115.3 million viewers made the February 2, 2014 broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII the most watched television program in U.S. history. Previous broadcasts of the ultimate “big game” have also set viewership records. On March 18, DGA members gathered in the Guild’s New York boardroom for the DGA Eastern Region Special Projects Committee event, A Salute to the Super Bowl, featuring DGA Members who have worked on the Big Game.
The celebratory evening kicked off with a welcome from DGA Second Vice President/Special Projects Committee member Gary Donatelli who introduced Director John D'Incecco (The Chew), who served as moderator of the discussion. D'Incecco then introduced the evening’s guest speakers: Director Rich Russo who helmed the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII, DGA Award-winning Director Bryan Buckley who has done more than 40 Super Bowl commercials, and Stage Manager Arthur Lewis who worked on this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. Illustrated by clips that included sequences from the game, commercials and scenes from the halftime show, the speakers discussed what it takes to get these complex broadcasts on the air in a conversation that included topics such as: preparation for the game, what makes the Super Bowl different from other games, and how they dealt with challenges that arose on the big day. The panelists also answered a few questions from the audience, after which everyone enjoyed the reception that followed.
A veteran director for FOX Sports, Rich Russo’s broadcast experience includes 12 Super Bowls, three BCS National Championship games, two Stanley Cup Finals, NFL and college football, NASCAR races, Major League Baseball, NCAA and NBA basketball games, U.S. Open Tennis, the Masters golf tournament, ice hockey from the Winter Olympics, and episodes of the anthology series CBS Sports Saturday. Russo has been a member of the DGA since 1989.
Director Bryan Buckley made his Super Bowl debut during the 1999 game with his DGA Award-winning spot “When I Grow Up,” for Monster.com. His other works include the 2006 DGA Award-nominated commercials “Animal” (Amex), “Manthem” and “More Mayo” (Burger King); the 2000 DGA Award-nominated commercials “Basketball,” “Monkey,” and “Wazoo” (E*Trade), and “Action Figures” (Fedex); and the 1999 DGA Award-winning commercials “Broker,” and, “Trimount Studios” (E*Trade), and “Friends” (Onhealth.com). Buckley joined the Guild in 1995.
Stage Manager Arthur Lewis’s resume includes The Cosby Show, A Different World, broadcasts of The Academy Awards, The Tony Awards, The Grammys, The Kennedy Center Honors, Saturday Night Live, Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies, and Inaugural events for three U.S. Presidents. Lewis has been a member of the DGA since 1986.