Producer’s Log: Chasing Opportunity

BY MATT VERNIER | Ball State Sports Link
As an executive producer for a feature story, you always have a plan, but you will never know what will come in your way.

For the better part of three months this semester,  I had so many experiences and opportunities while helping make the Chase Jackson story, “Chasing Opportunity.”

Co-producers Mick Tidrow and Kaitlyn Young — and myself — are so excited to show you a story we made and exactly what we were able to experience. As a producer you have to accept that anything is possible and think with an open mind. That’s exactly what we all did.

When first planning a story you want to have a plan and be able to go off your plan as much as you can.  Throughout preproduction planning — and even into the edit — there were many times where our story changed.  As a producer, you have to accept that.

While going into the first part of this story, we had the opportunity to speak with Chase’s mom and grandma after a meet in December against Evansville.  When I first met them and introduced myself, I had a really good feeling that they would help make the story better.

They certainly did.  Chase’s grandma shared very personal experiences, while Chase’s mom had every picture, home movie and trophy we needed.

By getting to know them better and knowing their love for Chase, it was an instant click and we all knew they were crucial to telling this story the right way.

Sometimes as a producer you have to go with your gut feeling.  It’s sometimes best to not overthink.

Chase Crew picAs you continue with the story some things pop out of nowhere.

The biggest surprise that happened while producing this story was the possibility of interviewing Cullen Jones, a 2008 and 2012 Olympian swimmer.

Jones is one of Chase’s biggest idols and the reason he pursued swimming.

The first thought in my head was, “no way”, but I also had faith this huge opportunity could be a reality.

Fast forward to February 16, 2017. We are on our way for a 36-hour journey to meet Jones in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With only two days to take advantage of, we had no choice but to drive there one day and then drive back the next.  What’s better than an unexpected road trip?

Although meeting Jones was a great opportunity and something I will never forget, seeing Chase’s face and making his dream come true ties it all together.

Putting this entire story together took months, along with hours upon hours of late-night editing.

Not only was I able to become closer and get to know Chase’s story better, but I was able to become closer to my co-producers. Working with such a great team helps make this story even better with all the hard work that goes into it.

You see, as a producer there are times where the thoughts of giving up float in your head trying to mess you up.

However, seeing happiness like when Chase met Cullen was something that makes this career opportunity all worth it. It’s those moments that push you.

From myself, Kaitlyn and Mick, we all hope you enjoy this story and realize sometimes you actually do have to chase opportunity no matter what may come in your way.

Remember, anything is possible — just as this story can show you.

Author: Sports Link Staff

Sports Link showcases Cardinal student-athletes’ accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and within the surrounding community. Follow @bsusportslink on all social media platforms.

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