Long Branch, N.J. — Documentarian Joe Lavine will be the inaugural speaker in the first of a series of master’s classes at Monmouth University hosted by MU’s Communication Council, an advisory organization that makes a connection for faculty and students in the department with working professionals in the field of communication.
Lavine is a Vice President and Senior Producer for HBO Sports and oversees the sports documentary series Legends and Legacies for the network. His presentation will be held on Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 pm at HR Young Auditorium and will focus on the business of documentary production.
After graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio, Television and Film, Lavine began his career working as a messenger in the newsroom for New Jersey Public Television.
A year later, he found his true calling when he accepted a job as a producer for Major League Baseball [MLB] Productions, the official production company of MLB. He spent the next 13 years working on a multitude of baseball projects including “This Week in Baseball,” “The Greats of the Game” and a number of official World Series films.
Looking for new challenges, Lavine left MLB and became a freelance producer working on various network sports specials and major sporting events such as the Olympics and the Super Bowl. He also worked as a segment producer for HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel for which he won two Emmy Awards.
It was at HBO where Lavine got his opportunity to produce long-form documentaries. The HBO Sports documentaries use sport as a way to tell stories about history, personal achievement and societal issues. Perhaps the best examples of this are Lavine’s documentaries Nine Innings from Ground Zero, a film about the 2001 World Series played in New York City just weeks after the 9/11 tragedy, and Dare To Dream, the inspiring story of the Women’s National Soccer team.
Lavine also earned 14 Emmy nominations for his films including Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio? and Ali-Frazier. Both films were honored with the University of Georgia’s Peabody Award.
Other documentaries that Joe has worked on include Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football, Assault in the Ring, and Lombardi, the life story of footballs legendary coach Vince Lombardi. All three were honored with Emmys for “Outstanding Documentary of the Year”. Lavine most recently completed Namath which aired in January 2012.