Wil Leitner – WVU Fencing

I was really intrigued by the opportunity of covering such a unique sport like fencing. A sport that is quite unknown on most college campuses. You think of the ball sports like football, basketball, and baseball at a big sports school like WVU, and you completely dismiss the idea of anything else.

I had gone to one of the fencing practices at Stansbury Hall a couple weeks before I even began filming, and I got to meet the team’s captain for a little and ask him some basic questions about the team and certain aspects of the actual sport of fencing. This really helped things out two weeks later when I went to their practice again, and I had more of an idea of what types of questions I wanted to interview people with, and some of the possible angles I could go with in my story.

To my surprise, I  got to meet the actual coach of the team, Wesley Morrow, who was not at the practice I had go to a couple weeks earlier. It added a slight complication, having to switch around my plans of interviews and the list of questions I had, but I knew I had stumbled upon a source that could be extremely beneficial to my package. He had been fencing at WVU in the 60’s, and even became a United States national champion later in life. Pretty astounding to find such a character in a sport you cannot find anywhere else in the state of West Virginia, besides in the decrepit, yet historic Stansbury Hall.

Filming was pretty easy. The room the practice took place in was only about the size of small apartment, so I could cover every camera shot possible in that room. It had mirrors on every wall as well, which made some of the camera shots a little bit cooler, consider you could see the reflections of other people fencing as the background. However, I had to worry about not including my own reflection in the shot, which was a problem ever-so evident considering the four walls in the rooms had giant mirrors on them going the length of each wall.

In the end, I liked how the package came out. I had a problem keeping it as short as I could because they were some things I felt like I had to include for the simple fact of the sport being so unknown. When you cover other sports, you essentially do not have to mention the basics of the sport, including how the event is scored, or other details that would mention specific equipment and rules, yet for fencing, I believed that I had a responsibility to the audience to do such.

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