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The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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Videography highlights photographer talent

FLASHING+LIGHTS+Junior+Sam+Light+regularly+attends+high+school+basketball+tournaments+to+film+for+players+and+teams.
PHOTO / COURTESY SAM LIGHT
FLASHING LIGHTS Junior Sam Light regularly attends high school basketball tournaments to film for players and teams.

Film and sports are two premier forms of entertainment in their own right, especially in the digital age.

But, when they come together, their artistic potential is multiplied. The ability of a good videographer to capture the magic of sports through strong editing, storytelling and filming is unmatched.

And, in the day of the highlight tape, with more eyes on sports than ever before, being able to present sporting events in an appealing way is more valuable than ever.

Junior Sam Light’s growing career in this industry is a testament to this fact, but he never intended for it to become this big of a deal. Initially, he was just looking to do something with his time during the COVID break.

“I would just sit around and play Xbox, and I was bored and wanted to pick up a hobby,” Light said. “I was thinking about what I liked; I had always liked movies and I had always liked sports.”

So, in just seventh grade, Light picked up a camera. He started filming small tournaments at first, doing anything he could to film more often and ultimately, get his name out there.

“There were players that I’d meet at high school tournaments I’d go to,” Light said. “It was a lot of networking and getting to know people. It started with a St. Mark’s tournament in 2021, when our team was really good — we had Harrison (Ingram ’21).”

And, Light’s progression was rapid. Within a year, Light’s schedule was packed, as his work ethic and drive to succeed began to reward him.

“I was actually filming a lot more in my eighth grade and freshman years — I was probably filming two, three times a week, every week,” Light said. “I was really hungry for experience and jobs — not even for the money.”

But, as Light entered high school, he was forced to rein in his filming availability, as the step up was proving a tough challenge. So, he had to adjust.

“As freshman year hit me, I had to dial (videography) down and find a medium between doing what I love and doing the work I have to do,” Light said. “Recently, I’ve actually found a really good compromise with that through filming a lot for athletes at St. Mark’s, because it’s a lot easier. And, it’s a good way to represent the school.”

However, Light still found time to engage in his videographic projects  and make them special. In the fall of his freshman year, Light got in contact with a five-star receiver with the South Oak Cliff football team and ended up filming practices and games for the team and their social media.

“I got to know all the coaching staff, and eventually they wanted to hire me and pay me to film the team’s games,” Light said. “The money wasn’t bad, but honestly, I did it because the team spirit was something I really wanted to capture. That team ended up being the first time South Oak Cliff football won a UIL championship.”

And, although Light’s taken a step back in more recent years, he still sees himself having a strong future in videography.

“I definitely see myself continuing with this throughout high school for sure, and I think I’ll major in film in college,” Light said. “Overall, I feel like I’ve just done so many things and gone so many places that I would have never imagined when I was in eighth grade.”

Light emphasizes the importance of exposure, experience, and learning from professionals within the videographic space.

“I slowly learned that it doesn’t take one YouTube video, one book, or one article,” Light said. “It really takes going out and getting real world experience. Other videographers and photographers who had been doing this for a lot longer than me were also really helpful.”

For Light, one of those mentors was found on campus in Sal Hussain ’23.

“Sal helped me a lot — he reached out to me after one of my first edits for St. Mark’s basketball, when I was in eighth grade and he was a sophomore,” Light said. “He’s always been there for me; every time I post a video, I text it to him and he gives me feedback on it.”

Hussain began his videography journey when he was 12, and initially, just like Light, his work solely revolved around his interest in building up a visually appealing portfolio. Eventually, his work was picked up by those around him and soon spread throughout the entire school.

“It’s just something that I’ve really loved for a long time,” Hussain said. “I like to think that my film and videography has just given me the chance to celebrate other people’s accomplishments and really special moments both in and out of school.”

To Hussain, sports videography isn’t an activity that sticks to rules or rigid guidelines. Instead, it’s a way to capture the moment, whatever it may be.

“I filmed during the SPC season, and whether or not we win, we’re just having a really good time and capturing really fun moments,” Hussain said. “It’s a reminder that videography is a shared experience, and to me, that’s what photography and video is all about.”

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About the Contributors
Neil Yepuri, Sports Editor
Andrew Ye, Staff Writer