Editor's note: ASU Now videographer Ken Fagan looked back through his files from 2015 to share his favorite videos and offer background on the assignments that made these features so memorable.
The superfan series
Working on this two-part profile of Dan Turbyfill, ASU’s special events manager for the alumni association, was special to me because of the story’s subject, himself. The man is a mentor to many of our graduate and undergraduate students, but I also consider him a friend who shares a positive force with all who meet him.
To capture his spirit, and his rabid Sun Devil devotion, I decided to stage Dan’s interview in his office, which is a cathedral to all things Sparky, ASU and former ASU football coach Frank Kush. With maroon and gold everywhere, how can you not feel the need to “Pity the Kitty” after entering that hallowed space?
But to capture the full scope of what Dan does for this university, much of the footage had to come from following him around as he does enough to cripple some people — from Medallion scholar luncheons, to painting the “A” gold, to Student Alumni Association meetings, to semester welcoming events.
It took a lot of time and effort to gather all the footage for this piece, but I enjoyed every minute of the rush to get what was needed to tell this story.
Parent-teacher English/Spanish language class at ASU Prep
Journalists are always looking for inspiring stories. This one dropped into my lap through collaboration with Media Relations colleague Firoz Jameel. Firoz and I both speak Spanish and had a ball working with the parents and teachers at the ASU Preparatory Academy.
Lighting a classroom has always been a task; from back in the old days shooting classrooms with video guru Guy Mullins to now, it has always been tough. Dull florescent lighting is a pain to light, but with adjustable LED light panels it is amazing how you can make it feel comfortable. We set up our interview space with the class in the background; movement always improves a background. The interviews took the most time, mainly because Firoz and I had great conversations with the parents and teachers. They are amazing people who truly want to learn and help improve their community and school.
I ended up with 15 minutes of time to shoot the cover footage needed for this video. Earlier before the class session, I had shot some cover of the school entrance and campus, but I needed the class interaction and had to move quickly to get what I needed in a very short time span. I am happy that the interactions between parents and teachers are obvious to the viewer and for the opportunity to meet interesting people doing innovative things.
UCLA game-day trip with Student Alumni Association students
This production required me to keep my eyes and ears open at all times to capture the best images possible on a 24-hour road trip. It wasn’t easy, but it was a lot of fun.
The trip to Los Angeles was boring till we hit Pasadena, traffic and an abrupt stop on the freeway when our bus driver had to "go." Seeing the Rose Bowl and its surroundings are impressive, and having your team play in the "bowl" is exciting. There wasn’t much time for interviews so I decided to have some of the ASU travelers narrate the day’s events at a later date. It was all a rush from the moment we parked the four buses full of student fans, to the tailgate, to getting credentials, to the on-field action.
From beginning to end, the game and audience participation was incredible. The ASU fans were loud and helped turn the tide against an overwhelmingly large home advantage for the Bruins. The biggest issue I had to face was battery depletion, so I was continually returning to the media pit under the bleachers to recharge. This became an issue at the end of the game. As the ASU team ran over to greet the fan section, there was lots of commotion, lots of pushing but excellent shots of fans, players and family members enjoying the moment. It was all good till my battery died right when Coach Todd Graham was about to hand the game ball to the Sun Devil marching band. I switched immediately to my iPhone and captured the ball hand-over just in the nick of time.
ASU fans are supportive fans. Capturing them as they cheered on their team from entrance onto the field to when they boarded their buses impressed me. It was a long ride home, but the experience of being in the Rose Bowl for a Sun Devil win was worth it.
Steve Turkovich: A letterman who helped build this house
Making a new friend is special any time of the year, especially if that new friend is Steve Turkovich. Mr. Turkovich has been a Sun Devil season ticket holder since 1965 and is an alumnus of ASU and a four-year veteran of the Sun Devil football team under famed Coach Frank Kush.
Upon meeting "Turk," you know that you are meeting a kind, loyal family man. He loves his family and his Sun Devils.
This video involved shooting at various locations in the Valley, from the Sun Devil practice fields to Steve’s home, from the family tailgate to the Tillman tunnel and an ASU football game. Every location was interesting to shoot at because each one was so different in telling Turk's story. He goes to every practice to support the players and offer advice, and I enjoyed every minute of producing this video and the opportunity to meet Steve Turkovich and his family.
Operation Inferno: Army ROTC and Public Service Academy training
Every kid dreams of being G.I. Joe at one time in his or her life, and I had the opportunity to document what ROTC training is like this past October.
This video describes some of the action and interactions that occur during Army ROTC fall training. It was the first time that the ASU Public Service Academy and Army ROTC teamed up to learn from each other during regular military training sessions. It was very interesting to see and hear the interactions between military students and civilian students who were learning and working together for a common goal.
This production required fast action, quick thinking and teamwork to complete. I really enjoyed the guesswork of what would happen next. All of the students and their advisers really impressed me with the desire to work together to improve communication between the military arm of education, the civilian arm and the importance of understanding each other to support our communities.
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