Got started? Around 2014. Started filming his best friend Antwuan Butler, who played at Del-Val Charter and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara in 2018 and now plays at Austin Peay University, and former teammate at Math, Civics and Sciences Charter Samir Doughty, who now plays at Auburn.
Videos he’s produced? Highlight videos for high school players for recruitment, once commissioned by Bleacher Report, highlight packages commissioned by parents of athletes, scripted college commitment videos, videos for MadeHoops.
Where to find his work: Instagram, @JayDoeFilms
Plans for the future? Wants to film NBA players and perhaps some day start his own production company.
Learned videography? Self-taught via YouTube. Built on that knowledge at Northampton Community College (graduated May 2019).
Brand name meaning? Randomly chosen with help from former Archbishop Carroll and Sanford University standout Josh Sharkey.
How did video change his life? “Cameras was the last thing I was thinking about. I was buying sneaks, clothes, all the things a regular teenager would, so a camera wasn’t a popular thing to me. Now, that’s my favorite thing. I’m always looking at the latest camera, always looking at what camera can I get, researching about what camera I can get.”
Got started? Started with @CurryBNA on Instagram, editing videos others had filmed of one of her favorite NBA players, Stephen Curry, until her account was shut down for copyright violations. Started filming high school games in November 2018.
Videos she’s produced: high school highlight videos of individual players or teams.
Where to find her work? Instagram, @GenFonDigital
Works with? Her friend, Cethfon Banks, 21, whom she met at Overbrook.
Where she learned? Self-taught via YouTube. Added skills at Community College of Philadelphia, where she and Banks are students.
Side job: Works night shifts packing delivery trucks for a prominent delivery company.
Plan for the future? “I would love to be an NBA editor, the ones who get to post videos on NBA Twitter, the ones who get to go to the all-star games, just anything that involves the NBA.”
How has video changed her? “I was really nervous because I’m not really a talker. Actually, I’m not really that social. The first time I recorded, of course, I had to go up to people and ask if I could record them, and [Banks] did that. But then I got more comfortable … and people started to recognize me and say, ‘Oh, hey, Gen!’ ”
Inspired by? Cassy Athena, a popular NBA photographer who happens to be a woman.
Gen Taylor said: “I never really saw myself playing for the WNBA or anything like that, but I knew anything that had to do with basketball or anything with sports in general, I wanted to be a part of.”
Got started: Around May 2018. Used his cell phone to make a graduation video for a friend graduating from Neumann University.
Creativity runs in his family: His brother, Joey Smith, 30, is a music producer for local artists in Philadelphia. His late aunt, Carla Morales, who he said died in 2018, helped produce a web series and a play, he said. He also has a cousin in animation.
Basketball: Played at West Catholic (2014). Was an assistant coach at Conwell-Egan and Cristo Ray high schools.
Where he learned video production: Self-taught and added skills at Neumann, where he graduated in May with a degree in media production.
Where you can find his work: Instagram, @Oaklane.MD, @BallisLife
Videos he’s produced: Sports highlights, prom videos, documentaries, signed a contract with the popular website BallisLife in November after creating a highlight video of high school basketball sensation LaMelo Ball.
Goal for the future: Possibly working in basketball or becoming a documentary film maker.
Matt Davis said: “I’m really big on black culture. That’s something that I want to do. I want to give back to other kids. Growing up where I grew up wasn’t the best. There was a lot of crime going on, so to stay focused is really hard. I really just want to be a positive influence to black people.”
Got started: Started in photography and incorporated video in 2017.
Playing baseball: Played baseball at Germantown High (1992 graduate). Said he squandered an opportunity to join a minor league team because he “blew off” a meeting with a scout to go to the movies with a girl.
“When you think you’re good in a sport, you think you can make people wait, and they didn’t wait,” he said. “I messed that whole thing up.”
He added: “I try to tell all [kids] that story. …The biggest thing is sacrifice. Me, I should have sacrificed going out that day.”
Left his full-time job: Spent 20 years as an advocate for young people in group homes, left in 2018 to pursue videography and photography full-time.
“I said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to step out on faith,’ he said.
“It was difficult at first because of paying rent and paying your bills, just because it’s not promised that you’ll get [the money]. But I knew that, though. I knew that most days were going to be a struggle unless you go out and talk. A lot of people are going to say ‘no’ before somebody says ‘yes.’ I tell people all the time that 'no’ is a powerful word, and some people can’t deal with it. I say the smallest word is the most powerful word in the world. If you can deal with the word ‘no,’ accept it and move on, then you’re good. But if you hear ‘no’ and get mad, you’re not going anywhere. So I trained myself to accept ‘no.’ ”
Where you can find his work: Instagram, @Kee_Vandaway
What he’s produced: Makes a point of covering all sports.
Future plans: Wants to build a production company producing commercials, movies, photo shoots, etc.
Wants to empower young people, young women, especially:
“I’m tired of seeing everybody dressed in all black and their pants sagging,” he said. “Let’s get out of that. So let’s have a photo shoot with a girl who has a dress on, but you also got your basketball uniform on and put them together.”
Got started: When his daughter, Rayana, now 12, was about 7 years old and competed in soccer, basketball and track. Massey filmed her games and eventually turned their road trips to AAU tournaments into video blogs or “vlogs,” which showed their quality time on the way to games and celebrating after games.
“That just turned into a hobby, the hobby turned into a passion and the passion turned into business,” Massey said in a phone interview.
Company: Massey said he turned his business into a limited liability company or LLC in January of 2019 and named it YeaSports, which stands for Young Elite Athletes.
Where to find his work: Instagram: @Yeasports
YouTube: Yea Sports Media
Sports background: Massey played football for Germantown, where he graduated in 2003. He also later played at Millersville, where he graduated with a psychology degree in 2007.
Day job: He is an “employment special,” working with people who have special needs.
Sports he covers: Earned a following by covering Pop Warner football and has also done rugby, fencing, wrestling, track and field and more. He does all of his video with a cell phone mounted on a stabilizer.
Future plans: He hopes to remain versatile and grow his business on different fronts. He offers training workouts out of a gym in the West Oak Lane area of Philadelphia. He was also an assistant football coach in Pop Warner leagues.
“YeaSports is a youth sports empire that I’m trying to build and I’m using videography to help build it.”
Got started: Around March 2018 with the La Salle lacrosse team. Started with photography and moved to videography.
Concussions: Suffered the seventh concussion of his athletic career (his first was in sixth grade) during wrestling season in his junior year. Doctors told him he could no longer play sports. He had also played football.
“But I still wanted to be around the sports culture," he said. “I was upset, but I think I was getting burned out at that point, so I think I was also kind of relieved that I wouldn’t have to deal with the whole student-athlete struggle.”
Future plans: Hopes to attend Temple and study media production and entrepreneurial business.
Videos he’s produced: Lacrosse videos for the team and for individual players. He also produced videos for the La Salle football team.
Where to find his work: Instagram, @ShotsbyBach
How he learned: Self-taught via YouTube.
Early business savvy: Taught himself how to string his own lacrosse stick in third grade. Charged his teammates $10 apiece to also string theirs. Also started a T-shirt company while in high school. It has since shut down.
What video has done for him: “I’m a perfectionist at heart, so just making everything the way you want it to be. Being meticulous with it and tedious helped me create my own style and be creative.”
Got started: May of 2018. Started with editing his own highlight videos as a member of the Haverford School football team.
Modeling, acting: Got started in front of the camera at fashion shows at 7 years old. His mother, Tyanio Whitaker or Miss T, is a designer and dancer.
“It was involuntary, but I fell in love with it,” he said.
Future plans: Will play football at Wilkes University and wants to be a movie director.
Where to find his work: Instagram, @DubFilms for sports content. And YouTube for his mini-series: Secret Bi Secret.
Videos he’s produced: Sports highlight tapes of himself and other high school athletes in the area. Also directed his own mini-series.
How he learned videography: Self-taught. “I’d rather learn by mistakes … and go back and fix it.”
Nate Whitaker said: “Directing, screenwriting and producing is all one difficult thing. Even though I have a vision of something, I encourage my actors to ad-lib. I’d rather the actor be comfortable in the role because the people are going to see them and not me.”
Got started: Around August 2018. Started as a manager for the St. Joseph’s Prep football team. Hopes to build his own Instagram profile soon.
Broadcast background: Joined Prep’s broadcast journalism club as a freshman.
Never played high school sports:
“I always knew that I wasn’t good enough to play sports, but I knew I was extremely good at talking about it with friends and family,” he said.
Many hats: As a football manager was responsible for helping with practice film and game film as well as equipment and setup duties.
“I would say I’m a videographer, but I wear so many [hats], and I do a lot of stuff that people don’t really see,” he said.
Future plans: Hopes to study sports journalism or sports management.
“I’ve always just loved sports, to put it simply,” he said.
What video has done for recruiting: