BY KATIE WOLFERT | Special To Chirp City
In his first year at Ball State, Zach Roy has quickly figured out how impactful Sports Link can be as long as you set your mind to it.
As his second semester begins, Roy has been involved on many projects for Sports Link and has left his mark on the group. His portfolio of work in his first semester include the Ball State Football intro video, the Ball State Men’s Basketball intro video and serving as a co-producer/videographer of the #SLFeatured FINAO: The Reggie McGee story.
Roy, in his first semester, was one of two Sports Link students (joining junior Connor Nichols) to be the official videographers for the 2017 Mid-American Conference Football Championship in Detroit, Mich.
Q: Why did you choose Ball State?
- Because of Sports Link. I was looking for a school that has what we have here in Sports Link and I couldn’t find it. After one of my friends committed to play basketball here we made a video about his commitment in high school and then the advisor for our program saw it. Later, he got ahold of me and we talked about the program and that’s how I ended up here.
Q: What did your high school experience look like in terms of sports production experience? Were there opportunities for it?
- I made my own opportunities for it. Our basketball team had won state multiple years in a row, so I made a road to the state championship video. After our team won state that year, I made a video about that and continued to create basketball related videos, which is where most of my experience comes from.
Q: What attracted you to Sports Link and the program at Ball State?
- The hands-on experience. Literally, before day one of class, I got to go film at one of the football practices. Then on the first day of classes, I got to shoot the intro video for the football team. From day one, right from the start, you are diving right in. With most of the other programs it could be a couple years before you get to even touch a camera.
Q: How do you think Sports Link is different from other programs?
- The hands-on experience lets you dive in right away. It seems like Chris, our advisor, spends a lot of time looking into each person he wants in the program to make the program the best it can be. I think that makes a huge difference in the program; everyone in here is passionate about what they are doing and I think that makes a huge impact on the program.
Q: What opportunities have you done so far or what do you want to do in the future in Sports Link?
- So far, most of my opportunities have been football and basketball related. I’ve went to almost every football game shooting videos for feature stories and highlights. That has transferred into basketball season now. Eventually, I would like to produce intro videos for the pregame shows of basketball and football. I would also like to do more of a behind the scenes look at the football and basketball teams.
Q: What has been your favorite experience so far through Sports Link?
- That first football shoot was pretty fun and traveling to shoot videos has been fun too. Within 20 to 30 minutes of shooting players getting off the bus or warming up, we are editing it and sending it out for people to see online. By the end of the game we are trying to create 2 to 3 pieces of video content form the game.
Q: Do you find the fast-paced nature of the job challenging?
- I think it is fun. I think it is fun to do fast-paced stuff and that’s kind of how the industry is anyway, so it is good practice.
Q: How do you think Sports Link will open doors for you in the future?
- I think it will help tremendously because the people that are in the program are great resources to talk and learn from.
Q: What has this program taught you about the sports production industry so far?
- It’s different for each position. I think that it’s interesting to see that one or two people can make a big difference on the program and how a piece of content looks to the audience.
Q: What do you think the greatest takeaway you’ll get from Sports Link?
- Connections. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m going to school is connections. Even though talent is more important than connections, if you don’t have any connections you can’t do anything with your talent.
Q: Where do you see Sports Link developing in the next 5 years?
- I think it’s going to explode. I’m glad Chris found me right when he did because I think we are right at the tipping point of really making a huge change for the better. There are some very big things to come.
Q: What advice do you have for future students wanting to go into sports production?
- If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, you are able to do it 24 hours out of the day. You’ve got access to this room all hours of the day, so if you can’t do it at home you can come in here and grind out whatever you need to grind out.
Q: What is one word you would use to describe Sports Link?
- Immersive. The way that our advisors connect with the students in Sports Link has been impressive so far. They are very helpful, they know what they’re doing, and they are good at what they do. That makes a huge impact on the types of content that is being created. They help push you to make your content better. Critiquing is super important to get better at what you are doing and the advisors do a great job at that.