The Florida Tech men’s lacrosse team released a new documentary last month showcasing their fall season.
“On The Prowl” is a 28-minute documentary that shows the different aspects in the sport, including practices, games and scrimmages.
The documentary was released on YouTube on Feb. 14, with a screening open to the public at Gleason Performing Arts Center the day before.
Nick Bailey, a communications alumni, edited the video as a side project while he worked at the Florida Tech athletics department.
“It was something I wanted to do, even though I had no experience in working a documentary by myself before,” Bailey said. “Pretty much I would leave my job at Florida Tech and go film the lacrosse team.”
Bailey transferred to Florida Tech in the fall of 2015 and played lacrosse in the spring 2018 semester, and graduated in the previous fall semester.
Addison Abramson, construction management senior, and Tyler Oblong, business administration seniors, were the producers of the documentary and planned the idea with Bailey last summer.
“It made me really excited to get involved,” said Abramson. “We finished it the exact way we hoped about it.”
Bailey said that the whole team, including Coach Mark Penn, was on board with the idea at the start of the season.
“I wanted to showcase the program and expose the name of Florida Tech men’s lacrosse in the area,” said Bailey, describing the idea for the documentary. “I wanted to do something like that in the past, though I was busy with lacrosse and classes. I talked to the coach and [Addison and Tyler] and we started planning in July for the video.”
Penn became head coach in the fall 2018 season after serving as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator for five seasons from 2014 to 2018.
“I loved the idea from the start, having a former past with the television industry. I got excited,” Penn said.
Before coaching, Penn worked in the television industry for 11 years for a sports network in Washington.
The idea was inspired by a documentary done by Tufts University in 2015, according to Abramson.
“They wanted to make something more artsy flavored, more music drive with different camera tech,” Penn said. “And they knocked it out of the park.”
As the season went on, Bailey filmed most of the footage with additional help from Charlie Morissette for drone footage, as well as Ryan Land and Will Eredeck, all of them lacrosse members.
“From day one, being out there on the field, everyone was like ‘Wow, this is different, there’s a camera on my face,’” Bailey said. “People were weirded out and the best thing I told them was to ignore me and go along. As they got more comfortable around the camera, we got to see more of their personalities and excitement while playing lacrosse.”
The men’s lacrosse team was the first team in Division II that filmed a documentary.
“It was made by a bunch of people considered as amateurs, but it turned out to be professional work,” Abramson said. “Everyone was blown away by it.”
As his first season as head coach, the documentary Lacrosse continued showcased Penn’s coach ethics and training in the program, as well being the opening interview.
“It’s really cool to see something that’s unique and can capsulize the moments of the team being enthusiastic of lacrosse,” Penn said. “It’s a great tool as a coach to reflect on that enthusiasm and didn’t realize how much I would be in it.”
Alongside Bailey and his equipment, the lacrosse team reached out to Florida Tech Video Productions to record the interviews in their studio and borrowed their equipment.
Bailey says that the contribution of FITV was a tremendous help in filming the interview scenes for the film.
“They were super awesome and the documentary wouldn’t have been possible without them,” Bailey said. “There were three or four guys that took their time out of their days to help us out without wanting to get paid.”
After posting the documentary online, Penn received a lot of feedback from alumni and other coaches in the lacrosse sport around the country, as well as recruiters interested in Florida Tech.
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of feedback and got recruiting interest immediately,” Penn said. “I hope the school sees this as a good way to represent ourselves in the variety of athletics.”
When discussing about plans for future media content, Abramson hopes for more media content for the lacrosse team’s social media.
“Nick was the best filmer that the team ever had,” Abramson said. “Replacing him is gonna be a hard challenge for us.”
With the boost publicity from the documentary, the team became the second most followed team on Twitter and Instagram in division II.
Penn is open to the idea of creating another documentary about the games of the Spring 2019 season.
“I think you can make a different, unique perspective every season; though ours inspires people to do other types of things,” Penn said. “I hope somebody else would something like it because it was the student-driven style that gave it the unique spin.”
The documentary was featured on Florida Tech Sports and can be viewed below this article.