The Reel Score: Storytelling Through Sports
A spirited discussion between and among some of the best creators of sports-related content in today's multi-platform, genre-hopping media landscape. This session is a part of the brand new SXsports programming at SXSW 2014.
Connor Schell, Vice president and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content, oversees all development and production for ESPN Films and ESPN’s digital storytelling franchises, as well as oversight of the annual award show, The ESPYS. Schell also oversees the ESPN/Tribeca Sports Film Festival, ESPN’s Home Entertainment group, and the programming strategy for the ESPN Classic network.
He is the Executive Producer and co-creator of the 30 for 30 series, 30 for 30 Shorts (through a collaboration with Grantland.com), and the upcoming 30 for 30: Soccer Stories, 30 for 30: College Football Stories. He also serves as the Executive Producer of the SEC Storied series and Nine for IX Shorts. Past projects include 30 for 30 vol. 1 and Nine for IX. In his time at ESPN, Schell has produced more than 60 feature length documentary films.
Schell is also currently serving as an Executive Producer of the upcoming Walt Disney studio film Million Dollar Arm, along with Grandland.com’s Bill Simmons.
The Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 series earned a Peabody Award in 2010, along with a Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Sports Program and an IDA Documentary Award for Best Continuing Series in 2010. The ESPN Films program Black Magic also received a Peabody Award in 2008, and The 16th Man (one of the 30 for 30 Vol I Films) received the prestigious Television Academy Honors Award in 2010. In 2013, 30 for 30 Shorts won the Webby Award for Best Documentary Series, and Ghosts of Ole Miss won an Edward R. Murrow Unity Award.
In 2012, Schell was named one of Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” as well as Multichannel News’ “40 Under 40”, both identifying the most promising young executives in sports business.
Before being promoted to his current position, Schell was the Executive Producer of the 30 for 30 series from 2007-2011, which he helped to create. Previously, he was Senior Director, Program Development, ESPN Original Entertainment where he handled the general development of documentaries and scripted/unscripted series and before that he was Director, Programming Strategy.
Schell earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Harvard University and a Masters in Business Administration with a focus in Media and Entertainment from Columbia University. He lives in New York with his wife and children.
Pres & Exec Producer, Content
President and Executive Producer, Content
National Basketball Association
Danny Meiseles serves as President and Executive Producer, Content for the National Basketball Association, after his promotion to the position in February 2014. In this role, Meiseles oversees the league’s Marketing, Digital Media, Events and Operations & Technology departments, and is responsible for the development, production and programming of NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League content worldwide. Meiseles also manages the league’s relationships with its national television partners – ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA Digital – as well as its local and regional partners, including Fox Sports Network.
Meiseles started at the NBA in 1990 as an associate producer. During his career at the league, he has produced and coordinated NBAE live entertainment productions for ABC, NBC, ESPN, TNT, MTV, and Nickelodeon, as well as at the basketball venue for the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. A graduate of St. John’s University, Meiseles began his career at NBC as associate producer working on the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Danny and his wife, Stephanie, reside in New York City with their son Matthew and daughter Nicole.
Jonathan Hock is an eight-time Emmy Award winning producer, director, writer and editor. "Survive and Advance" was Hock's most recent contribution to ESPN's Peabody Award winning "30 For 30" documentaries, and the story of Jim Valvano and NC State was the top Twitter trend when it premiered, with raves from The Rock, Seth Meyers and Larry King, who called it, "One of the best things television has ever done – incredible!"
His other films for ESPN include "Unguarded," which was named Best Documentary of the year by Sports Illustrated, Best of iTunes 2012, and the LA Times film critic Patrick Goldstein wrote that the film has "as much scope and ambition as any of the great novels or stories."
Hock is currently at work on a "30 For 30" about the 1980 Soviet Hockey Team that lost to the Americans in the "Miracle on Ice" game. "Hockumentaries," his series of shorts for Bill Simmons's website grantland.com, includes installments that have over a million views on YouTube.
Hock lives outside New York City with his wife Lynn and sons Eddie (14) and Joseph (9).
Mandalay Sports Media
Mike Tollin has produced and directed more than a dozen feature films, several award-winning documentaries, and hundreds of hours of television. His films include Wild Hogs, Coach Carter, Varsity Blues, Radio, Dreamer, Hardball, Summer Catch, and Big Fat Liar, along with the Tollin-directed documentary Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream, which won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. Tollin directed and produced several other award-winning documentaries, including Hardwood Dreams, Let Me Be Brave, and Who Killed The USFL, one of the original films for the “30 For 30” series, for which he was a consulting producer.
In television, Tollin has produced several long-running series including Smallville, Arli$$, One Tree Hill, All That, Kenan & Kel, and What I Like About You. He is currently producing several documentaries for HBO, ESPN and other distributors, while producing a series called Every Street United about street soccer around the world, which will culminate in a game between players from eight countries in Rio next June.