The comedic and cinematic venture was the directing debut of Aaron Mattox, senior in radio, television and film and marketing employee of the bookstore.
According to Mattox, the 12-minute video has received unexpectedly positive feedback since its release on the AU Bookstore’s Facebook page on July 12, with the most common reaction being, "I really thought it was going to be terrible."
Mattox said he feels the bookstore's reaction was that everyone seemed to enjoy it and that their initially low expectations caused greater enjoyment of the final product.
With film class being his only editing and film shooting experience, Mattox said he learned along the way.
“I’m not very good at directing," Mattox said. "It’s not something I’m really that interested in.”
Regardless, bookstore marketing specialist Jennifer Edwards approached Mattox with a request for a bookstore marketing project in film because of his major, and he accepted the opportunity with the goal of providing entertainment.
"The idea was to speak to the students by entertaining them and was not just for promotional purposes," Edwards said. "My expectations were exceeded. I think he did a great job with it. Hopefully, he will be able to continue with the episodes we have scripted."
Mattox said he originally began the writing in late May with the idea of a sketch comedy, but it became more of a sitcom as the story began to unfold.
Filming began in June once fellow bookstore employees Jesse Strickland and Cade Loftin stepped to the plate with their acting experience. Mattox said the process became a more comfortable activity, and drive had surfaced for further development and filming.
Strickland, Auburn alumnus, urges students and fans to continue watching as the story further develops in the next episode.
"Jesse takes the new guy under his wing and shows him not just around the store, but shows him everyday life in the bookstore," Strickland said.
According to Mattox, planning began before the finish of the first episode and filming for the second episode is nearly complete. Mattox said filming took longer than expected due to scheduling conflicts and that "it definitely wasn’t an afternoon playing with the camera.”
Difficulty in aligning schedules and availability worsened as Camp War Eagle began. Mattox said the influx of students and parents brought employee motivation back to book sales.
After filming, the editing process began in which all the footage was combined and then cut down to fit into the time frame using Final Cut Pro 2.
Mattox says outtakes of the first episode will be released at a later date as well as possibly six more episodes this fall, depending on schedules.