When Alex Anthony walked off the greens and into the pavilion at the Cedar Hill Golf Course on a Tuesday afternoon in early November, the surprise of family and friends wasn’t enough to tip him off.
Anthony, a former Mount Douglas Rams football player and current videographer for the Toronto Argonauts, was here visiting after the Argonauts’ Nov. 4 game in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions. After a series of greetings his mom, Patti, circled the group around a big screen to watch a short golf video by her son.
The award winning short video is called The Drive. It’s narrated by Anthony and is a picturesque 60-second tribute to the nuances of golf. It won the 2017 Myrtle Beach Golf is Great contest, as organized by the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Chamber of Commerce, but Anthony didn’t know that yet.
“No one there knew, only his sister and I, and the people he was golfing with,” Patti said.
During the screening, Anthony did become suspicious when two men he didn’t know, Kyle Oland and Brent Lovell, began filming the group. It was their intention to catch Anthony’s reaction in high-definition. Oland sort of hid a giant $10,000 cheque while Lovell documented the moment with a video camera. The two flew in from Myrtle Beach just for the occasion.
When The Drive ended, Oland then announced Anthony as the winner, which includes a golf trip for four to Myrtle Beach, “Golf Capital Of The World,” famous for having more than 100 courses in the area.
“It was a surprise for sure, my Happy Gilmour moment, the big cheque is something that I will never forget,” Anthony said. “Usually when I’m in town I’m driving around visiting people, so it was a surprise to see everyone but it made sense that my mom would have so many people there.”
Anthony, who starred for the Rams and played university football for the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks, actually studied kinesiology but has been making videos since high school. His football career included being drafted to the CFL in 2013 by the Saskatchewan Roughriders and winning the Grey Cup that year. When his football career ended in 2015 (the average pro football career is an abrupt one), he fell back to his other passion.
“I had started editing videos in high school on a friend’s father’s iMac,” Anthony recalled.“He always had the first Apple product. We started by cutting football highlights with music, and I kept at it [right through university]. When I was released, I messaged the CFL about my video skills to see if there was any opportunity there.”
After a few projects in partnership with CFL’s head office, Anthony landed a job as the video production specialist for the Argos. He creates videos, commercials, features and promos, doing all the writing, shooting, editing and sound design. He’s also done projects with TSN and has worked with Toronto FC’s videographer, Clayton Hansler, on numerous occasions.
When he first found learned about the Golf is Great contest, he was hooked.
“[Hansler] and I headed out to the nearest golf course on a Sunday night and took the footage for the video in about 60 minutes,” Anthony said.