In film, as in football, every detail counts. From the shading of the backdrop–to the angle of the lights–to the focus of the camera, it all makes a difference in the end product. Just ask the Baltimore Ravens video production team.
Last week, the Ravens opened their doors to Gettysburg College film students to emphasize the importance of becoming detail-oriented filmmakers in the world of visual media.
“What was most eye-opening about the experience was getting to see the attention to detail and the significant time [they] put in to prepare for such short, quick segments,” said Jason Travaglini ’14 of witnessing the production of Ravens Report, a television show highlighting the National Football League team.
“Everything that is in a shot has the potential to tell part of the story, and these seemingly trivial details cannot be overlooked,” Ellen Eickenhorst ’13 said. “It is very important to keep your shot visually interesting by using props and careful lighting.”
The Ravens video production team worked with the students to adjust high-powered lights, both on the ceiling and floor, to ensure reflections and dark spots were not present on film. The crew also tapped into the students’ current knowledge of film to reveal unique techniques in camera movement and editing.
“A lot of the editing terms and basic camera functionality I've learned in class helped me understand much of what was being demonstrated throughout the day,” Jeff Lindstrom ’14 said.
“I understood how and why they were doing certain things, which helped make me less of a spectator, especially when we were asked to help with certain tasks, like relighting a scene or reframing a shot,” Eickenhorst said. “Most importantly though, it gave me a greater respect for what these professionals do, because having done it myself on a much smaller scale, I know how much work goes into making a short video.”
The students, joined by Prof. Jeffery Williams, adjunct instructor of interdisciplinary studies, and alumnus Pete Yingling ’62, also had the opportunity to hear Ravens Report commentary from acclaimed radio broadcaster Gerry Sandusky (no relation to Jerry Sandusky, the imprisoned former assistant football coach of Pennsylvania State University).
Sandusky, exalted as “one of the best in the business” by his Raven colleagues, advised Gettysburg students to focus on the timeless principles of film rather than ever-changing technology, and to always be eager to absorb new information made available from experts in the field.
And the students did just that.
“Having the opportunity to learn from those with such useful experience is always helpful when trying to understand something you have an interest in,” Lindstrom said.
“The more opportunities that place you in the field not only give you credibility, but [the experiences] teach and inspire you as well,” added Eickenhorst.
See more photos of the learning experience.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Mike Baker, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6521.