The best part about being a member of Ball State Sports Link is having the opportunity to create feature stories highlighting the men and women who compete every day for this university.
I love being able to tell an athlete’s story and show the audience who he or she is through a different lens.
These stories have taken me to fields, locker rooms, arenas and pools, but my most recent feature on Ball State swimmer Amanda Kedzierski took me to a muddy cornfield on the north side of Muncie.
While many people know of Kedzierski’s success in the pool for the Cardinals, what they may not be aware of is her passion for severe weather—specifically, tornadoes.
Kedzierski, a geography major with a concentration in meteorology, took a trip out west this summer with other Ball State students to track weather systems and chase tornadoes.
The trip was part of Geography 490, a summer class offered at Ball State where students monitor, track and chase storm systems across the southwest and the great plains.
I sat down in November with my co-producer JC Obringer, to discuss how we wanted to go about telling this story in a creative way.
The premise of the story was abstract, so we wanted to brainstorm ideas of how to creatively highlight the aspects of the storms and the ominous nature they can sometimes bring.
It also helped this was a day after Emmy Award-Winning E:60 producers Martin Khodabakhshian and Ben Houser came to visit Sports Link, so the creativity level was already at an all-time high.
She’s a swimmer who chases storms. What could those possibly have in common?
In Sports Link, the concept of visual metaphors are part of our daily language. We should use symbolism in some way, but how?
Then it hit me.
They don’t have to be related, but throw one of those into the other. We couldn’t exactly replicate a tornado in Lewellyn Pool, but we could certainly bring the swimming side of Amanda to the field, literally.
So there it was — we put her in a racing suit with a starting block in the middle of a muddy cornfield in January.
It was Kedzierski in her element, in the elements. And it was awesome.
Sometimes the stars align and everything is thrust in your lap with no effort. Other times you hit the creative wall and nothing you think of makes sense.
However, if you want your feature to stand out, combine elements of your story, see where you can fit symbolism in one way or another and always remember to think outside the box.
And if you end up ankles deep in the mud on a freezing cold morning in January, you’ll end up thanking yourself for getting the crowning shot.
Sometimes it pays to get dirty.