Why We Run

Students sharpen skills at sports documentary bootcamp

A team of School of Journalism and Communication students and alumni produced a video that gave them real-world experience in advance of World Athletics Championships Oregon22

While the best athletes in the world have been hard at work training for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at Hayward Field, a team of University of Oregon students and alumni put in their own preparation in advance of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Fourteen current and former School of Journalism and Communication students immersed themselves in an intensive, weeklong Spring Sports Documentary Bootcamp the SOJC offered earlier this year. The end result was a compelling video that asks runners of all abilities why they run set against the backdrop of the Willamette Valley and Eugene Marathon in Tracktown USA.

Recent graduate Zach Boone directed and edited the two-minute-long video. Alumni Jordan Bentz and Sutton Raphael produced the piece, while Hanlin Wang, Keiji Patterson, Fiona Gibbens, Maya Merrill, Carlos Pimentel, Elizabeth CS, Nina Grace Montes, John Ofstedal, Daniel Nash, Mogan Allen and Lucas Hamilton shot the footage in addition to serving as assistant editors. Ofstedal and Raphael shot the drone footage for the video.

“This was such an exciting opportunity,” Boone said. “We had access to four cameras, several drones and two talented alumni mentors. We ended up with more than six hours of footage, edited down to two minutes which was a great real-world experience.”

The weeklong training served as a portfolio-building primer for students looking to sharpen their skills ahead of this summer’s track and field world championships, where many will be working in various roles as the world’s eyes turn to Hayward Field.

The team produced a video with interviews of runners and dramatic footage from the Eugene Marathon and runners on local paths and trails, with the hashtag of #whywerun as the common thread pulling the profiles together.

As they strove to answer their question, the students had the opportunity to work alongside alumni mentors and explore the technical and creative aspects of documentary filmmaking.