BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer
Giovanni Lamonte remembers a childhood often engaged in cerebral creativity that included an affinity for reading, writing and most importantly the need to chronicle an unfolding of events involving others.
“Ever since I was little, I have wanted to tell stories and put people in them,” says Lamonte, a 2017 graduate of Opelousas Catholic and producer of an LSU-based, award-winning sports programming documentary that received a Suncoast EMMY award presented in December.
His desire to provide a substantive medium for storytelling now places Lamonte behind a camera and in the editing room, where he relies on videography to assist in launching a career that connects creative roots with an attraction to sports.
Lamonte, a recent LSU sports administration graduate, is starting a second year connected with LSU’s South Stadium Productions, which employs him to help create and produce documentaries associated with sports visual media programming aired by the university.
In 2023 Lamonte produced, directed and edited a documentary entitled “The Climb,” which followed the LSU gymnastics program from preseason until the conclusion of the NCAA championship competition, which featured the Tigers placing fourth.
“The Climb,” with Lamonte as the producer, was judged the best post-produced series program entry in the 47th annual Suncoast Emmy competition.
According to an LSU press release issued in connection with the EMMY award, “The Climb” was one of three university-related EMMY sports nominees judged by members of the Suncoast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences last year.
“The Climb” represents a 10-episode series that provides viewers who subscribe to LSU programming, with a detailed account from 2023 preseason to postseason, according to the press release.
Lamonte is in his second full time year working with LSU sports productions. In addition Lamonte indicates that he has also been able to work occasionally as a videographer for other projects that have included the National Football League.
The EMMY that was awarded for “The Climb” was somewhat unexpected, says Lamonte.
“I look at it as something that came as a surprise. It is also something that is great for the resume. I knew it had been entered, but really I wasn’t expecting it to win,” Lamonte notes.
Lamonte said it was somewhat intriguing to have access to the LSU gymnastic program that navigated through 2023 and then advanced to the NCAA’s Final Four.
“It describes the whole season, from the time the team came together at a retreat in Gulf Shores, with bonding sessions. It looks at the whole offseason, then meets in Colorado, Utah and then the national championships. We were given 24-seven access and we shot the whole season and then produced it,” Lamonte points out.
LSU gymnastics last season and again this year includes Olivia Dunne, a talented performer who has also become a media sensation that in 2023 was featured as a model in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.
Lamonte obviously included Dunne during the gymnastic competitions, but adds that Dunne is also someone who is talented.
“She has definitely turned into a celebrity, but (Dunne) is also someone who fits in with her teammates and who cares about the rest of the team,” Lamonte says.
Lamonte and his crews are embarking in a 2024 filming of LSU gymnastics, but he says he is open to filming and editing other sports.
“I was not ever going to be a mathematician or an engineer. Right now I am happy to be with LSU athletics and then maybe doing something like the Olympics, telling stories about other athletes and maybe telling other stories that I know will always be out there,” Lamonte adds.