SI Video executive producer Ian Orefice is no stranger to building brands. He joined SI in February 2010 from CNNMoney.com, where he was part of the launch team that created that site’s leading business digital video network. “As cliché as it may read, the reason why I got into media was to help tell the amazing stories that exist in this world,” says Orefice. “For me, it is an incredible powerful feeling to watch or read a story that develops a personal connection and ultimately moves me. “
Orefice is responsible for the programming and producing of SI’s video initiative. At CNNMoney.com he created”New Money,” a program highlighting Gen Y entrepreneurs, and “The Score,” which focused on the business of sports. Orefice was part of a team of producers that won a Peabody Award for coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election.
A native of Clifton Park, New York, Orefice received a BA in Political Science from Providence College, where he served as President and Executive Producer of Providence College’s first ever student-run television station. He was also a member of the school’s golf team.
Orefice says the most memorable SI story he’s worked was when former tennis player Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with breast cancer. “Though the announcement was tragic, sad, and captivating all at the same time, this story was particularly meaningful for me because we found a way to tell the story in a different way than other outlets,” says Orefice. “Instead of simply airing a straight forward interview or report like most other media organizations, we decided to have Martina simply tell her story directly to the camera and directly to the viewer. She was able to explain the emotional rollercoaster she had been on and why she was speaking out—to promote the need for more screenings and hopefully save lives. The piece allowed the viewer to truly develop a connection to the story and why it was being told.”
Orefice is single and resides in New York City.
Favorite SI Vault story: “Ressurection” (March 27, 1995):
Growing up, Sports Illustrated was always synonymous with iconic moments for me. Whether it was trying to convince my parents to sign up for SI again to get the commemorative issue, or simply waiting by the mailbox to get the next issue, I always wanted to be part of the SI brand. Looking back on it, the reason why I always remembered my favorite SI covers is because when you look at it, you feel like you are actually a part of that historic moment in some way. When Michael Jordan decided to come back to the NBA, it was literally all my friends and I could talk about. Still to this day I remember exactly where I was when I watched his first game back. I remember what I ate during the game and what I did after. Every time I see that cover I am instantly reminded of that day and what it felt like.
Writers who have inspired your work: The producers of “60 Minutes.” Each and every week, they are able to take the viewer inside an often controversial story. They are fair, balanced and always engaging. From a production standpoint, they should be looked to as the gold standard. They do not rely on fancy graphics or sound effects. They simply let the story speak for themselves. Also, I know Jon Stewart is a comedian, but if you break down his show, he’s much more than that. He is arguably one the best conversationalists in this era. The art of an interview is often lost on today’s media because we lose sight on who is most important—the viewer. Stewart constantly asks the question the viewer is thinking and breaks down complicated issues to a palatable format. Though it’s easy to forget, a truly great interview or conversation is incredibly sexy. Jon Stewart manages to do that almost every night.
Hidden talent: Catching grapes or other food in my mouth.
My best meal: The Mahi Mahi at Mama’s Fish House in Maui.
Hobbies/Interests: Movies. I have an embarrassingly large collection of teeny-bopper movies headlined by the Mighty Ducks Trilogy. Also, golf, basketball, politics, and new media.
Favorite sport to cover: Golf: Because of my history with game, I will always a deep sense of connection the stories I am able to cover.
Person you would most like to interview: Nelson Mandela: It is practically impossible for me to imagine the amount of courage Mandela needed to endure what he did and then lead a nation. To personally hear Mandela explain his life and what kept him going would be incredible.