View Count: 112 |  Publish Date: February 19, 2014
NBC producer's job is to create viral video moments

Stamford, Conn. -- At 3:30 a.m. the morning before the Olympics started, Brian Gilmore was glancing at the giant television screen that dominates a workroom at NBC Sports Groups headquarters when something caught his eye.
A luge competitor from India, Shiva Keshavan, had fallen off his sled during a training run and, somewhat miraculously, had hoisted himself back on while speeding down the course. Gilmore shouted across the room for someone to capture the video and asked colleagues whether they had ever seen anything like it.
No one had. Gilmore posted the video on NBCs Olympics website and within a few days, more than 1.5 million people watched it.Online gold
Gilmore, a senior director at NBC Sports, is assigned to create viral videos for the Olympics. His job is to find moments - wacky, heartbreaking or heartwarming - to break out and post in the hope of generating the most online traffic possible.
Our job is to find things that can resonate, said Gilmore, who works with some four dozen people responsible for monitoring streams of every competition in Sochi and breaking out clips for highlight packages. Each person sits behind multiple computer screens. Clocks on either side of a 159-inch TV screen on the wall tell the time in Sochi and Stamford.
Somewhat improbably, Keshavans clip was the NBC Olympics sites most popular clip for several days until Olga Graf blew by him. The Russian speed skater was captured by cameras after a race zipping down her Lycra uniform front to cool off, only to quickly zip it back up when she realized she had nothing on underneath. The clip was G-rated but still, more than 2.5 million people had to see for themselves.Stirring emotion
Other popular clips include an interview with tearful American skier Hannah Kearney, overcome at the realization her career was ending with a bronze medal instead of gold; skier Todd Lodwick photo-bombing NBCs Randy Moss as Moss reported on him; luger Kate Hansen psyching herself for competition with a dance routine; and a cross-country skier who pressed on despite a broken ski.
The Russian police choirs rendition of Get Lucky before the opening ceremony earned 1.6 million clicks.
Gilmores job requires a different mind-set than television producers; the Get Lucky performance didnt make it on NBC television until it became a sensation online. Its harder to describe a moment than it is to recognize one.
You know it when you see it, he said. Youre looking for emotion. Youre looking for things youve never seen before.
Crashes, wipeouts, spills - whatever you call them - are popular. But you have to be careful. You dont like to celebrate injury, Gilmore said.
A key for Gilmore is being surrounded by an experienced team, with as many people as possible who have worked the Olympics before and understand the pace.Kept on NBC site
The clips become viral strictly within NBCs universe. The company keeps them for NBCs own websites and doesnt spread them around the Web. Success in highlighting a video that many people want to see means success financially. NBC is seeking as much traffic for its digital platform as possible, and each time these videos are opened, an advertisement plays.
Clips deemed good enough are given front-page attention on the NBC Olympics websites.
Not everything can make the prime-time show, but we can put what we want up there, he said.

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Time: 0:57  |  News Code: 378101  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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