Former University of Hawai‘i swimmer Jonas Gutzat won the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee video contest for his video “More Than Athletes.”
Being an athlete himself, he was inspired to make a video about how much time and work athletes invest in their sport to be the best they can be.
“I got the idea for the concept and script while flying back home to Germany last winter, and began to write down some thoughts and lines that came to mind,” Gutzat said.
Gutzat said the video was one of the biggest projects he has ever done, having shot over the course of two months and edited more than 150 hours of film. He said the video will “resonate with athletes no matter what their sport may be.”
Gutzat’s passion for photography and videography started when his father lent him his film camera.
“I think that planted the seed for my passion for photography and videography that I would find in my freshman year when I got a GoPro,” Gutzat said. “I shot a lot, made short little videos, played around with angles and even got a drone to mount it on. Trial and error was my way of learning and improving.”
The Germany native said he was only able to go back home during summers since the swimming and diving season lasted from August to February.
But since Gutzat finished his eligibility last year, he was able to go home in winter for the first time.
“All the holidays back home and here kind of made me miss home a lot,” Gutzat said. “Luckily, I have a bunch of friends and teammates that would always invite people for Thanksgiving, so I never felt alone.”
While attending UH, he double- majored in communications and creative media to expand his knowledge about media.
As a student-athlete, Gutzat had to find a balance between sports, school and filming.
During swim season, Gutzat was only able to film on the weekends after practice.
“Once we hit off-season, I usually had more time and energy to shoot bigger projects, but my passion for video always kept me up late at night,” Gutzat said.
While filming his “More Than Athletes” video, scheduling was one of the biggest challenges he faced daily.
“There are only so many hours in a day and there is so much to capture and to show to people,” Gutzat said. “For this project in particular, I only needed about an hour with the individual teams, but it was often challenging to find a time that worked for them and me to film them.”
Some advice he has for aspiring student filmmakers is to not “do things halfway.”
“Do everything to the best of your abilities and push yourself nonstop,” Gutzat said.