Elon University students and alumni came together to create a minute-long commercial for the American sporting goods brand, which the company promoted and praised on its Facebook page on March 16.
American sporting goods brand Everlast posted on social media this month a one-minute promotional video created by Wilson Hester ’15, Peter Walpole ‘15 and an ambitious team of Elon University students and alumni.
The noontime Facebook post on March 16, 2015, was the culmination of half a year’s work, yet it fulfilled no class assignment or contest requirement, Walpole said. The group, which self-financed the project using money earned from freelance film work, didn’t produce the piece to turn a profit.
“We just wanted to make something good, and Wilson had this great original idea,” Walpole said. “The premise, our goal, was to make the best video that Elon students have ever made. Not for class or a contest, but just for us.”
The 60-second video, titled “Greatness is Within,” mirrored Everlast’s marketing campaign of the same name. Unfortunately, attempting to create great work can often lead to great roadblocks, as the team found out.
The idea and concept for the video first came to Hester in summer 2014. With Hester and Walpole serving as director and producer, respectively, they filled out their crew with “the best people we could find,” Walpole said.
The team eventually included Elon students Tyler Beaumont ’15, Caroline Grell ’17, Eric Hernandez ’16, Evan McGillivray ’16, Jordan Roman ’15, Ben Stringfellow ’15 and Sarah Zierhoffer ’15, as well as Elon alumni Sam Costello ’14 and Todd Leonard ’14. Youssef Osman, assistant professor of communications, assisted as one of the project’s executive producers.
Walpole and company spent the fall 2014 semester purchasing the necessary boxing equipment, securing filming locations, and hiring professional actors. The main character, Miles, is an Atlanta-based actor named Jared Wofford.
Pictured (from left) are Caroline Grell ’17, Wilson Hester ’15, Jared Wofford, Peter Walpole ’15, Kent Passingham, Jordan Roman ’15, Ben Stringfellow ’15 and Tyler Beaumont ’15. Photo courtesy of Walpole[/caption]By November, the team was ready to shoot, filming the boxing scenes at the CWF Mid Atlantic Sportatorium in Gibsonville and the training footage in a barn at Hodgin Valley Farm in Pleasant Garden. Securing locations isn’t for individuals easily discouraged, Walpole pointed out. “I spent more time during my fall semester – a semester where I got all A’s – getting this barn than doing my homework,” he quipped.
The film was shot using the School of Communications’ RED Scarlet camera.
With filming complete, the team focused on post-production and procuring music licenses. To include the group’s preferred music, a track from the “Dead Island” video game, the students negotiated with a music licensing company in England. “One of the most difficult things I had to do in my life was trying to pay someone for their songs,” Walpole said.
With the video wrapped up, the group contacted Everlast and its marketing coordinator in hopes that the commercial might gain widespread attention. After some persistence, Everlast’s executives viewed the commercial and loved it. The Elon contingent eventually gave their video away at no cost.
“At one time, we had big aspirations and thought we might make a lot of money, but it really wasn’t about that,” Walpole said. “We want to be professional filmmakers … but we are also in the philosophy that good work begets work.”
Walpole was encouraged seeing the video posted on Everlast’s Facebook page, gaining more than 10,000 views in its first 24 hours online. Of course, 100,000 views in the future would be even better, he laughed.
“Working on this project has been one huge learning experience, and it’s great to finally show others what we have created,” he said. “Most of the people who worked on it are graduating this semester, so we want this to be our calling card. This shows not only of what we are personally capable of, but also what Elon University students are capable of.”
‘Greatness is Within’ Video Cast and Crew:
Director & Writer: Wilson Hester ’15
Producer: Peter Walpole ’15
Line Producer: Caroline Grell ’17
Executive Producers: Wilson Hester ’15, Peyton Lea Productions, Youssef Osman
1st AD: Jordan Roman ’15
Director of Photography: Wilson Hester ’15
Camera Operator: Tyler Beaumont ’15
1st AC: Ben Stringfellow ’15
Sound Mixer & Sound Designer: Sam Costello ’14
Grips: Eric Hernandez ’16, Todd Leonard ’14
Gaffer: Evan McGillivray ’16
Hair & Makeup: Sarah Zierhoffer ’15
Editor: Ben Stringfellow ’15
Graphics: Rob Tanzola
Colorist: Wilson Hester’ 15
Music: Accorder Music Publishing, Dead Island Theme, Giles Lamb
Miles: Jared Wofford
Charlie: Kent Passingham