An Inside Scoop on Midnight Magic

<strong>SCOTT ROEDER |</strong> Staff Photographer<br>Senior Zack Atkinson throws down a windmill dunk during the slam dunk contest at Midnight Magic. Junior Darren Moore ended up winning the contest, beating Atkinson in the finals.

SCOTT ROEDER | Staff Photographer
Senior Zack Atkinson throws down a windmill dunk during the slam dunk contest at Midnight Magic. Junior Darren Moore ended up winning the contest, beating Atkinson in the finals.

For sports fanatics across the country, phrases like “Just Do It,” or “Impossible is Nothing,” have been ingrained in our sports psyche. Plastered on the pages of magazine ads, raised up on billboards that blister the sides of the 5 freeway and sneaking up on us while surfing through the web, sports advertising has become a part of our culture. Despite these various outlets in which we receive a daily dose of our Nike or Adidas ads, none are more effective than the television commercials we are bombarded with while watching our favorite teams play. This is where our story begins.

In preparation for the 2009 Shocktoberfest and Midnight Magic Festival, the UCI Sports Marketing group was looking for a way to introduce the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Nick Coromelas, the on-campus sports marketing coordinator, was looking for a video that both displayed the diversity of the team and would get the crowd pumped up.

“We were looking for something that would be inspirational and that would really hit home,” Coromelas said. “I was perusing through the web and I came across Scott Roeder’s website, scottroeder.com, and saw some of the work he had done. I thought that he would definitely be more capable than me to make this video, so I decided to contact him.”

Roeder, a photographer for the New University and an athlete in his own right was happy to accept.

“I knew what the athletics department wanted, but I just needed a concept,” said Roeder. “I decided to go on YouTube and looked through Nike commercials and Jordan commercials and some Gatorade commercials. I finally decided to go with the Gatorade ‘What’s G?’ commercial I had seen on T.V.”

With his concept down and the rough outline drawn out, Roeder was ready to assemble a production team that would put this project in motion. His team consisted of first year students Pratik Panda and Ian Massey, fourth year audio expert CP Phan and myself.

The original commercial consists of a panning shot of a collection of athletes. While the images slowly move across the screen, a narration of phrases explains what it means to be a “G.”

Before the production process got underway, Roeder needed to come up with a script that would not only be original, but that would characterize the individual basketball players on the team.

“Because college athletes have so much going on and such a busy schedule, we had to know exactly what each player was doing so that we could get them in and out of the shoot as quickly as possible,” Roeder said.

With the preproduction process complete, the filming was ready to take place. Finding a time that fit with all the players’ schedules was by no means an easy task. The filming was spread out over four days, and took place in three different locations. UCI Chancellor Michael Drake was selected to narrate the video and make a brief appearance at the end.

With the video complete, all that was left was the debut. Just after 8:30 p.m. on Friday night the introduction video was presented to the anxious UCI crowd. As the players panned across the screen there were scattered eruptions of cheers throughout the building. It was almost as though each of the athletes had their own special fan club. But when Peter the Anteater popped up on the big screens all those fan clubs united as one and celebrated their beloved mascot.

The video was a huge success. Sports marketing interns Kendra Hausen and Kimmie Hemar were really impressed by the video.

“This video was a great way for the basketball team to show the UCI students what they were all about,” Hausen said.

The introduction was followed by a dunk competition where junior guards Emil Kim and Darren Moore, freshman guard Brandon Scott and senior center and reigning champion Zack Atkinson showcased their athletic abilities. The players had two chances to successfully complete a dunk, and the two players that received the highest scores would move on to the final round. After the first round, the 6 ft. 3 in. Moore was up against the 6 ft. 9 in. Atkinson. Moore would end up stealing the title from his teammate on a dunk that consisted of a lob pass that took one bounce before he slammed it with one hand.

“I just wanted to go out there and have fun,” Atkinson said. “Darren did a great job and he deserved it.”

Moore was extremely humbled to have won the contest.

“Everyone did a great job, but the thing is that a few days ago I had a bet with Zack that the loser buys the winner lunch, so it looks like I am eating for free tomorrow,” Moore said. “But overall I had a really good time. The video was dope and the atmosphere was crazy. It sets the tone for how this season is going to play out. I am very excited and can’t wait to get started.”

Check out the video at scottroeder.com/blog.