Over the course of this football season, Mountaineer Nation’s social media feeds have been filled with hype videos, uniform reveals, and cinematic recaps.
The audience that views the content from their favorite WVU teams is seeing the work of another team altogether.
“It’s fantastic to see the reaction of the fans,” said WVU assistant athletic director of digital media Ross Marra. “I think that with some of the longform storytelling, some of the cinematic recaps, I think our fanbase has been yearning for something like that. Obviously coupled with football success as well. That’s a recipe that’s always going to go well. The Pitt game in particular.”
Each West Virginia home game, in any sport, is staffed with up to a dozen or more video and still photographers.
Marra, a Bridgeport-native, explains there’s a lot of effort between shooting an event to the final video product.
“(It’s) kind of a process,” Marra said. “Once you’re into the season, it’s never ending. It’s a little different week to week but especially when you’re rolling and you’re starting with a 4-1 start, the beginnings of the week is still focused on last week’s game.”
The clips from Saturday home football game could take days to go through in order to get the best fan experience.
“So Sunday, Monday, part of Tuesday, is really organizing all that footage,” said Marra. “My biggest thing is I want to use the best clip for every part of the game. Tuesday night and Wednesday is really when editing on that recap begins because it takes that long to get everything organized.”
“It’s really a puzzle,” Marra said. “Whenever I dive into it between all the different colors on the timeline. I obviously love the final product but there’s something about that 24-36 hour grind of trying to get it done that keeps me coming back to it.”
That long grind is something that is shared among several staff members and dozens of student interns making more than just videos, but promotional graphics too.
All of this work in an effort to engage with the fans of the old gold and blue.
“We all have to work together to make this thing work,” Marra said. “The amount of athletic department sports we have here. Everyone assumes a little bit of responsibility with each sport and be able to show them in the best light.”
The work of the WVU creative team can be seen across all athletic programs’ social media platforms.