Before the start of any Georgia softball game, the players line up outside the dugout facing the scoreboard. Here, a hype video plays full of clips from past seasons, highlights of the girls and even fireworks.
“I was scared [the fireworks] were going to scare me,” senior Brittany Gray said.
These videos are put together by IMG and the bulk of the filming comes prior to the start of the season. The complete video is shown to the girls for the first time on opening day.
“We don’t get any sneak peeks or anything, so the first time the fans see it is the first time we see it,” Cortni Emanuel said.
Emanuel said the videos are the most fun media event the team does all year, but the sessions tend to be slightly uncomfortable.
“I feel so awkward screaming while everybody’s watching me and there’s a camera there,” Emanuel said.
The girls are each given 60 seconds to stand in front of the camera and complete a series of poses. They are given direction by the videographers, but can generally do anything they are comfortable with.
“They make it fun,” Gray said. “They show you what to do beforehand and then you practice a cycle and then you do it on film.”
Junior Alyssa DiCarlo said that although it can be awkward at times, the relationship they have with the workers at IMG makes it easier for the team to be themselves during the process.
Emanuel showed up to her senior year shoot with both Kendall Burton and Justice Milz. She said Burton showed up, jumped in front of the camera, and just started ripping her arms and screaming, “let’s go”.
“Me and Justice were sitting there and we were dying laughing cause she was really into it,” Emanuel said. “We were like what the heck. She just started doing all this crazy stuff and it looks so good on the board.”
The team is followed around throughout the season during games with a camera and those shots make it onto the hype video. There are also clips taken in the locker room in front of a black backdrop they include.
The team participates in different video productions for the season, including ones with ESPN as well. Emanuel said one time they filmed a series where they were thrown balls that burst open as they were hit onto the field.
“They got it all figured out we just stand there and follow their directions,” DiCarlo said.
When the video for this year was played for the first time this season on opening day, DiCarlo said the team got chills.
Emanuel said the part of the video that sticks with her is from when the team went to the World Series her sophomore year and they won with a walk-off against Florida. She said the video gets the team prepared for the game — it is almost part of the pre-game ritual.
“That one just always gives us chills because those are the best moments from Georgia history,” Emanuel said. “So seeing that it’s like ‘okay I’m ready, I’m ready’.”
Alongside the hype video at the start of the softball games, there are also intermittent videos when any pitcher takes the mound.
These were Gray’s idea and are brand new this year.
Gray went to a Georgia baseball game and noticed each pitcher had his own personalized clip that was projected for the crowd. She asked the Sports Information Director at the time if those could be added for softball and it was an easy yes.
“I was like oh my gosh I want that,” Gray said. “So, that happened and it’s so cool to see on the board.”
Associate head coach Tony Baldwin said the videos help enforce what the team tries to preach.
“They all get to basically introduce their own personality,” Baldwin said. “It’s a big part of what we talk about a lot is just go be yourself and do your thing.”
Baldwin said the coaches do not play a huge role in the videos, but the media, marketing and promotions teams do a good job of putting the university and Georgia softball in a positive light.
“I’ve just been really impressed with the job that they’ve done not only in putting the videos together but then creating an atmosphere here at Jack Turner Stadium,” Baldwin said. “It’s been really great this year and they deserve a lot of credit.”