George Mason University

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For this internship, Mason student was camera-ready

September 8, 2016   /   by Damian Cristodero

Austin Cross honed his video skills during a summer internship with the Redskins. Redskins photo by Garrett Campbell.

Austin Cross had plenty to do during training camp as a video intern with the NFL’s Washington Redskins. He shot practices, and edited and packaged videos coaches and players used in study sessions.

In his spare time, Cross, a George Mason University junior majoring in film and video studies, also created highlight videos of players practicing on the field or lifting weights in the gym.

Slickly done with music and quick-cut editing, the videos were simply a way for Cross to show his supervisor, Redskins video director Mike Bracken, what he could do. But the videos were so good, Bracken said they will be shown to players, en masse, when coach Jay Gruden wants to give them a lift.

“He’s got skills,” Bracken said of Cross. “When he gets older and graduates, he’s going to be in demand.”

The relationship between George Mason and the Redskins is a close one. Two years ago, Bracken approached the university’s Film and Video Studies Program with an opportunity for summer internships.

Cross’ passion for creating sports videos runs deep. At South Cobb High School in Austell, Ga., he made highlight videos that his teammates on the basketball team used while trying to secure college scholarships.

And though basketball is Cross’ favorite sport, when it comes to preparing for what he hopes will be a career in sports video production, “I don’t want to limit myself,” he said.

That is why his internship with the Redskins is so instructive.

“What makes him good is he is passionate and dedicated,” said Professor Giovanna Chesler, director of Film and Video Studies, who introduced Cross to the team. “I know he’s learning a lot about how to capture movement on camera.”

And about being flexible, Cross said.

“Just being able to adapt to any scenario at any given time,” he said. “Sometimes a coach may come in and ask you to do something and you have to change rapidly from what you are doing.”

Especially during individual player drills when videographers must find the best angles to get the most detailed shots.

“He’s doing the shooting we need so our coaches and players can analyze the video and see what they’re doing right and wrong,” Bracken said. “He has a knack.”