Kappa Alpha brothers create award-winning video

Spreading the word of brotherhood just got a little bit more entertaining for BGSU’s of the Kappa Alpha Zeta Lambda chapter.

Junior Larry Marshall knew even before he got his bid in the fall 2006 that he wanted to make a video for his chapter. A telecommunications major with a minor in film, Larry has his own editing system. He wanted to show the campus and parents what being in Kappa Alpha was really about.

“I love to make films, and I thought it would be a great way to recruit potential new members to the chapter,” Marshall said.

Helping as his partner with the video, junior Eric Heffinger, began shooting for the film with Marshall in March 2007.

With Heffinger conducting interviews, and Marshall behind the camera, the two were shooting footage for the film every chance they got. They covered philanthropies, chapter ceremonies and incorporated personal insights from current members of the chapter.

Interviews and still shots were not all the duo captured in the six-minute film. Marshall was sure to have his camera along for even the unexpected live shots.

In fact, during the snow days last spring a bunch of the guys decided to go sledding down the hill out past Lot 6.

“My camera probably almost froze, but I still brought it along to capture our good times,” Marshall said.

While the Kappa Alpha brothers thought they were just making a video for their own enjoyment, they soon learned about an opportunity from the national chapter of their fraternity.

They were hosting a recruitment video contest for Kappa Alpha Chapters.

After hearing the news from sophomore Nic Baldwin, the chapter’s recruitment chair, Marshall decided to jump at the opportunity.

Spending his summer tweaking and editing, Marshall was able to finalize and submit the video to Kappa Alpha.org in late August. For three weeks, he spent an average of two hours a day on the video.

The process was long but ultimately worth it, Marshall said.

Their chapter, along with five other chapters in the nation, submitted what they hoped to be an inside view of what it means to be a brother of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

“We wanted to show this chapter particularly,” Heffinger said. “So we decided to use more of a documentary style.”

The video was able to be viewed on YouTube.com by anyone. Viewers could then go onto the Kappa Alpha Web site and support the guys by placing a vote for the best video. They also made several DVDs to hand out on campus and to potential new members to get their name and the word out.

In the end the hard work paid off. The video received 53 percent of the total 3,824 votes placed. It stood out from the others for its focus on personal interviews and display true brotherhood, Heffinger said.

“It was opposite of most videos,” he said. “We focused less on the founders and history of our chapter and more on what we are today.”

The overall win came as a surprise to the BGSU’s Kappa Alpha fraternity.

“I just happened to check my e-mail one day in mid-October and our national chapter representative was like ‘by the way you guys won,'” Marshall said.

As winners, the chapter received a $500 gift certificate from Graphic Cow, a design company, to use on recruitment T-shirts.

“It was awesome and rewarding to win,” Marshall said, “It was the first contest I ever won.”

But the brothers of Kappa Alpha won more than just a gift certificate from the video, they also won the chance to present their brotherhood to the campus allowing for an increase in recruitment and a legacy of memories to look back on and share, Baldwin said.

“A lot of our potential new members are impressed by the video,” he said, “In fact, we were able to recruit one to two more guys thanks to the video.”

Even the parents have complimented the chapter on the video, Baldwin said.

Marshall was also awarded “New Member of the Year,” by the Inter-Fraternity Council for his work on the video.

Sophomore Brandon Parent knew he wanted to join the chapter without even seeing the video, but feels that after watching it, the reason to join the fraternity is even stronger.

“When I watch the video, it feels like family,” Parent said.