TURNER — When it comes to their putting together their senior project, some students decide to punt and wait until the last minute to put it together.

Leavitt seniors Quentin Damon and Zac Goulette’s project took 10 months to produce. Now, they’re close enough to the end zone to find out what others think of it.

Damon and Goulette produced “Born and Raised — A Football Town,” a documentary about the Leavitt football team and the community that packs Libby Field on Friday night’s in the fall to support it.

A free screening will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at Leavitt Area High School. The screening is open to the public and fans will be able to order DVD copies of the film.

Using Leavitt’s  2013 Class C championship season as the framework, Damon and Goulette produced a 35-minute homage to the Hornets and their fans.

“It’s about how the program itself has such a positive influence on everything to do with the community,” Goulette said. “It’s not just about how on Friday night’s there’s a game going on on the field and we tend to be pretty good. It does something for everyone in the community.”

“Every Friday night, an hour before we’re on the field, these bleachers are full. These people come here and they love it,” Damon said. “We feel like we need to give back to them through football, because they come here for us.”

Inspired by The Rivals, a documentary chronicling the 2007 football seasons of Mountain Valley and Cape Elizabeth produced by Cape Elizabeth filmmaker Kirk Wolfinger, Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway pitched the idea of a film about Leavitt’s 2013 season to Damon and Goulette. As team statisticians, both were close to the team the previous two years and agreed the film would make for a fun senior project.

Using a hand-held digital camera that shoots in 1080p HD, they started filming the team on the first day of summer practice. Hathaway granted them virtually unlimited access to follow them through workouts, practices, meetings and games. They interviewed dozens of players, coaches, fans, family members “pretty much anybody that we thought would really enjoy sharing what they love about Leavitt,” Damon said.

“Obviously, we got a ton of interviews, too. But it’s kind of crazy thinking about all of the people we didn’t interview,” Goulette added.

Damon did most of the filming and interviewing, while Goulette did most of the editing via computer.

Both discovered film making can be a collision sport.

“The other day, our kicker, Matt Thibodeau, was talking about how he only got hit once all year. Heck, I was on the sidelines and I got hit a whole bunch of times,” Goulette said.

Goulette, Damon and the camera made it through the season unscathed, although one tripod got blind-sided and had to be put on injured reserve.

With the help of English teacher Kade Hill, who also teaches a film-making class at Leavitt, the duo’s film technique and editing improved as the season unfolded, much like the team they were filming.

“When we started making the film, we told ourselves, ‘Man, this could really be a good film, but with a state championship, it’d be that much better,'” Damon said.

The Hornets held up their end of the bargain, going undefeated and defeating Winslow, 47-18, in the state title game at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Hathaway, one of the few who has viewed the film, is pleased with how it turned out.

“It’s excellent,” he said. “For one, just the amount of footage that they have and the different things that they have and the amount of time they put in is impressive. And then the editing that Zac did to put it together is really, really good. It looks like it was professionally done.”

“The players are looking forward to it because none of them have seen it,” Hathaway said.

Although they still have to make individual presentations on the film and get their project graded, Damon and Goulette said the hardest part is behind them. 

Neither is sure whether they’ll make any more movies. If they don’t, the one they’ve already made tells a story many will never forget.

“It was a blast. We loved every second of it, coming out and being with this team,” Damon said. “It’s just awesome that we’re going to have something to remember it by.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: