This mini documentary focuses on how school spirit at American University leaves much to be desired. The question is - would having a football team help at all? I’ll talk to transfer students who went to bigger state schools, and they say having a football team fostered a campus community that American doesn’t really have. 

I was surprised by the different responses I got when I brought up school spirit with people. Most people agreed it would be nice if AU school spirit improved, they had vastly different responses to how or why. That’s one of the things I love about sports - every person has a different take on it. 

The biggest challenge coming into this project was how to illustrate it. It’s pretty boring to show a university NOT having a football team. I knew that I could get enough shots of cheerleaders cheering and the pep band playing, but I didn’t have time or resources to go to the other schools I mention and shoot tailgate parties. Plus, these old football pictures had more to do with the heart of my story than some Gator fans getting drunk in a parking lot. The photos covered up some a lot of interview for me, and also added a nice touch of nostalgia.

The American University men’s soccer team earned a spot in the Patriot League championship game on Sunday, playing Colgate University at Reeves Field. The Eagles lost 2-0, but perhaps the larger story was the lack of student support. There were plenty of parents and alumni in the audience, but very few current students. People around campus like to complain about the lack of “school spirit” and support for the sports teams. The athletic department grapples with this problem every day. 

The big challenge with this video was getting the soccer footage. A soccer field is really big, and the action moves quickly. Plus, I could only walk on half of the sideline, since the other side was cordoned off. I liked the stuff I was able to zoom in on and follow, but there was also a lot of garbage. Plus, it was tough to get detail close-ups of the players. 

I also think it might have been interesting to see what the player’s reaction was. But, I couldn’t really interview them after the game, since the scene after the loss was emotional and depressing. Since I couldn’t get that reaction, I left out the game story aspect altogether, rather than kill time with voiceover. 

Overall, I like how this video turned out. I thought the interviews worked well together, and I laid a good foundation for my next, longer-form video.