Written by Sarah Luhn || Clemson University
Sarah (Class of 2016) is currently a Teaching Assistant in Graphic Communications at Clemson University. She helped teach the GC3400 class, part of which focuses on a video project using Clemson Athletics as the subject. Working in groups, students in the class completed video interviews with student-athletes and coaches in the Men’s Soccer program. The winning entry was featured on the Clemson Athletics official YouTube channel and posted to the Men’s Soccer social media accounts. All submissions were featured on ClemsonTigers.com. Below is an article that describes the project in further detail.
Very few Clemson students attend lab in the Tiger locker rooms, meet the coaches and interview student-athletes, but in the department of graphic communications they have the opportunity to do so. Students taking GC3400 get to bridge the gap between academics and athletics each semester while getting an inside look at Clemson AthleticsThe video production project in GC3400 challenges all students to learn how to work productively and efficiently with one another. It was vital to gather all pre-production materials, information, etc. in advance of the shoot date in order to successfully tell your story through the final video. On the day of the shoot, student video teams have to be extremely organized because there is minimal time for errors. Mistakes waste not only the students’ time but also more importantly the coaches and student-athletes time as well.
This project is a great opportunity for all students to learn how to operate video equipment and develop interview skills in an effort to best tell the story of Tiger athletics. Interviewing is not an easy skill to learn; students need to focus on appropriate ways to ask questions in order to get the answers they are looking for. Additionally, how you ask a question will entirely depend on the person you are interviewing. If a student is interviewing a coach, he or she will use different tactics compared to interviewing a student-athlete. The interviewer is in control of the content captured and it is a necessity to lead the interviewee towards the desired direction of the video.
Shooting is remarkably captivating. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and to learn the process of video production in a hands-on way. As a previous director during shoot day, I thought that everything was going to go in order of my groups’ list of shots and scenes but it was completely the opposite. This is why it was important to stay organized and be flexible to change. My group went from scene one to scene five back to scene two because it was pertinent to get the scene that was available in the time allotted. For this particular project you don’t have much room for error or re-takes. The students only have one lab period to get all scenes shot unless the athletes are willing to give the student more shooting time on their own schedule. A lab period is about three hours, so there is not much time to produce five student videos. It is stressful, yet motivating to be on a time crunch though because it forces you to become more focused and efficient, the shortage of time also allows for students to learn the how the real video industry works. That is the value of a hands-on learning experience. The videos were not only a great learning opportunity, but also a resume builder.
Postproduction is where the magic happens. Editing involves a great deal of talent, skill, and patience. When you were told as a child that patience is a virtue, you probably didn’t comprehend the complexity of that expression. You really start to understand the meaning during the postproduction phase. As a graphics student, nothing you work on is ever perfect. And if it does reach perfection, it has most likely taken you many weeks of working nonstop on that project. This is the most wonderful thing about being in Graphic Communications. “We get to become a true family and share our experience at Clemson with each other as well as everyone else. To influence people to become a Tiger is one of the most rewarding things to be apart of,” says Alexis Volpe, a current GC3400 student. All of your hard work pays off and not only do you get to enjoy it, so does your audience. Understanding the processes of video production is important in the graphics industry and community and will help the students in their future careers.
Clemson University is extremely proud of their athletes and athletic program. These videos publically show students, faculty, staff, and fans, the great school spirit this university thrives on. Kali Kupp, a member of the winning video team for this year’s Godfrey awards stated, “talking to the players and getting to see the amount of work, sweat, passion, and perseverance that goes into their sport and their Clemson pride has really opened my eyes to a side of the athletic department I have never seen.” These videos really help us to understand and realize that there must be something in these hills. We are all thankful towards Clemson University, the Graphic Communications department, and all the wonderful opportunities that are given to us that help us grow, develop, and succeed within the industry we all love.
May 12, 2021