Friday, February 14, 2014
Whether it was defeating Bowser as Mario, collecting golden rings as Sonic or trying to catch ‘em all in Pokémon, Raymond Strazdas always had a place in his heart for Nintendo. When the video game company held a competition asking for fan videos to promote their next product, he couldn’t pass it up.
Strazdas ’13, who has a popular YouTube channel with more then 6,000 followers, submitted a minute-long video to promote the Wii U, the newest video game system produced by Nintendo, after first hearing about it the day of the deadline.
"It all happened so fast and once I saw the contest I looked it up on the computer and knew I had to enter this," Strazdas says. "I saw the deadline was at midnight the same day so I was debating whether to do it. I made a quick 10-minute script and then went home an hour early to film it. With the topic being Nintendo, it was one of those things that I had to do.”
After narrowly beating the midnight deadline, Strazdas would find out in the coming weeks that his video had been selected as the winner and will be turned into a commercial. After reading the email notifying him of his accomplishment at work, Strazdas, a website marketing specialist for Ryther Camera, took the news in stride.
“It was very exciting," he says. "I was at work when I found out so I had to try to stay calm. They sent me the email and I was reading it and I kept the information to myself. I am not the type of person to brag about anything, so it was an exciting but easy-going day.”
One of the people to find out about the victory was Scott Alboum, video technologies coordinator and Stazdas’ former boss when he worked as a lab assistant at the Rider University Network television studio.
“I was shocked,” Alboum says about the announcement. “I didn’t know anything about it and then when I watched the video I was really proud of him because I thought it was really good. I thought he captured the essence of what they’re trying to do in the contest and I think he really made a video that stood out. It was not only simple, but also effective and it told a good story.”
With the win, Strazdas was awarded a trip for four to Los Angeles to watch his video become a commercial, a Wii U system and 10 games. Strazdas hopes this is just the beginning of his film career, as he has aspirations to work on camera in the future. Alboum believes that if Strazdas sticks to the success of his YouTube channel, paired with his internships and the Nintendo victory, he could go far in the industry.
“I think someday he will find his way into the industry and be a producer, writer, editor or shooter,” Alboum says. “He has a lot of skills so the sky is the limit for someone like him. It is just a matter of him deciding what he wants to do and to try to find that route to go after it. I hope that over the next five or 10 years we will continue to see these things about him because his work is unique and interesting and he is able to build a following online, which is an important thing if you’re a media maker.”