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2017 in video: Ken Fagan

A man adjusts two video cameras
December 28, 2017

Our ASU Now team covers many groups and events during the year, meeting interesting people and telling their stories in different ways. As videographer I focus on highlighting specific stories with additional multimedia elements, as well as creating video-based stories that stand on their own. It has been a year of fascinating experiences and discoveries as I captured the sights and sounds of Arizona State University.

Here are 38 of our top stories compressed into two minutes. 

Let me introduce you to six of my favorite stories from 2017 that I believe help tell our ASU story. 

1. AZLoop team — January through August

After meeting the co-leaders of the AZLoop team last holiday season, I knew that they were going to make it to the SpaceX hyper loop competition. After a few hiccups and a rush to the end, the team managed to make it to California and show off their work — an impressive effort by ASU, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Northern Arizona University students that has prepared the next team and for the next competition. The video above was the first in a series of videos that introduced us to the team and their goals to make it to competition. Telling this story required an excellent storyteller, Scott Seckel; a great documentary photographer, Charlie Leight; and myself to truly capture the roller-coaster ride of the year.

2. 3D Psyche Model print process — February/March

An amazing system that creates exact 3-D models in a variety of sizes is located at the Polytechnic School labs and ably managed by engineering associate Eddie Fernandez. Using a GoPro camera for a time-lapse reproduction of the build over four days, we captured the process and spent time learning about the different steps taken to create a model of the asteroid Psyche for the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Media relations associate director Skip Derra and I enjoyed following the process, recording, photographing and writing a story showcasing engineering know-how at ASU.

3. The Pogo Pack — April

There are plenty of inventions at ASU that are developed for external partners. Some are put to use, and others are shelved without ever being tested. After doing a few stories with engineering Professor Tom Sugar, we noticed that some of those untested machines were still operational, just waiting for someone to take them out in the field. Reporter Scott Seckel and I picked the pogo pack off the shelf, had the batteries charged and took it out for a hike and an extreme test in the wild. The pack was designed to help soldiers carry weight easily with less stress on the back and waist. We took it out on the Peralta Trail in the Superstition Mountains, proving that the pack worked and that two over-50-year-old men should think twice before doing strenuous exercise.

4. University Library Archives — July/August

At the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," a workman rolls the ark of the covenant into a huge warehouse filled with thousands of boxes and crates. Believe it or not, there is such a place located on the Polytechnic campus, but the boxes are books — thousands and thousands of them. There are several climate-controlled, fire-proof, hangar-like vaults that are stories high and filled with archived books, manuscripts, maps and the like. It's an amazing place managed by an interesting archival team with a keen sense of humor. Producing this video made for a fascinating summer afternoon in a very cool space.

5. 100 years of Lantern Walk — October

Off and on for 100 years, Arizona State students have walked up to the base of the golden A on "A" Mountain to announce new Homecoming royalty and pass the lantern from one class to the other. One of the oldest and most popular traditions at ASU, the Lantern Walk is a colorful event that kicks off Homecoming weekend and connects students to the past and the future. There is nothing like a fall night hike with several hundred ASU students to get Homecoming off to a good start.

6. Deer Valley petroglyph preserve — November

The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is a unique, understated bridge from our modern world to the ancient. The museum building was built at the base of an earthen dam, spanning the dam’s spillway and directing visitors to a hill covered with petroglyphs from another time. The petroglyphs are special because of the history they portray and the artistry of the work. The museum building itself is a piece of art — modern art — that holds treasures of the peoples that inhabited that place hundreds of years before. It's a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon, learn something new and relax. The preserve is operated by ASU's School of Human Evolution and Social Change. 

Top photo: ASU Now videographer adjusts his cameras before a shoot. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

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