“Do something impactful, do something that is going to make a difference.”
This is what chairperson of the department of communication tells his practicum class every year in regards to their capstone practicum project.
This year, senior sports media major Ed DiOrio decided for his practicum project to do a documentary on Waynesburg University assistant professor of communication and former Pittsburgh Pirates play-by-play announcer Lanny Frattare.
Video courtesy of Ed DiOrio and WUDP (YouTube)
“The one night I just thought about it and said that it would be cool if I did a documentary on Lanny.” DiOrio said. “Lanny was the reason I came to Waynesburg University, so I thought it would be a cool idea to incorporate him into my practicum project somehow.”
DiOrio however wasn’t sure at first if the documentary was a possibility with the short time frame he had to work with.
“I knew it would take a lot of time to make and with the other classes and co-curriculars that I’m involved with at Waynesburg I didn’t think I would have the time for it, so I didn’t immediately jump on it and kind of just made initially a backup,” DiOrio said.
Even DiOrio’s own professor had some initial doubts about the idea of the documentary.
“Honestly I wasn’t convinced in my mind it would be a great practicum project,” Krause said.
However, DiOrio quickly changed Krause’s mind after their first meeting to discuss the project.
“He really just in great detail described the scope of the project, the interview sources that were going to be included, the overriding goals and instantly it became apparent that he had something pretty big in mind,” Krause said.
DiOrio then had to ask Frattare himself if he approved of the documentary and Frattare was more than happy to do it.
I was honored that he told me that he wanted to do this.
– Lanny Frattare
Thanks to the help of Frattare, DiOrio was able to get interviews with Frattare’s two children, his former broadcast partners with the Pirates, Frattare’s close friend and former Pirates manager Jim Leyland, as well as some former and current Waynesburg University’s students Frattare had in class.
“There wasn’t one interview where I went out of it saying I wish I could’ve got more out of them. I was really happy with the turnout of the interviews and everything,” DiOrio said.
The documentary titled “No Doubt: A Lanny Frattare Story” not only talks about all of the success in Frattare’s career as a broadcaster, but the lows he faced too. In the documentary, Frattare talks about the loss of his father as well as his divorce and Frattare dealing with alcoholism and his departure from the Pirates.
“When I saw it a week before it was unveiled and when it was over, I was crying because it had captured a good bit about me as a person,” Frattare said.
A week after Frattare had seen the documentary, DiOrio hosted a premiere on Nov. 2 that was invite-only before the documentary was shared on the WUDP YouTube page at midnight that night.
“Ed certainly accomplished what a practicum project is supposed to be. He came up with a project that was unique and I think necessary because it is a great story about Lanny Frattare and a celebration of Lanny’s life,” Krause said.
DiOrio wasn’t the only one to impress Krause with a practicum project.
“I’m proud of this senior class and the practicum projects that they’ve done and are currently wrapping up right now,” Krause said. “I like to think that this is an illustration of the kind of work we can consistently produce here and that means a lot to me to see that.”
DiOrio will be graduating early this December and had one last thing to say to the Department.
“I want to thank Lanny and everyone who helped make this whole documentary possible. This documentary showed me why I chose to come to Waynesburg and why it was the best decision of my life up until this point,” DiOrio said. “When I see Lanny Frattare, I think of a friend.”