The stark white of the players’ uniforms, the vivid green of the outfield grass, the buzz of angry fans — these were just some of the memories captured in the Red Seat Productions documentary Brick by Brick – Stories of Fenway Park.
The film created by the Emerson production group pays tribute to Boston’s century-old ball park. It premiered Monday night to an audience of about 30 people, including interviewees and others involved in the project.
Jacob Ouellette, the documentary’s executive producer and a junior broadcast journalism major, introduced the production team, and members spoke briefly on why they got involved.
For Ouellette, premiere night was the culmination of a year-long effort, which began at the end of last October after a conversation with Emerson graduate Shawn Jenson at an Emerson Sports Network event. Though Ouellette said he had the idea for the project before meeting Jenson, he was inspired to put it in motion after hearing the former New England Sports Network employee speak.
The film featured about two dozen of the thirty to fifty interviews crew members said they collected during the span of the project. The interviews focused on the memories of the interviewees, ranging from the first times they set foot in the park to their favorite recollections.
According to Kyle Brasseur, a broadcast journalism major who was the head of baseball research for the project, interviewing other fans made him look back on his own relationship with Fenway. He said that it was after his first trip to the ballpark in 2009 that he made a decision that would completely change his career path.
“That was the day I decided that I wanted to be a journalism major and cover baseball instead of doing computer engineering,” the junior said. “[Doing interviews has] helped me to reflect on my own stories of Fenway Park. It’s cool because you realized everyone has really unique stories.”
In the flick, only the names of the interviewees, not their titles, are given. Ouellette said this was to represent people in the movie as fans and equal lovers of the park.
Junior Luke Fraser, the documentary’s executive producer and director, said that completion of the project did not come without its obstacles. The film’s editor, junior post production major Brady Darragh, was the only member of the crew with any filmmaking experience.
“Most of [the challenges] happened between the last three to two weeks, to be honest,” said the audio post production major. “It was a lot of when we were putting it together. The original audio track was not synced up, minor stuff like that kept occurring—names spelt wrong that had to be fixed.”
Before beginning any new projects, the Red Seat team plans to launch a Kickstarter online fundraising campaign to copyright its name and allow it to distribute the film. But for the first project, which was a completely independent endeavor, Ouellette said the initial cost was minimal.
“In other parts of the film industry, when you say ‘low budget,’ it’s kind of a negative connotation,” Ouellette said. “I’m confident enough saying this is extremely low-budget in the sense that we were able to work with people that we knew and still be able to put together something of quality.”
Fraser, who works at the Yawkey Way store, said the most rewarding part of the experience was surrounding himself with people who are similarly passionate about their favorite team.
“I love it, I love talking to those people at the store,” he said. “It just made me realize how much of a story Fenway Park has, and it’s awesome.”
For Ouellette, working on the film showed that education and outside interests do not have to be separate, and that one can be used to explore the other.
“If you can pursue a passion and get it done successfully,” Ouellette said, “it proves that anyone can do what they set their mind to.”
Ian Brophy, former staff writer for Red Seat Productions and assistant sports editor, did not edit this article.
Grady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.