The following preview has been approved for all audiences by the Motion Picture Association of America: A timeless story of warriors in the prime of youth waging battle against the forces of evil and pushing their physical endurance to its very limits. Their only weapon? Their frisbees.
While not exactly playing at a theater near you, the new Harvard Ultimate Frisbee Team DVD promises 98 minutes of action-packed entertainment. Created by Will O’Brien ’02 and Kendrick Kay ’02, the DVD presents scenes from the 2001-2002 men’s season with all the trappings of a professional production.
The making of the film turned out to be an incredibly time consuming and arduous task. O’Brien, who had worked on a similar film the previous year, lacked the equipment needed to produce a sequel. Undaunted, he and Kay bought a second digital camera, new hard drives, computer software and countless other needed materials, all with their own money. “We didn’t have a budget,” says O’Brien, “so we lost a lot of money, but it was just fun for us to do.”
O’Brien spearheaded the project, serving as manager, producer and editor. Kay was responsible for the artwork, introduction and clipping. Combined, the two invested almost 2,000 hours in the project. “Will and Kendrick put in huge man-hours,” says teammate John M. Barkett ’04, who did most of the actual filming and commentary. “The fact that two people could do this is amazing.” But for O’Brien and Kay, the effort and expense was well worth it. “It’s awesome to have a DVD that’s that high quality all around,” says O’Brien.
The ultimate team DVD is no mere highlight reel. After opening with a stirring montage of still photos of the team, the DVD offers viewers their choice of 11 chapters, each chronicling a different tournament in the season. The cameras follow the team “Red Line” around the United States, from San Diego to Maine. One part “SportsCenter” and one part “Real World,” the DVD tracks the team both on and off the field, taking viewers behind closed doors to the team’s sexy post-match parties. “Each chapter has its own personality,” says O’Brien. “Each one reflects the surroundings and situations. They reflect what really happened.”
With a production value that far exceeds its budget, this DVD comes with all the bells and whistles of a big budget Hollywood blockbuster. “What makes [the DVD] special is that it’s not just a series of clips,” says Kay. “It has so many little things here and there throughout the movie that make it great.” There are an array of musical stylings, ranging from Irish bagpipes to Dr. Dre, interspersed clips of social events, interviews with team members and even a split-screen view of one particularly epic play shown simultaneously from different angles à la “The Matrix”. Occasional quotes from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” also help to remind viewers of ultimate frisbee’s relative place in the scale of human endeavor.
But, the added features of the DVD don’t stop at offering ancient Chinese tips on how best to “rouse one’s troops to anger.” Not only does the DVD have an entire chapter dedicated to profiling departing team members, but it also has a bonus section entitled “Side Journeys,” which includes footage of Harvard’s women’s ultimate team, a slideshow and even a blooper reel.
For the men of the Harvard ultimate team, this DVD is more than an in-depth look at the 2001-2002 season. It’s also a way to commemorate their days as strapping collegiate athletes. “We wanted something to look back on 10 years from now,” O’Brien concludes. “We want to look back when we’re fat and not playing ultimate and say, ‘Yeah, that was a good time.’”
If you’d like to plan for the future but don’t have your own DVD to commemorate the days when you were still young and attractive, the Harvard Ultimate Frisbee Team would be more than happy to sell you one of theirs.