After graduating from South Portland High School in 1993, Chad Cockcroft was thinking about becoming a doctor or an engineer. But he found he wasn’t interested in the college courses he was taking to prepare him for those careers.
So his mother, Nancy Cockcroft of South Portland, asked him what his interests were. Cockcroft said that he responded: “Well, I like movies and watching TV.”
His mother’s question helped point Cockcroft in the right direction.
He went on to earn a degree in video and film production from Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts. He’s now a project engineer and – earlier this year – won an Emmy for his work helping to get video of the 2008 Summer Olympics in China out to viewers back home.
The golden Emmy statuette that he won in April just was shipped this month to his mother’s home. Nancy Cockcroft is keeping it because her son, now 35 and a New York City resident, is on the road so much for his work. She’s delighted to have it on display in her living room.
“I’m thrilled,” she said on Monday. “Oh my gosh.”
The words on the base of the heavy statuette read: “2008 Sports Emmy Awards, Outstanding Technical Team Remote, Chad D. Cockcroft, Video Control.” The award also has the words: “The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences” written around its gold base.
Cockcroft, in an e-mail, said he’s a project engineer with Avid Professional Services, a leading media technology company.
Avid worked with NBC on the 2008 Olympics. Cockcroft wrote that the broadcast network’s unprecedented demands and need for around-the-clock coverage made the Olympics one of Avid’s largest and most integrated production efforts with NBC.
He described his experience this way: “I was part of a small remote team of employees, under contract with NBC, running in a thousand directions during the 2008 Summer Olympics.”
“I participated in the design, integration, and maintenance of a complex HD digital video editing workflow in Beijing,” Cockcroft wrote. He said that included “multiple editing workstations that were used to cut packages that were broadcasted/televised to the viewers back home.”
He said that his “behind-the-scenes contribution” played a role in the management and delivery of more than 3,600 hours of high-definition programming through17 days. The Beijing Olympics was the first Olympic Games broadcast entirely in high definition, Cockcroft said.
Although his name appears on his Emmy, Cockcroft stressed that it was a team award. “My participation was definitely a team contribution” by Avid staff both in China and at the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury, Mass., he said.
His mother, a music teacher in the Biddeford schools, said it will be exciting when her son comes home to finally view his award.
“He hasn’t even seen it yet,” she said.
Nancy Cockcroft of South Portland displays her son Chad’s Emmy, which he won for his work helping to get video of the 2008 Summer Olympics in China out to viewers back home. (Staff photo by Tess Nacelewicz)