About two months remain in the 2013-14 athletic season, a campaign marked not only by conference titles and trips to the Rose Bowl and Final Four, but also by the five-year anniversary of Stanford’s creative video department: The Cardinal Channel.
Director of Creative Video Bud Anderson, the architect of The Cardinal Channel, has overseen its growth into one of the top creative video departments in the country over these last five years. Anderson and his staff, which currently includes assistants Hunter Armor and Anthony Banares, have produced over 1,200 videos and features, from which the staff has selected their Top 25.
“It's been a fantastic five years producing video for Stanford Athletics as The Cardinal Channel,” Anderson said. “We've got an incredibly creative and talented team that loves their work and constantly pushes themselves to present Stanford student-athletes in new and innovative ways. The opportunity to work with amazing coaches, talented student-athletes and a department-wide staff that is the best in the business is a true pleasure. We love solving problems for people through video and Stanford gives us the flexibility and trust to do so.
“We've produced over 1,200 creative pieces in my time here and it's incredible to look back at the cast of characters that have come through TCC, such as Mike Johnstone shooting Ray Lewis’ speech to the men’s basketball team, Khari Jones directing "Live at the Fiesta Bowl," Kevin Danna as Niegyl Colin, and cameos by Jim Harbaugh, President Hennessy, Condoleezza Rice and John Elway,” Anderson added.
Whether a piece features All-America running back Toby Gerhart trying out synchronized swimming, follows women’s basketball All-Pac-12 selection Mikaela Ruef throughout her busy gameday schedule, or men’s volleyball All-American Brad Lawson belting out the Stanford Alma Mater, Anderson and his staff have captured every aspect of the unique Stanford student-athlete experience.
In recent seasons The Cardinal Channel has been at the forefront of Stanford’s “Nerd” movement, working with women’s basketball All-Americans Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike to produce a pair of smash anthems which have personified the Nerd Movement. “Nerd City Kids” (2012) and “N-E-R-D-S (#NerdAnthem)” (2014) were released ahead of the Stanford women’s basketball team’s Final Four runs in 2012 and 2014, respectively, and were featured prominently to millions of viewers through such outlets as ESPN, Fox Sports and the Pac-12 Network.
GoStanford.com had the chance to sit down for a quick Q&A session with Anderson, Armor, and Banares, getting each of their memories and thoughts on some of their favorite Cardinal Channel moments.
GoStanford.com: Which single piece is the most memorable to you? Not necessarily your “favorite” but the most memorable?
Bud Anderson: As a singer I've got to say my favorite is "Get Up". I wrote, sang and mixed the alternate lyrics and to see Richard Sherman and Michael Thomas lip synching to me covering James Brown was awesome.
Hunter Armor: The most memorable piece for me would be "Take the Rope" because it was one of the first Cardinal Channel Pieces I produced and in a way established my style for future pieces.
Anthony Banares: "The Infamous Three". This piece was definitely the most challenging piece I've had to deal with. What started as a 90+ minute interview needed to be cut down to a more digestible length without losing the important nuances. After getting it down to under 12 minutes, the only material I had to my disposal was from a scrap book that had newspaper clippings, photographs and other related items which the interviewees kept. I then needed some visuals that brought back angles of the story that were removed. Unfortunately, many of the locations that were mentioned in the story no longer existed, most notably the "waffle house," the Student Union which was closed down for renovation (the place was completely gutted and fenced off) and The Bay Bridge, of which the new span could not be shown for obvious reasons.
GS: What are some good “blooper”-type of moments you can recall from any of the pieces that you’ve produced?
BA: Chiney not being able to figure out how to use a boom box in #NerdAnthem was pretty epic.
HA: Mikaela Ruef had plenty of blooper moments in our day of coverage of her. I would say the Kulabafi video had a bunch of funny lines we didn't have room for in the final piece as well.
AB: None come to mind at the moment.
GS: What has changed the most from the time you started with The Cardinal Channel to now?
BA: The tools and technology accessible to us have changed dramatically. We started with one SD camera a shotgun mic and a tripod. Now we've got sliders, diffusion, prime lenses, slo-motion cameras that shoot media to SD cards instead of tape. The one constant has been the great ideas. It's fun to look back and see that the ideas still hold up.
HA: Expectations is the biggest change I feel. Each year we set the bar and we have to take it another step higher the next.
AB: Overall quality. When I first started, we were heavy into putting out as much content as we possibly could. Over the years, we've shifted our focus to creating more creative pieces. We spent extra thought and energy into conceptualizing, capturing and finishing out pieces.
GS: Who are/were some of your favorite athletes to work with over the past five years?
BA: Definitely a battle between Toby Gerhart and Chiney Ogwumike. Toby was always up for anything and Chiney was our unofficial intern.
HA: The Ogwumike sisters from women's basketball and Stepfan Taylor from football. Both were always fun to shoot and collaborate with.
AB: Chiney Ogwumike. She has a very strong grasp of how to present herself in front of the camera. Whatever we asked of her, she understood and was able to give us what we needed to give the finished piece that extra something.
GS: What are some other memorable Cardinal Channel pieces that didn’t make the Top 25?
BA: My Top 5 that didn't make it.
5. Super Hoopsters - Unstoppable Speedstress (Jayne Appel)
4. Cardinal Channel Live from the Fiesta Bowl
3. Bob Bowlsby Kicks Cartoon Money
2. 19 Hours: Field Hockey
1. Totally Useless Talents - Amy Tucker bird call
HA: So many, I think the beaver dance scene from the original Real Ladies of Maples or Chasson Randle vs. Kevin Danna in H-O-R-S-E. The beaver dance is just catchy and the Randle piece was a fun way to meet Stanford newest freshman at the time.
AB: "A Conversation with David Shaw", “Chiney Magic Carpet” (development), any of the other "19 Hours" pieces (they were fun to do), and any of the"Six Pack" series. I guess I could say that anything I've taken part in is always a memorable one.