Had it been left up to him, Bryan Chesin never would have entered the contest he would later win. A 27-year-old running backs coach/video coordinator at his alma mater Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., Chesin was equally invested in the running backs coach as the video coordinator parts of his dueling job titles. The videos were made for the team, he says, and he intended to keep it that way.
A player's mother urging piqued his interest, but he only consented to entering the 2013 FootballScoop Video of the Year contest when his head coach at the time told him he'd be an idiot not to enter. Chesin didn't even choose his submission. He gave head coach Dave Huffine a list of four videos and told him to choose.
Huffine selected Chesin's motivational video for the Saguaro game, the Manchester City to Chaparral's Manchester United.
"That one was for our big rivalry game. We play a high school that's like three miles down the street that's always very, very good, and our rivalry is real deep-rooted so it's always kind of cool to get the kids pumped up," Chesin said. "I actually saw a video that Colorado did and it kind of sparked an idea, interviewing old players and trying to get them pumped up. Our whole mantra was 'The Champ is Here', that whole thing where it doesn't matter who is there, we were the defending three-time state champions, so I kind of had the whole Muhammad Ali thing mixed into the pre-game warm up mix. The kids really loved that whole thing. We'd yell it before we ran out and stuff. I found a quote from Dana Holgorsen, 'This is the game that you're going to be remembered by.' All the old alumni really harp on the only thing that matters is the Chaparral-Saguaro game. We ended up going out and blasting them like 38-20, so it was a pretty cool feeling."
The Colorado video that Chesin describes is this one, called "Shoulder to Shoulder", which the Buffaloes' video department produced before their 2012 win over Washington State.
While Colorado provided inspiration that eventually won Chesin an award, the Colorado director of sports video Jamie Guy used an outside inspiration that would eventually win his department its own award.
Like the coaches he works with, Guy watches films to improve his own films. This time, it was "Life Cycles", a 2010 film by Derek Frankowski and Ryan Gibb. "It basically was a story of a life of a bike, the people riding it, it told their story as a child as they grow older and how the bike was always a part of their life," Guy said. "They showed great visuals and things that represented the passing of time. New, old, things like that. We really liked. We said we could do that with football for sure and that's where it spawned from."
The genesis for their idea to turn Life Cycles into a football film began in February of 2013. Ten months, 300 man hours, 14 Terabytes of footage, and more than 10,000 photos later, Colorado had "Seasons". Beyond the planning, the shooting, the editing and the sheer tonnage of the work, Guy says finding a writer was one of the most difficult portions of the production process. "
The first thing we did was we tweeted out looking for writers because we really weren't sure how to do that. We got a few responses that way. Then I did a few Google searches to find writers that way. There are some websites that have freelancers in different skill sets, whether its computer programming, writing, or filmmakers, there's all kinds of things. I placed an ad on a site and we had applicants and we were able to select a writer that way," Guy said.
Colorado hired Albuquerque-based freelancer Bryce Emley, who wrote the words that Chris Fowler later read.
The Colorado video team applied for the Heartland Emmys in January, and won the award for "Sports - One-Time Special", beating out KTUL-TV in Tulsa. On Monday, Colorado was named the winner of a much less prestigious award, the 2014 FootballScoop FBS Video of the Year.
Chesin and the Colorado video department - whom Chesin reverentially describes as "the best in the business" - are no longer cosmically linked by an idea and a football coaching site's awards process. They now live just 45 miles apart on opposite axises of the Denver metro area.
While Chesin's video was in the FootballScoop awards process, he was interviewing for a production internship with NFL Films. A week after winning the award, Chesin moved to Mount Laurel, N.J., to work on "NFL Playbook". "I had a producer internship with 'NFL Playbook', so I just worked 24/7 on that show," Chesin said. "The producer on the show was just unbelievable. I learned unreal things about football, the television business, and football business in general. I couldn't have asked for a better experience being there."
The internship ran from August through the Super Bowl in early February. Chesin had accepted a job with NFL Network in their production department. "I was a producer/editor. They call it a predator." Then, a friend got him an interview for a spot in the Denver Broncos' video department.
His first day was two weeks ago today.
One year after coaching running backs at a high school in suburban Phoenix, Chesin is a video/operations assistant for the Denver Broncos.
"Kind of a whirlwind and still pretty surreal to me, the path life as taken," he said. "To think a year ago today I was coaching high school football and loving it, and a year later I'm working in the video department with the Broncos. It's pretty cool."