Mackley helps Rifle football memories live on
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado – Rifle High School’s football players were treated to a special screening of a movie last year.
And they were the stars.
Just before the new Brenden theater on West Second Street in Rifle opened, the Bears enjoyed that private screening at what was then called Rifle Creek Theatre on East Fourth Street.
As the movie began, the team was in awe as the screen showed Marco Gutierrez kicking his game-winning, 45-yard field goal against Battle Mountain from earlier in the season.
“Marco just stands up and yells, ‘Hey! That’s me!'” Rifle coach Damon Wells said.
What followed was a series of Bears highlights from the 2011 season, much to the joy of the team the film highlighted. And that movie, like many others, had been filmed, produced, edited and distributed by Ryan Mackley, a 1993 Rifle High graduate who owns and operates Spruce Creek Multimedia in Rifle.
“With Ryan Mackley, I can’t say enough about how much he means not only to our program, but to our community,” Wells said.
Mackley has poured close to $100,000 into the video and editing equipment he uses to run his business, which offers services with business videos, wedding video production, website design and wedding and scenic photography. The business began from a passion Mackley has long had for videography. It began while he was a student at Rifle High School, and it’s a passion that hasn’t subsided close to 20 years later.
“It’s always been that way for me, but sometimes I think the idea hadn’t quite reached here yet when I started doing it,” Mackley said from his shop on East Third Street.
“I would put together these videos and have background music going with the clips, and people would ask, ‘Why did you use that song?'” he continued, noting the sarcastic tone used by the skeptics. “But now, I get a lot of feedback about how great this is and how cool this is for the kids.”
Watching Mackley’s videos, which can be found at http://www.riflefootball.com, is akin to watching highlight reels from a professional or major college football program. He has multiple digital cameras with video capability. That, along with a setup that includes Final Cut Pro software and a soundboard that can adjust volume levels, makes for some high-quality flicks.
Mackley was a wide receiver and defensive back for the Bears in high school. After spending four years at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he was asked by Rifle High principal Todd Ellis to produce a team highlight video in 1997.
When that turned out well, he continued to produce and make videos until 2005, when he took a break for four years. He started up again in 2010 with more time on his hands and a renewed enthusiasm.
“Of all of the things that I do, this is by far my favorite,” Mackley said. “Week by week, I sit down and take what I have and say to myself, ‘How do I tell the story of the game?’ That’s when we take the footage and the theme and music and tie it all together to make it all tie into one story.”
Mackley isn’t doing it all on his own. He has three camera crew members in Rifle High students Jamie Gomez and Jake Statler, along with Lauren Potter, a Rifle graduate and a sophomore at Colorado who works with the football team’s filming department. It can take up to 30 hours to finish a reel for a nine-minute game video, and sponsors help alleviate the costs for equipment and labor.
What Mackley loves is how the players and community members who purchase the videos have something they can hold on to for years to come, getting to watch some of those memories over and over again. He has done work for other schools as well, including highlight videos for schools like Highlands Ranch near Denver, and is open to doing work for other schools, knowing there’s a limited market for the product he’s offering.
But for now, his focus is closer to home, especially knowing he has one more Rifle game to film when the Bears play Silver Creek for the 3A state championship at 1 p.m. today at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.
Mackley even took the time to produce a video for the school’s pep assembly on Thursday.
“I absolutely love doing this,” Mackley said. “And I’d absolutely love to see a win on Saturday, too.”
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A lot of seemingly random things are in short supply these days — including sports officials.