FIRST AND TEN
If you’re watching Marcus Lattimore stretch the ball across the yellow line on TV screen this fall, you can thank HRSM alumnus Jerry Gepner.
The yellow line – formally known as First & Ten – was the first successful product released by Sportvision Inc., a company Gepner cofounded. That glowing hockey puck effect used on Fox Sorts NHL telecasts? Gepner also handled the broadcast technology for that product, called FoxTrax.
He’s made a career of improving technology of live events, following a passion for live TV sports production that he says USC helped to fuel. “Excellence in life requires passion, and if an institution can create and nurture a passion, coupled with learning and meaningful experience, then its mission is well fulfilled,” he said.
Gepner is now CEO for the services and staging division of the Vitec Group, a UK-listed group of companies spanning the globe that manufacturers and delivers professional TV products and services and live event and photographic products. Gepner’s division is headquartered in Burbank, Calif., and has business unites and operations in several states as well in England, Mexico, Italy and Slovakia.
In has current role, he helps set the technology strategy for companies involved with broadcasting and live-event production.
“ The latest area of exploration is 3D broadcasting,” Gepner said, and a unit of his division, Bexel, has been on the forefront of live 3D production.
Gepner began carving out his career path as an undergraduate at USC. Enrolled as a media arts major, Gepner’s program of study was broadly in the area of liberal arts with a focus on television and media production. One of his best memories of his undergraduate years was his cooperative work experience with S.C. ETV.
“In addition to learning how live TV was produced and being able to help with the process, I was able to learn from really talented, creative folks, which translated into opportunities to produce some of my own material in class,” Gepner said.
Now Gepner is looking to give back. He returned to Columbia last winter to tour the USC campus, see the new facilities, build relationships, and talk about the future. “I have a great relationship with HRSM Dean Brian Mihalik and his team and am looking forward to staying in touch and helping where I can with the college,” he said.
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