Filming the Dawgs

by second year Raveena Patel

At the University of Georgia, football transcends its basic definition as simply a sport. Here, it is something much more. The Georgia football pre-game videos released on social media before each home game portray this. Meet Frank Martin, a sophomore at UGA and the writer, director, and producer of these videos.

Q: So how does someone go about getting your job?

A: Honestly, I just lucked out. I went to St. Pius in Atlanta for high school, and I played football freshman year. Freshman football players at Pius have the opportunity to follow a senior through a week leading up to Friday’s game. While I was doing that, I saw firsthand how important and influential the pre-game videos were to the players. When I got injured my freshman year and was told I could no longer play, I asked if there was anything I could do to still be apart of the football program. They said they needed someone who could do videos, and that’s how I started making pre-game videos for Pius. Through St. Pius’ connections, I was able to get in touch with the team here and they were supportive in giving me a shot.

Q: Do you have a lot of instruction and requirements for the videos or is there a lot of freedom to make them the way you want?

A: This is my second year on the staff and there is more trust between us, so there definitely is more freedom. I do everything from filming the videos, to choosing a theme, to choosing the music, script, and clips, to editing. From beginning to end, I help construct the message the video sends. But all of the freedom and trust wasn’t completely there at first. This is a lot different than what I was doing for my high school, so it took some time to learn what they wanted from me and for them to learn about my capabilities. All of the staff is very supportive, and I receive help whenever I need it.

Q: How do you come up with ideas for the themes of the videos?

A: I just try to pay attention and observe what is going on with the team during that time and what seems appropriate. I listen to what the players and coaches are talking about and try to think of ways that I could incorporate that into a theme. Some of the videos have themes that were planned in advance, while some are just things that I have seen and observed.

Q: Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

A: I look up to the players, coaches, staff, and everyone I have met through this job. I don’t think that I am important or that what I do is particularly significant. I am just one of the many people who works hard for this University, and I am thankful for and look up to all those people. I am inspired by all of the people that have been extremely supportive of me, because I want to live up to the reasons that make them believe in me.

Q: From watching the videos, it is clear that you are very passionate about Athens, UGA, and Georgia football. Was it always this way? Are you living your dream?

A: Yes, it kind of is like living the dream. Both of my parents went to UGA, so I grew up a Georgia Bulldog. I had always wanted to go to Georgia, but I looked closely at other universities with really good film schools. Then I came to tour UGA and I instantly felt at home. I toured the football building here and that’s when I knew that this was where I wanted to be. Through the videos, I want people to know how special Athens is; it’s a place where all your friends really do live right around the corner. This is a very rare community and a very rare time when everyone is in one place, at one time, for one purpose. That purpose is to learn, to better ourselves, and to help those around us, and I think that’s a message the football program here really believes in; I’m lucky to be a part of that.

Q: Is this just a hobby or do you see it becoming a career?

A: Right now, this is something I really love. I hope that I get to turn it into a career, and I know that majoring in Mass Media Arts is setting me up for that path. I would love to continue this work in any way that I can, whether that be in sports, film, or TV. But I’ve never really had plans about where I wanted this to take me and things have always ended up working out. Right now, I am trying to live in the moment and just enjoy that I get to do what I love every day!
Frank Martin’s videos inspire thousands of people. Each one uniquely captures exactly what it means to be a part of this community and to share a love for the Dawgs. But the videos don’t deserve all of the recognition, because the person behind the videos is equally as inspiring. To check out Frank’s work, go to http://vimeo.com/frankrobertmartin!