Rosenberg — a student at Holy Innocents’ and a Sandy Springs resident – and Schlanger – a North Springs student who lives in Dunwoody – have combined to use their talents to bring light to a subject that both of them care deeply about – the increase of concussions and brain injuries in youth sports.
Their collaboration paid off in a big way after their video took top honors in the Safety MVP video contest held by Boulder, Colo.-based Brock International, a company that produces performance base systems for synthetic turf.
The video features Rosenberg and Schlanger doing a take-off of an ESPN SportsCenter broadcast, with the two sitting at a desk doing a ‘news report’ about brain injuries in youth sports.
The production also includes ‘on-the-scene’ interviews with Holy Innocents’ football coach Ryan Livezey at the Golden Bears’ spring football practice as well as with a number of student-athletes at HIES.
Holy Innocents’ will receive the competition’s grand prize of $5,000 worth of sports equipment for its athletic program.
For Schlanger, the contest victory is an important step forward in the development of his budding video career.
“It’s a nice foundation,” Schlanger said. “It’s a building point for me personally and I’m sure for Brandon as well. It’s definitely nice to see that we’re capable of winning something worth in some relation to $5,000 and be recognized for it.”
Rosenberg said he is happy that the hard work that he and Schlanger paid off.
“When Jacob’s mom told me about [the contest], I knew we had to find a way to win it,” Rosenberg said. “So, we got on it and got to work and finished it. Hearing that we won made me feel good inside.”
Both Rosenberg and Schlanger play sports at their schools, with Rosenberg playing on the boys’ tennis team at Holy Innocents’ and Schlanger competing in track and field and playing football at North Springs.
It was through the experiences of a number of their friends who suffered head injuries in athletic competition that made both of them aware of the increasing numbers of concussions and brain injuries in youth sports.
“I know a lot of kids who have had concussions,” Rosenberg said. “I know some of my friends had so many concussions, that they can’t play sports anymore. And it brings them down, because they love to play their sport and they can’t play it anymore, because of the risk of injury.
“When I saw there was a video contest, where you can get the message of safety out there, I just wanted to give my friends something to help them out and see what they’re going through and how it affects their school life and their personal life.”
Adds Schlanger, “I have a lot of friends who play sports. I have a friend who plays soccer and she’s had so many concussions that she’s not able to play anymore – and she was going to [play soccer in college] – so, it’s a very hard thing.”
After learning of the contest through Schlanger’s mother in early May, they knew they had a platform in which to express their concern about the issue.
“My mother had been looking for contests and we’ve been looking for colleges for film and so every week or so, she would send me a couple of links [on the internet] and [the Brock International contest] was one we felt we could probably do well in,” Schlanger said. “So, I decided ‘I will write a script tonight.’ I did and sent it to Brendan. He liked it and we got to work the next day. It was kind of rapid.”
It took only one day for Rosenberg and Schlanger to complete the filming.
“It was not a really hard process,” Schlanger said. “We knew what we wanted and what we wanted it to look like.”
The two filmmakers submitted the video to Brock International May 14 and received word they won the contest June 1.
“I felt like we had a great chance,” Rosenberg said. “Jacob and I’s videos always turn out to be great quality. I enjoy watching them and all my friends enjoy watching them, so I knew the product was good.”
Adds Schlanger. “It was the closest to a documentary piece that I’ve done. It was nice to see what I can do with that.”
In the process of producing the video, Schlanger said he has become more encouraged by the increasing awareness of the importance of preventing brain injuries in youth sports.
“I think coaches have taken more of an interest in this issue,” Schlanger said. “The interviews showed that over the past couple of years, they are focusing more on what to do to prevent injuries. It’s something that people have started to think about.”