Organizational stability is the source of both Ottawa’s improved play on the field in 2018, as well as its smooth sailing off of it. Numerous Outlaws employees are partially responsible for the product on the field in a variety of direct and indirect ways. This week, let’s shine a light on Andrew D’Eon, the videographer responsible for filming games and making sure every last play is captured in frame.
Born in Pembroke, D’Eon felt his first pangs of love for the video camera during a high school assembly. His music teacher directed him to a community station, where he eventually began volunteering.
“[The producer] showed me around,” remembered D’Eon. “I was like, yeah, this is really cool! I'm in a TV station! I was in my glory, thinking holy smokes, this is the big time!”
Videography quickly grew into a passion. Over the years, D’Eon spent time volunteering everywhere he could, learning how to run and terminate cables, how to capture and edit film. He worked in audio and radio, broadening his skill sets. D’Eon’s video camera brought him to Tim Hicks and Jason Blaine concerts, where he got to meet the musicians. He further practiced filming sports in the CCHL, where he filmed the Pembroke Lumber Kings in conjunction with Cogeco Cable.
When the Ottawa Outlaws played their first AUDL game in 2015, D’Eon found himself behind a camera completely by accident.
“It just so happened I [had] seen a video online from a guy out of Ottawa,” said D’Eon. “Some hockey stuff, so I had messaged him, said hey listen, if you're ever looking for an extra guy let me know. I would be more than happy to help out. He said, I'm not really that big right now, but he says if something ever comes up I'll certainly let you know. Two days later he mentions [the] Ottawa Outlaws inaugural home opener with the AUDL.”
D’Eon found himself working briefly with Fulcrum Media to film professional ultimate Frisbee. Though initially skeptical of the sport, he quickly grew to appreciate its quirks and the incredible amount of athleticism required to play.
“I love it. I love it. I keep trying to introduce other people and say, you know, you really should go check out a game. Sit in the stands and watch it as a fan, and feel the energy, because it's incredible. I would have never thought of it,” he said, laughing.
Though D’Eon now works for the Ottawa Outlaws, his first time meeting owner Jim Lloyd was in Toronto in 2015, when he drove to film Toronto’s playoff game. Lloyd eventually called D’Eon up in 2017 to film the Outlaws home opener. The regular guy couldn’t make it, so D’Eon filled in. It went well, and he came back the next week. He hasn’t stopped filming the Ottawa Outlaws since.
“Now I can't wait until the new season because I can't wait to get out and shoot some more,” raved D’Eon. “It's a pretty cool sport. Rules, I get to learn as I go, and I'm learning how the plays roll out, so I'm able to capture the video at a more fluid pace.”
He loves it. “The fact that you can take a box and aim it at someone and capture them is kind of like, wow, that's magic… I'm getting paid for something that I love doing. It's just the icing on the cake, right?”
Asked what he does for fun, D’Eon answered, “Video. That to me, that is fun. Even if it means traveling to Toronto, 5-hour drive, go shoot for a couple hours, an hour set up, an hour to tear down, that's still fun to me.”
Like every player on the Outlaws roster, D’Eon has taken a strange, garbled path to professional ultimate Frisbee. No one sets out to play Frisbee professionally, just as no one sets out to film it. Yet over the years, Frisbee has captured D’Eon as much as he’s captured the sport.