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‘Gift of Priesthood’ video earns Telly award

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By Steve Trosley
The Catholic Telegraph 

An online video designed to give the faithful an inside view of what goes on in a seminary has garnered national attention and a coveted video industry award for its producer.

Father Kyle Schnippel (archdiocesan director of vocations) approached me about updating the videos on his website,” David Brecount of U.S. Digital Partners said. “He wanted to tell the story of the Athenaeum in a newer, fresher way.”

Brecount said Father Schnippel goals and the direction his company was taking on video production was in sync.

“We’ve been in the web development business for 10 years and had done some videos we were not really happy with. We hired a young, really talented videographer, Joe Rower,” Brecount said.

USDP has worked with a number of its client companies to produce videos, “that tell their stories. It’s become a big part of our business in a year.”

Brecount says he’s taking a “lighter approach to video,” keeping the production as simple and affordable as possible. “We think the videography is solid and we’re good on the back end already.”

Brecount said the approach to the story of the Athenaeum was themed by something Father David Endres, Assistant Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, who dropped the phrase “The gift of the priesthood,” during an interview.

“That became the theme for all of our interviews and discussions,” Brecount said. “We wanted to show people what goes on behind the curtain, how a man discerns his vocation and goes through formation.”

The video exposes the process of priestly formation through interviews and vignettes with four academic leaders at the seminary – Rector, Father Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh, Father Earl Fernandes, Dean of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Father Anthony Brausch, vice-rector and instructor and Father Endres — and several seminarians.

“As the interviews were completed, we kept the conversation going and developed enough material to have some additional vignettes on Father Ben and Father Earl,” Brecount said. “As we developed those, we realized this was not going to be a one and done project.”

In fact the first just finished gathering material last week for a video with parents of priests and seminarians to show how they are affected by having a son win the priesthood.

The Bronze Telly Award, Brecount said, is a measure of how well USDP is doing with videos in the eyes of “our peers. It’s validation.”

He decided to enter the video in the annual contest from the Telly Awards. The organization’s website says, “The Telly Awards honors the very best film & video productions, groundbreaking online video content and outstanding local, regional, & cable TV commercials and programs.”

“We were getting great feedback from the video after placing it on YouTube and wanted to see how well we measure dup against our peers. The award is judged by the people who won the silver category the previous year.”

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.

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