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2012 Holiday Video brings much laughter, online chatter
Monday, December 17, 2012

Ugly Christmas Sweater
A seemingly endless strand of blue yarn quickly emerges as the proverbial common thread that links Eric Jaynes, above, an all Fredonians, past, present and future. 

The Public Relations team hatched the idea of using not just any Christmas sweater, but an ugly one.

Marissa Caruso, president of the Random Acts comedy improv troupe, recruited Jaynes (a.k.a. “Awesome Sweater Guy” in the credits), for the starring role.

Numerous student extras also appear, and another handful worked behind the camera. Media Arts major Cody Castro served as director of photography and Alan Martinez as production assistant. Patty Herkey, the campus’ Communications Designer, was the art director and sweater designer.

Fredonia's social media coordinator, Nicholas Gunner, produced, directed, and edited the film.

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It certainly doesn’t make a fashion statement for the holidays, but the “unraveling” of SUNY Fredonia’s 2012 Holiday Video Tuesday has become an instant sensation.

The video, which has already generated more than 5,400 views on YouTube, follows student Eric Jaynes through a typical day on campus. Wherever he goes, his blue sweater – adorned with a FRED decal and Santa cap — unravels after a strand is caught in his residence hall doorway. From there, the blue thread gets tangled around trees, stretches between columns in the Williams Center and even hangs on students seated at Reed Library computers.

Only the top half of the sweater remains when the blissfully unaware Jaynes walks by the outdoor amphitheater on his way to the Maytum Hall bus stop to head home for the holidays.

The Public Relations team hatched the idea of using not just any Christmas sweater, but an ugly one. We’ve all seen them, haven’t we? An internet search quickly proved that point, producing scores of “ugly Christmas sweater” websites. A seemingly endless strand of blue yarn quickly emerges as the proverbial common thread that links all Fredonians, past, present and future.

“We wanted to make it very heartfelt, and also show off some beautiful images of the campus,” said Nicholas Gunner, the video’s producer, director and editor. “We threw around some different ideas, brainstorming different concepts, and somehow the term ‘common thread’ came up.” That long strand of blue yarn conveys that Fredonia is the common thread that links all members of the campus community.

The 105-second-long video concludes with the tagline: “No matter where life takes you, you’ll always have that common thread.” It can be viewed from the Fredonia website, Campus Report and also on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Marissa Caruso, president of the Random Acts comedy improv troupe, recruited Jaynes (a.k.a. “Awesome Sweater Guy” in the credits) for the starring role. Numerous student extras also appear, and another handful worked behind the camera. Media Arts major Cody Castro served as director of photography and Alan Martinez as production assistant. Patty Herkey, the campus’ Communications Designer, was the art director and sweater designer.

“It's great to see the team we've developed here, and the creative ideas that we're generating as a result,” said Public Relations Director Michael Barone. “It's also encouraging to see our staff recognize when it's appropriate to have some fun with a concept. Based on the dozens of great comments it's already received, that little bit of levity is really appreciated toward the end of a long semester or the busy holiday season.”

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