Offscreen with Taylor Stakes (Trinity University)

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by on January 27, 2016 Featured

Taylor Stakes, Video and Web Multimedia Content Developer, Trinity University

Taylor Stakes
Video and Web Multimedia Content Developer
Trinity University

Producer Credits:
This is Trinity University
Do You Think We Are Just Students
Major in Fiesta at Trinity University (April Fools)
Fine Arts

When did you know you wanted to make movies for a living?
In high school, I started volunteering for my church in the video production department, running a camera during the weekend services. That turned into a full-time gig while I was going to college.

How did you get into higher ed video?
When I came on board at Trinity, there wasn’t anyone doing video full-time. Being able to start and build a video team from the ground up seemed like an exciting challenge. It’s truly been a blast.

Describe the team dynamic and project selection process at Trinity?
Since we’re a small school, we have a small team. Our Marketing Director Michelle Bartonico and I typically take the lead in brainstorming, writing, and storyboarding. But every video project is truly a team effort. Constructively honest feedback is an important part of the storytelling process. Once we have a final product, we come together to think about ways to use the video across multiple outlets. 

What’s your favorite piece of gear?
C100. We’ve been through a lot together.

Any equipment you’d like to add to the inventory?
A really nice GoPro 360 rig. We have started shooting a bunch of 360 videos with our two Theta cameras, but the quality isn’t great unless the conditions are absolutely perfect. So, just one of those rigs would be nice!

Got any Netflix recommendations?
Making a Murderer. I’m so impressed by how much time the filmmakers dedicated to the project. I can’t imagine spending ten years on one story.

What recent higher ed video impresses you?
Wake Forest’s “Good Wears Black” is amazing.

I’m also a sucker for great athletics projects, and the Colorado University Football video team has some of the best. Forever is my favorite.

Do you have a favorite Trinity project?
Can I have two?

The first one has to be our “10 Things Cats Do…” campaign. We came up with this crazy idea while browsing random cat videos on youtube (who doesn’t love a cat video). Since our mascot is a “Tiger” we felt we should take some creative liberties to show some things “cats” do on our campus. It was a lot of fun to shoot and edit because nothing was off limits. It’s just a silly video about our mascot.

My other favorite project has been the creation and launch of our Tiger Network. Like most universities, we had been streaming our graduations, special events, and athletic competitions with one camera. Eager to improve the product, we started planning our own network about a year ago: how we wanted it to look, what we wanted to feature, etc. Our main goal was to give our alumni, parents, and friends more access to campus. My co-worker Josh Moczygemba heads up all our athletics live streaming, which is a huge task since we run a full production (multiple cameras, live in-game announcing and color analysis, scores and stats, and my personal favorite – instant replay). It’s been a fun project that continues to evolve. We will soon be launching a Tiger Network channel on Roku and FireTV.

If you could make a movie on any subject (with no time or budget limitations), what subject would you chose?
Definitely a documentary about Peru, which holds a special place in my heart. The landscape is obviously enchanting, but the people are even better. I’d love to tell some of their stories. 

Where do you go for inspiration?
I’m trying to think of a different answer than youtube or vimeo, but those really are some of the places to find immediate inspiration. I also love attending NAB or Adobe Max and meeting so many talented folks. Just learning about what they’re doing and working on really inspires me. So many of the ideas I’ve put into practice have come from connecting with peers.

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