Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eyes wide open

While veteran America’s Cup sailors and television producers are on hand in Valencia conducting the America’s Cup television trials, three “green” students from the USC School of Cinematic Arts are following them to document the behind-the-scenes action.

Lindsey Cohen (above, left), a 22-year-old editor, Garland Hunt, a 22-year-old producer/director and Rachel Elias, a 25-year-old cameraperson, and arrived on Tuesday after a whirlwind acceptance process.

“I just saw the job posted last Wednesday (July 14),” said Cohen. “I found out I was accepted on Thursday, and then we flew over on Monday. It’s pretty amazing.”

The three students had never heard of the America’s Cup before, much less ever been sailing. But after today’s first day of evaluation trials, they have a whole new appreciation for the physical aspect of the sport.

“The grinders are amazing,” said Elias. “It’s interesting to see how closely everyone works together and how close the boats get.”

“It’s an amazing sport,” said Hunt. “I expected it to be physical, but it’s also beautiful. Like swords through the water.”

The students may have arrived in whirlwind fashion, but they’ve got their work cut out. They have to produce a 15-minute short-form documentary based on their own footage captured and that shot by the professional TV crew on site. Already they have more footage than they need, and they still have to conduct interviews.

“It’s a large, arduous task,” Hunt said, “but we can handle it.”