Throwback Thursday: Micah Brown

Sept. 8, 2011


Micah Brown (WR, 2007-08)

090811aab_384_1544450.jpegNebraska native Micah Brown has made his mark on the Sunflower State. Having been a member of the football and track and field squads at Kansas, Brown earned his reputation as a hard worker, but it is now what he does on the sidelines at Memorial Stadium that he is best known for. The up and coming filmmaker can be found at games and practices shooting for his regional Emmy nominated series, “THE GRIDIRON”.

Now more than a couple years removed from your playing days, how has the transition been from university athlete to employee?

“It is always kind of hard in the beginning to establish what your new identity is going to be after being a student athlete for a couple years, but once I kind of got out of football, film has always been my main passion so it was real exciting to take this new adventure.”

How often do you pick up a football as opposed to a camera?

“Actually it is funny you ask, because I just got a concussion on Sunday playing football with (Associate Athletics Director) Mike Harrity. We were playing flag football and we both went up for a pass and I came down and hit my head, so that will probably be the last time I do anything besides just throwing around the football.”

Not many people know this, but you were a two sport athlete at KU. What came more naturally to you… track and field or football?

“Definitely track. I did the triple-jump so that was my more natural sport. After doing a year of it here though, I still loved the sport; I just kind of had an itch to play the game of football. I figured you can run your whole life and always go back to track but I wanted to take a risk so I would not have any regrets about, `I could have done this’. Because of that I found out what it really was like to struggle and be on the bottom of the totem pole. Now I was not a world beater or anything like that in track, I was a very average triple jumper but I accepted the challenge to try and walk-on for football and wanted to experience that whole process, which is why I am so glad I got to.” Brown's 22-yard catch in the 2008 Orange Bowl vs Virginia Tech

Back to the gridiron… you were a walk-on, who was able to see some playing time in your junior and senior years. What did it mean to you to finally be able to play after all the hard work you put in?

“It was one of the toughest periods I have ever gone through in my life. The first time I actually got to play was my sophomore year and that was the year after I had been on the scout team for a year and I remember coming out from the tunnel and just looking out there and hearing the crowd go crazy brought tears to my eyes. I went through that whole year of not playing and in my mind I just wanted to play by the time I was a senior so, to get the opportunity to play earlier than that was just awesome because the odds are stacked against you when you are a walk-on.”

Is there any specific game, play or practice that stands out in your mind during your time on the team?

“There are a couple things that stand out in my mind but I think the Orange Bowl for me was the ultimate thrill, not only because I got to play but because my grandpa was there and watch me play. He really never got to see me play in college and my grandmother had just died during the week of the Colorado game that season, so I had to fly back for the funeral and then came back to practice with a heavy heart. The fact that he was there to see me and that I was able to make a play (a 22-yard reception on a fake punt), meant a lot to me and was probably one of the defining moments of my career.”

What or who would you say kept you motivated during your years on the sidelines?

“Really, just the love of the game because when you are not playing in games, some guys tend to get down because they do not really see the fruits of it, but when you can go out and know that you do have a chance to play the game of football every single day, whether it is being on the scout team or just on the sidelines, you have a chance to be around the game. I had a very realistic view of what my role was and how I would be a part of the team. I was not one of those guys that thought I should be playing more than I should, I realized that there were guys that were better than me and so wherever I fit in I just wanted to contribute in some way.”

090811aab_384_1041306.jpegYou still attend football games and practices, but as a camera man, does playing the game give you an advantage to filming it?

“Definitely it does because there is no way I could do my job and come with all those concepts and scripts for “THE GRIDIRON” unless I had a familiar experience with the game and how practices and game days go, so it definitely gives me an advantage when I am out there shooting.”

Explain a little bit about what your role is with football team and KU Athletics.

My responsibilities are really just with the football team and with I over see and am responsible for all the video and creative content that go on the website. I also produce the weekly show, “The GRIDIRON”, which includes writing, shooting, editing, music design and producing.

How did you get that job? Did you approach the football team about it or did they come to you?

“I was actually out in Los Angeles and I was working for a movie trailer company when Coach Gill was hired. I had actually known Coach Gill for a long time through my dad who played with him at Nebraska and had done a video for him before when he was speaking at a banquet with the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). After that he gave me a call and said that they were going to be starting a website and asked if I was interested. Initially I said that I might be, but that I really wanted to continue working in cinema in LA because ultimately I want to become a filmmaker. Eventually I pitched to him the idea of “THE GRIDIRON” and he thought that would be a great idea for not only recruits, but students and all of Jayhawk nation to watch, so we moved forward from there and here I am.”

“THE GRIDIRON” series was recently nominated for regional Emmy. Did you think you would be recognized for your success so early in your career?

Brown hard at work

“It is always a very humbling experience when you do something like that and it is very well received. I had never done anything like this before as this is my very first project behind the camera because I had normally directed, produced or edited, which was my main skill set, so to go out and shoot something myself was really difficult. As far as the Emmy nomination goes, it’s just a huge blessing. I just have to thank the lord for giving me the opportunity to be able to tell this teams story.”

What do you look for when you go out to film? Is there something specific or do you just hit record?

“The main thing I do is I just sit down and go through a shot list. That helps me decide, depending on what the project is, what I want to shoot. If we are talking about “THE GRIDIRON”, I will come out with a script of what I want to talk about and from there I will develop a shot list and try to find things that match the story line. A lot of the time, I will look for big hits with big reactions or some of the beauty shots that show off what Kansas football is all about. Really though it comes down to being out there in the right place at the right time and keeping your eyes open to things that are high energy and represent our football team well. It should be said though, that without the access and cooperation that I am given on a weekly basis from our coaching staff, the series itself would not be possible, so I feel fortunate in that regard to be able to have that every time I walk into practice or a team meeting with my camera.”

What do you get more pleasure out of: Getting that unique shot that will look perfect on camera or reeling in that pass for a game winning catch?

“I would say the pass because you only get one of those in your lifetime. There are plenty of more shots that can come along, so the pass is definitely a blessing that I would not want to give back and brings you a feeling that is hard to describe.”

090811aab_384_5618827.jpegBrown will find out by October 22, if he wins the regional Emmy for is work on “THE GRIDIRON” series. You can see more of the former football player’s work by going to Brown with his wife Leanna