Sunday, 28 December 2014

One-on-One with Nikki Jeffrey

Dylan Atack is a name that many Tiger-Cat fans are probably somewhat familiar with. Maybe they don’t know exactly who he is or what he does, but they are aware of his presence on the sidelines during games and helping out during practice.

This past September, Ryerson University student Nikki Jeffrey filmed a short documentary about Dylan for a school project. It was a wonderfully done and highlighted just what Dylan means to the team. After the viewing the film, I reached out to Nikki in hopes of getting her to answer a few questions about the project and she was kind enough to respond.

Josh: Start by telling us all a little about yourself, where you're from, how you got into film making, etc.

Nikki: I’m 21 years old from Mississauga. I attend Ryerson University for Radio and Television (which is an amazing program). I actually want to be in front of the camera but I do enjoy film making and editing a lot as well.

Josh: How did you find out about Dylan and his story?

Nikki: My boyfriend, Sean [Hanlon], who you see in the video, got his internship from Brock University Sport Management with the Ti-Cats this past season. Every day he would tell me stories about Dylan; how funny he is and how hard of a worker he is. So I started to become interested in him. [Prior to doing the documentary] I had only met [Dylan] briefly after a game once before.

Josh: What made you decide to do a film about Dylan?

Nikki: One of classes I took this semester was called Sport Broadcasting. We were assigned an assignment to make a short feature documentary on a player, coach, etc. and right away I thought Dylan would be perfect for it. After getting approval, my group members and I drove out to Tim Horton’s Field one day to film.

Josh: Was there anything interesting that you didn’t find a way to put in the doc? Any stories about Dylan that were left on the cutting room floor?

Nikki: There were a few things left out, but nothing too crazy. He told us about how he isn’t really a fan of flying, but was flown out to the Grey Cup last year to be with the team, which I thought was really nice. At the end of the doc when he says to always be yourself and stay positive and motivated, we had actually asked him what advice he would give to someone who is also autistic, but wants to get involved and try new things.

Josh: OK, one final general question: are you a CFL fan? And if so, do you have a favourite team?

Nikki: OK, so I definitely prefer the CFL over the NFL. I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to get into the NFL. I live in Toronto for school, so I claimed I was an Argos fan (but I didn’t really know much about them). After this past season, as Sean worked for them – which allowed me to get to know the organization better and go to games at Tim Horton’s Field – I am definitely a Hamilton Tiger-Cats fan. My friend and I went to an Argos-Cats game at the Rogers Centre and were seated in the Argos fan section. Every time the Ti-Cats would get a touchdown, we were those obnoxious opposing team fans that would stand and turn and cheer. Haha!

Josh: That’s awesome! As a guy who does the same thing when I watch the Cats play in Toronto, I can appreciate that.

So that was my short conversation with Nikki. I hope this allows more people to see the work she did. I have watched the doc a couple of times, and it really is a wonderful piece.

I would like to thank Nikki for doing the interview and for providing such wonderful answers. If you want to thank her yourself, she can be found on Twitter at @nikkijeffs.

And for those of you interested, the project received an A+. I think we can all agree that the mark was well earned.

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