Digital Cinema Student Working As Video Director

Kelly McCommons, a senior Digital Cinema Major, is working as the Professional Bull Rider’s Arena Video Director for the 2016 season. The position is heavily travel based with travel obligations for 30+ weekends in Locations ranging from Dallas, Anaheim, Billings, and Madison Square Garden in New York City. On Thursday evenings, he flies out of Marquette and normally travels back on Mondays. Kelly is working under another Alumni of the School of Art and Design, David Poirier who received his degree in Photography.

Kelly on Location
Kelly on Location

Kelly’s Description of the Video Director Position:

A typical day begins with a production meeting with the PBR staff. We go over the show elements for that weekend communicate what to expect at each venue and city, as they are all unique. Several hours before the show, we check to make sure all elements of the show are in order before doors open to spectators.


We shoot video clips for each city, and develop those to give a unique feel to each market we serve. We make sure all advertisements, show elements, video elements, time-lapse videos are edited, pre-show rolls, intercom systems, switcher boards, etc. are in their proper working order before they begin a show.

Our show is shown on the Jumbotron in each arena & live streamed on PBR live. PBR travels with our own Video screens that are set up beforehand. I work inside the TV Truck with the crew from CBS Sports, to which whom broadcast the PBR “Built Ford Tough Series” almost every weekend on the networks of CBS.


A typical show lasts about 3 hours. After each show I take the record decks from hard drives and edit highlights from each to be shown on PBR’s social media pages like Facebook and YouTube, as well as being sent to sporting news agencies like ESPN Sportscenter, CBS Sports Network, etc.

At the end of a long weekend, I wake up on Monday morning, head to the airport, and try to fall asleep on the airplane for a couple of hours while I attempt to get ahead on school work/projects that are forthcoming for the 2.5 days that I am home during the layovers.

Digital Cinema Northern Michigan University

Professional Bull Riders Association

Faculty and Students Participate in Art Book Compilation

Professor Steven Hughes and NMU Art & Design Alum Josh McKenzie are part of an exciting new project, the LadyKnight art book compilation.

From the LadyKnight press release:

1001 Knights is a three­volume anthology focused on highlighting positive and diverse characters. Over the course of three volumes, more than 250 artists explore themes about what it means to be a knight and what makes a strong character through their illustrations, comics, poetry and prose.

Preview of Alum Josh McKenzie's Submission
Preview of Alum Josh McKenzie’s Submission

“We wanted to make a space for artists to explore themes of strength. By creating their ideal knights, artists could also forge a dialogue about the kind of characters they want to see represented,” said 1001 Knights co­creative director Kevin Stanton.

Preview of Professor Hughes Submission
Preview of Professor Hughes Submission

“The knights in this anthology aren’t just your typical sword­and­shield wielders. They are people who protect their friends, children finding their own strengths, unlikely allies who create unbreakable partnerships, formidable villains and fearless defenders of all that is good,” said 1001 Knights co­creative director Annie Stoll.

One Thousand and One Knights Web Site

One Thousand and One Knights – Kickstarter Page

Illustration Program at Northern Michigan University