Behind the highlight reels

Local videographers make a splash with creative strategies

Sam Sumski

As players dribble down the court and splash a three, the camera cuts to fans doing the wave and cheering loudly. The roars from the crowd are backed by booming music meant to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. Various students at Redwood and across the county have begun to create highlight videos of sports games and practices at high school campuses and in the professional world. Students starting in this film industry usually have backgrounds in sports, a love for technology and a basic understanding of film.

Redwood class of 2022 graduate Evin Gallagher has consistently made videos across all sports and posted them to social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram, gaining traction in recent months. Gallagher recognizes that his videos have an impact on the viewers and players watching their own highlights. 

“The sports players enjoy the videos, and it is great to see that people love my work. It motivates me to keep going and creating more content,” Gallagher said.

The process of making highlight reel videos is not easy. Monotony can set in after a long period of editing and lining up clips. At the end of the process, Gallagher stated that the time spent for the end result is worth it.

Gallagher says the most rewarding part of making the videos is the relationships he makes with the people, coaches and players surrounding the game. Editing sports reels has also led to several other opportunities in the film world for Gallagher. 

“I have been able to make some great connections in the film industry with people I never thought I would meet. I have worked closely with apparel company Dyeislife to create some great productions to help sell their clothing and merchandise,” Gallagher said. 

Preparing to run a route, Evin Gallagher stands close, ready to capture the catch from Santa Barbara Community College (SBCC) wide receiver in action. (Photo courtesy of Evin Gallagher)

Gallagher said that working with the company was an incredible experience and that spending time doing things outside of his comfort zone is helpful for his future. Gallagher is studying marketing and business in college and hopes to produce his work on a larger scale and reach a bigger audience. 

“I think that in the long run, [studying marketing and business] will be a good decision, so if I decide that I don’t want to pursue a career in sports film, I can work in those fields,” Gallagher said. 

There are other impressive film makers across the county that have sparked some recent success as well. Max Gilberg, a graduate from Redwood’s class of 2019, moved to Los Angeles following graduation to pursue his talent in the sports film industry. Gilberg has filmed several important projects, most notably a film for Lebron James’ television show, ‘The Shop,’ on HBO Max. Additionally, Gilberg directed the Los Angeles Clippers’ 2022 season recap video, collaborating with popular Los Angeles director and editor Cam Beverley and Clippers organization member Tommy Zweibel. Furthermore, he created a film for Kanye West’s high school basketball team, Donda Doves. He has also worked closely with National Basketball Association (NBA) 2022 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, including controlling all of his social media accounts and enhancing his Youtube channel. After Barnes proposed the opportunity to move to Toronto with him, Gilberg decided to move away from Los Angeles with Barnes and the Toronto Raptors to help him with his social media presence for the 2023 NBA season. 

Having a good time together, Max Gilberg (left) and NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes (right) prepare to upgrade their social media platforms through top notch editing and action. (Photo courtesy of Max Gilberg)

“At the moment, I am really excited to get started in Toronto. This was a really big life decision for me,” Gilberg said.

Gilberg considers this to be a great opportunity, and he said it was hard for him to turn it down. Gilberg has created a strong bond with Barnes, and they both have creative ideas for the future. 

“From a young age, I always had an eye for photography and film which allowed me to take my videos to the next level,” Gilberg said. 

Due to this advantage, Gilberg has become a great filmmaker. However, photography and filming are only the beginning of the process of filmmaking, as viewers will only watch content on social media platforms if it is intriguing and interesting throughout the whole video. 

“It can take up to 10 hours to edit a 30 to 60 second video to meet my standards. But, when hard work like this is put in, it can take you to new levels and quality,” Gilberg said.

To better his videos, Gilberg has recently started dabbling with using three-dimensional effects, which are not commonly used on social media, in his edits to make transitions seamless. 

“It is important that every second of the video is interesting and action packed because if you lose the viewer’s attention for even a second, they can scroll right past the video,” Gilberg said. 

To gain a good reputation in the sports video world takes thoughtful planning and a good eye for angles. St. Ignatius Preparatory senior Michael Quinn, who uses the name MQ Productions on social media, has been making highlight videos for his school, other schools and club teams across the Bay Area. Quinn attends many events in the Marin County Athletic League, and his videos often highlight Redwood. He said that high school sports games have a lot of energy, and it is different from every other sports atmosphere. 

Getting ready to film highlights, Michael Quinn takes shots at a St. Ignatius Preparatory’s basketball game. (Photo courtesy of Michael Quinn)

“Not only are the sports important, but the emotion and capturing the community aspect of the sport are really essential,” Quinn said. 

Quinn added that family and friends’ support at sports games is one of his favorite things to witness when filming. 

“When I used to play sports, it was my favorite thing to see my friends and family there to support me and cheer me on,” Quinn said. 

 Although Quinn no longer plays sports at a high school level, he still has an understanding for where to be to get the best angles and shots of the game. He added that certain measures can be taken to achieve a more balanced video. 

“The hype from the crowd is a main point to show the story of the game and how the score or quality of play could have changed,” Quinn said.

When watching the final product of these videos, one can see the many hours of work put in to produce the best viewing experience. With all this diligent work, young filmmakers get to work with companies, make a little bit of money on the way and get recognized by colleges and other programs that may want them.