The Ravens men’s football team have three new sideline shadows this season filming every play.
Fourth-year journalism students Austin Stanton, Lewis Gordon and Cameron Newbigging plan to attend every Ravens game and practice this fall to produce a documentary of the 2016 season titled Year Four.
“Our focus is going to be on the players, on the special bond they have,” said Gordon, the documentary’s director. “Whether or not that bond can be an advantage on the field, we’ll see.”
Last fall, Gordon came up with the idea to chronicle the team’s fourth year of play since the Ravens return to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league in 2013 after a 15-year hiatus. Gordon invited his classmate Stanton to join the extracurricular project in January and they met with Ravens Head Coach Steve Sumarah that month to discuss the concept.
“I think it’s going to be interesting to see how we are captured on film,” said Sumarah. “Year four is a big year for us. We have worked with some of these players three full seasons and usually by the fourth year teams and players hit their peak.”
The overarching theme of Year Four is that of a team fulfilling its potential. Gordon has been following the men’s football team closely since his first year and has become friends and roommates with some of the players.
“I can see how hard they’ve worked,” he said. “It’s what turned me on to this project. I would like others to see that hard work too.”
Newbigging, easily the biggest football junkie of the three, joined the project in April as producer, and all three will take turns filming with a Canon 70D DSLR. They plan to release a teaser trailer before classes start to compliment a crowdfunding page. The Department of Recreation and Athletics is assisting the trio with travel to and from the games, including Toronto and Waterloo, but their time and gear is self-funded.
This Nov. 26, Hamilton will host the CIS Vanier Cup, which the Ravens came very close to snagging last year. The Guelph Gryphons beat out the Ravens in the semi-finals and went on to win the cup.
The trio have interviewed master sportscasters and Carleton j-school alumni, Tim Micallef of Sportsnet and James Duthie of TSN. Whenever the season ends, Gordon will conduct some final interviews with the players before he begins a massive edit. He anticipates it will take two months to complete Year Four for a spring release.
Journalism Prof. Chris Waddell, who taught the three videographers in their third year, thinks it’s a fabulous idea, but a big project.
“It becomes very difficult, very quickly to manage all that material from both an editorial and editing perspective,” he said.
Gordon, whose dream is to make docs for a living, expects to learn a lot in the weeks ahead.
“As soon as I learned how to make videos I know I was going to be very passionate about this. I just want to do more.”