Kent State Film Students Contribute to Super Bowl Commercial

Digital Media Production Majors Comprise More Than Half of Kent State Commercial's Production Staff

The Super Bowl – a grand stage for advertisers and football players alike – will showcase the work of Kent State digital media production students and alumni, this Sunday, Feb. 4, through a regional Kent State commercial.


This year’s commercial, which will air in the Cleveland markets, was produced completely in-house, with Kent State digital media production alumni and students comprising more than half of the production team.


Student Jimmy Naples, ’18, juggled his production work as a dolly grip – setting up lights, rigging dolly tracks for different shots, etc. – with classes during the first week of the spring semester. He said he felt prepared for the challenge, thanks to hands-on experience he has already gotten at Kent State.


“You can only be taught so much in class,” he said, “but it’s the on-set experience that truly teaches you how to talk, act, and perform in this industry.”


Naples is co-director of “Fly By Night,” Kent State University Independent Films’ fifth feature-length film, set to premiere April 28, 2018. He drew from that experience while working on the Kent State commercial.


“From this, I’ve learned to always be on top of your production and (to) be prepared for worst-case scenarios,” he said. “In this industry, anything can go wrong, and a lot of your time is spent problem solving.”  


Alumni and Kent State employees Dustin Lee, ’07, and Jon Jivan, ’08, led the production crew as editor/director and director of photography, respectively. They enlisted two fellow alumni and three current students (including Naples) to work on the production.


“It’s probably the most high-profile accomplishment that I’ve been able to work on since I’ve been here (at University Communications and Marketing),” Lee said. “To say that we did it in less than a week, between shooting and editing, is very uncommon.”


He praised the students who showed up prepared and ready to produce good work and solve problems.


“It’s great experience for the students,” Lee said, “because they get to see what it’s like to work on a real, paid set for a commercial.”


Other Kent State alumni involved in the production included Caroline Abbey, ’13 (assistant director and production manager), and Josh Quiros, ’15 (assistant camera); other students included Jay Cox, ’18 (second assistant camera), and Madison Milhous, ’19 (production assistant.  


The commercial will also air during the Winter Olympics. Watch it below.



POSTED: Friday, February 2, 2018 - 1:09pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 23, 2018 - 4:28pm