he had any advice for students about to graduate, Keith would tell them to be prepared. Keith stated, “It was a lot of fun in college, but it became very real just how hard it is to get a job, and how many people are going for the exact same position as you are. It is very important not to get discouraged if you don’t get a job right out of the gate, and to stay persistent. I was on different job websites almost everyday, and most of the time, multiple times per day. As long as you keep at it, you will eventually be rewarded and it will all be worth it.”
Keith’s main goal for the future is to work behind the scenes in baseball, specifically a sports broadcasting company. He hopes to eventually have the opportunity to work for the MLB Network, YES Network, or SNY. Keith added, “I want to be editing and cutting highlight packages for those networks, just as I am doing now for Neulion. I hope that one day I will be lucky enough to do so, and I think that Neulion is helping me get there that much quicker.”
Since the interview was conducted, Keith has been promoted to editor 2 at Neulion and has taken a job as a video replay operator for Major League Baseball (MLB) Advanced Media!