Featuring professional athletes and globetrotting DJs, a local video project seeks to inspire viewers to search out their niche and pursue their passions.
“The Get Out Project” is a multimedia effort created and managed by a team of young professionals specializing in the areas of project management and film.
“(‘The Get Out Project’) is an aspiring nonprofit based on purpose,” said project coordinator Jerry Valentine. “(The project features) people who are between the ages of 18 and 25 and who are doing pretty good things with their lives … pretty big things.”
Through the production of content ranging from videos, articles and photos, it is designed to showcase young adults who are excelling in their professional endeavors.
“Whenever you come to (‘The Get Out Project’) network, you will be able to get inspired by… the people that you see on there,” Valentine said. “Everything is supposed to be inspiring to help motivate people who are kind of lost or down about where they are in their life.”
Valentine, a former Ohio University student, said it was the media that inspired him to reconsider his major of exercise and physiology and instead immerse himself in project planning and non-profit management.
“I’m really utilizing my skills, my creativity and my talents by getting (others) involved,” Valentine said of his role in “The Get Out Project.” “That is what I wanted to do — not only showcase my creative thinking and my ability to lead a group, but also showcase those around me, those talents that are getting involved.”
In addition to highlighting the talents of the individuals featured in the videos, “The Get Out Project” also serves to promote the creative abilities of the behind-the-scenes team. The individuals working to design, produce and edit the multimedia content are able to gain real-world experience through their work with “The Get Out Project,” Valentine said.
“I’m trying to get people involved so that they can be able to showcase their talent on these videos,” he said. “(We want to) not only showcase those who are the features, but also others who need that platform.”
Valentine said the project is currently staffed by a network of dedicated volunteers, and many of the projects are funded by donations.
David Goodwin and Michael Mullen II, co-directors of LenSight Productions, a Columbus-based independent filmmaking company, said they became involved with “The Get Out Project” after meeting Valentine earlier this year.
“(Valentine) wanted to basically highlight a lot of local talent and get them to get out and show their work to the world,” said Goodwin, who graduated from OSU in 2013 with a degree in film studies.
Goodwin said he initially felt a personal connection to “The Get Out Project’s” message.
“I could identify with this idea of having higher goals but not necessarily being in a city or an area that is considered one of the top places to showcase your talent,” he said. “I could also identify with this idea of a growing community trying to network together and being able to put out your work and help one another.”
Goodwin and Mullen said they volunteered to produce a promotional video featuring former OSU track athlete Christina Manning for “The Get Out Project.” They plan to collaborate with Valentine and create more videos for the project in the future.
“LenSight’s role is to provide assistance in completing the vision (Valentine) has in his mind,” said Mullen, a fourth-year in film studies at OSU, in an email. “We want to provide our help to portray the image he wants to portray to viewers.”
Valentine said he plans to work with LenSight Productions on more videos in the future, including a feature on DJ Bandcamp, a Cincinnati-based musician named “the official DJ of the Indiana Pacers,” according to his website.
Goodwin said he has enjoyed his experience as a part of “The Get Out Project” team, as it has allowed him to meet new people and share others’ talents with the world.
“We’ve been promoting a general sense of creativity within one’s own community and showing how there is sort of a vibrancy for creativity in Central Ohio,” he said. “I think that it is kind of interesting trying to translate (others’) passions and their work into video and trying to successfully communicate what they do to the audience.”
Christina Manning, ten-time Big Ten track champion and 2012 Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year, said she feels passionate about her role in “The Get Out Project.”
“I met (Valentine) about a year ago, and he had asked me to do a little episode for (a project that) he had going on at the time,” she said. “I really love inspiring others and telling (them) to share what they have to offer because something that they are doing could be really helpful to someone else.”
A 2012 graduate from OSU with a degree in criminology, Manning was named the Suzy Favor Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year and also holds school records in the 60-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles and indoor 200-meter dash, according to the OSU women’s track and field website.
Coming off a year of injury due to a torn Achilles tendon, Manning is a professional track athlete for Adidas.
“The Get Out Project” video featuring Manning discusses her decision to return to the track following her injury and her current goal of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“(Studying) athletes who come back from (hardship)… really pushes me to continue to (compete),” Manning said of what inspired her to return after her injury. “Keep working, work hard, do your best and everything else will be laid out in front of you. That is really what I hope people will see in this video and get from this video. I hope that they feed off of it and that it causes them to be more ambitious and have more fire under them to do what they are supposed to do.”
Manning said she admires “The Get Out Project’s” commitment to making an impact on its viewers.
“I really don’t know a project or a company or anything that is trying to get people to reach their full potential right now… A lot of people are for self and (‘The Get Out Project’) helps others,” she said. “I just really want people to look into ‘The Get Out Project.’ I really believe that this project can be huge and it can touch a lot of people.”
“The Get Out Project” videos can be viewed on the project’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Valentine said he also plans to burn “The Get Out Project” videos onto DVDs and distribute them free of charge.