Game Starters: Scott Horton, video production
Scott Horton, creative director for Hall of Music Productions and video director for Purdue's home football games, sits in the control room at Mackey Arena. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)
Editor's note: Before the team takes the field and the referees call for kickoff, Purdue staff members play their part in making football games successful. Each Friday before Ross-Ade Stadium comes alive with cheering Boilermakers, a staff member who is integral to game day will be featured in Purdue Today's Game Starters series. This week’s Game Starter is Scott Horton, creative director for Hall of Music Productions and video director for every home football game.
The Transformers action figures behind his desk make it easy to see that Scott Horton, creative director for Hall of Music Productions, is a kid at heart and a firm believer in having fun.
Horton transfers his energy into the work he does both as a creative director and as video director during home football games. His game day goal is to help bring electricity and excitement to Ross-Ade Stadium.
How did you end up at Purdue?
I decided to come to Purdue for engineering, but after my first year I realized my true passion was making films. I transferred into technical graphics (now computer graphics technology) and actually got a job at Hall of Music Productions before I graduated. I freelanced in Nashville creating graphics and editing videos, but in 2004 my wife and I moved back to Indiana. I’ve been at Purdue ever since.
In relation to Purdue Athletics, what do you do as a creative director?
We start pre-production with the football team when spring semester ends. This year we met with Sara White, associate sports information director; Heather Hoesly, athletics promotions director; and Coach Hope to discuss their plans.
This year’s marketing plan highlights training and other behind-the-scenes aspects of football. So, not to let the cat out of the bag, but this year’s Fire Up video is grungy and rough and includes footage of players lifting weights and scrimmaging.
What type of preparation do you do for football games?
The day before a game, we meet with everyone involved with the game to discuss the timing of the game and the elements that have to be shown. It’s a very complex ordeal, so for everything to go smoothly, we have to be on the same page.
What role do you play on game days?
You have to wear many different hats in this industry, so I put on my video director hat and make decisions on which of the six cameras is live at any given time. I work with the producer to run features like replays and trivia. On game days we work with a crew of 38 people, including 12 students from an introduction to video production class.
Do you think people realize how much goes into the video portion of football games?
Most people seem surprised when they find out what all we do. Everyone has video cameras, but the difference between home movies and production videos is so large that people find what we do amazing.
Do you have a favorite moment from working football games?
One of my favorite moments was a time when we got a shot of a referee talking in his headset while he reviewed a play and at the same time we got a shot of a guy in the crowd talking on his cell phone. We cut back and forth between the two to make it look like they were talking to each other.
After the ref reversed the call in Purdue’s favor, we showed the guy on his phone nodding at the camera as if he were saying, "You’re welcome." It was great because the crowd picked up on the joke and had fun with it.