Lao-Gosneys Keep Lacrosse Passion Alive Through Film

Former Lehigh and MLL players, Roman and Cameron Lao-Gosney, are pursuing careers in the film industry. The brothers worked together on a series featuring Tom Schrieber and on the Wolf Athletics commercial shown during PLL games.


Players make an impact on the field. Coaches make an impact on the sidelines.

Then, there is former Lehigh and Major League Lacrosse players Cameron and Roman Lao-Gosney, who have found a way to influence the sport they love through another passion.

Film.

Most recently, the Lao-Gosneys are coming off directing a commercial for Wolf Athletics, the net and ball provider of the Premier Lacrosse League, which airs on NBC and NBC Sports.

 

 

The Lao-Gosney twins only had about a month to come up with a concept, shoot and edit everything.

“It was a really tight window,” said Cameron. “We went back and forth whether or not we had the time to pull it off, but we knew we had to do it. It was too great an opportunity to pass up.”

The opportunity was just the latest chapter in the Lao-Gosneys’ interest in film, which goes back a number of years.

“It started when we were much younger, playing with our Lego sets and creating entire stories,” said Cameron. “We always loved going to the movies, whether it was with our parents or some friends back in Maine. It was always entertaining to break down the stories.

“Then at Lehigh, we both studied philosophy, which helped hone our critical and creative thinking,” Cameron continued. “What Lehigh offered in terms of film was few and far between, but it wasn’t a bad thing because it forced us to teach ourselves a lot about filmmaking and editing, using the software and technology, using cameras, guerilla shooting and making it all happen.”

“Make it happen” is exactly what Cameron and Roman have continued to do.

“After graduation, we both really wanted to pursue film and we knew we’d be doing a lot together, but we had to tackle things on our own,” said Roman. “I was heavily interested in camera work and cinematography, which was the route I took early on. Alternatively, Cameron was developing interest in post-production and editing. We both knew we wanted to direct, but had different sub-interests within that.”

Film led both Lao-Gosneys to New York City.

“I reached out to a couple different internships, one of which was very interested in me coming on,” said Roman. “They’re a production company called Good Company, and they do a lot of music videos, along with different commercial work with some pretty big names like Madonna and Beyoncé. They really liked that I was an athlete.

“The year prior, they had a college soccer player come in as an intern. They really liked his energy and mental toughness.”







Over the coming years, the film industry would test the Lao-Gosneys’ mental toughness, especially being freelancers.

“It’s like free agency,” said Cameron. “Anyone who works as a freelancer will tell you it’s a love-hate relationship. You bump around, see new people and experience different things, but if you don’t have the connections and you haven’t established yourself, it’s really hard to gain momentum. It can be stressful, but now that we’ve been in New York City for a couple years, know more people and have our own reputations, it’s definitely a lot easier.”

One of the Lao-Gosneys’ recent projects was a documentary series for the company SidelineSwap centering around one of the best players in the world, Tom Schrieber.

“It was a four-part series, around 10 minutes each,” said Cameron. “We followed Tom Schreiber as he went through his season with the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League. We were in the locker room and were at different games filming. Roman and I shot and edited each episode as well as a number of short teaser videos, all of which served as a springboard to the Wolf Athletics opportunity.”

 

 

Wolf praised the series and approached them with the opportunity to put together a 30-second commercial to be played on national, network television (NBC). Understanding the reach it would have, the Lao-Gosneys wanted to go big.

“Roman and I started throwing these ideas around that were ambitious given the time,” said Cameron. “We ended up shooting in eight different locations and shot a total of 18 athletes (one of which was former Lehigh teammate Blaise Fullen). I don’t know why we thought that was a good idea with the short timeline, but once you get an idea, sometimes you just can’t let it go.”

The genesis of the commercial stemmed from personal experience as well as stories they had heard from other teammates over the years.

“We were always interested in the unique places and varying ways other athletes train,” said Cameron. “We kept coming back to this phrase – wherever, however. Personally, we would go home to Maine for winter break and wouldn’t have anywhere to practice. There was a summer camp that shut down through the winter months, which had this big wooden barn, so we drove our lacrosse net there to train. It was cold and there were holes in the walls, but we had to make it work.

“The best athletes are going to train no matter the circumstances, in whatever conditions with whatever they have,” Cameron continued. “That’s what we wanted to show in the commercial. We wanted to have one element that was very striking, almost other-worldly, so we put a player under water. To balance that, we used more real-world locations, like a rooftop, an alley and a basement.

“Hopefully, somebody can watch the commercial and feel motivated to get better in whatever way possible.”

Why were the Lao-Gosneys so passionate about creating a compelling commercial? It was a great opportunity professionally, but another motivation was contributing to the culture of lacrosse and its perception in media.

“(PLL founder) Paul Rabil has been elevating the professionalism of the sport in the national eye, and we wanted to match that professionalism with the commercial,” said Cameron. “Lacrosse is such an exciting and fast-paced sport, but I don’t feel like it’s represented as well as it should. We knew we could help the sport jump out to viewers by putting forth something epic.”

Along with wanting the sport to feel more “big time,” the Lao-Gosneys are hoping to influence the culture in another way.

“There are so many aspects to the game we find interesting and inspiring, like its heritage, but for certain reasons, the perception from outsiders can be so single-minded,” said Roman. “People hear you’re a lacrosse player in the ‘film’ world and the first thing they say is, ‘lax bro’. That’s not who I am and that’s not who many of the people I’ve played with are, either. We wanted to show the interesting aspects of the sport and also highlight the diverse, unique types of people who play it.

“In the lacrosse world, people are sometimes surprised to hear I’m a filmmaker, as if the two are mutually exclusive,” Roman continued. “Things aren’t so black and white, and I don’t think people should be so ready to define others so simply or neatly. You can be an athlete and you can be an artist.”

As Cameron said, “For whatever reason, there’s this outdated cultural conjecture, a generalization that separates athletes and artists. But in fact, there are a ton of similarities between the two. Each is a craft that requires discipline, creativity, persistence and belief in oneself. The more our sport can embrace and highlight this nuance in personality, the more I believe people will be willing to embrace our sport.”

Cameron and Roman are already affecting others, and they are truly just beginning, only seven years removed from their college days.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to play forever and especially towards the last two years, I was starting to not love playing as much, but I wanted to continue to give back,” said Roman. “I knew there was a huge way to do that with film. My brother and I have ambitions in film outside of lacrosse and outside of sports – like music videos, lifestyle videos, narrative short films and feature films – but we’ll continue to pave a path in the athletics niche. We’ve also been writing a lacrosse feature film on the back burner for some time now, which is heavily based on our experiences as a student-athlete at Lehigh University.

“Hopefully, our story can help other young lacrosse players understand that there are alternative career paths outside of the conventional ones that await them after graduating from college,” Roman continued. “There are plenty of other former lacrosse players doing it as well – guys like Mikey Powell (who’s been pursuing music for quite some time) or Matt Gibson (who’s working as a screenwriter in Los Angeles) or Chad Wiedmaier (who works as a photographer).”

The Lao-Gosneys have found an alternative career path, helping growing the sport and impacting the future of lacrosse at the same time.

www.LaoGosneyBrothers.com

Most Recent

Inside the New USA Lacrosse Magazine

We are USA Lacrosse and this is USA Lacrosse Magazine.

Dialed In: Your Lacrosse Fix for Monday, May 17

Duke's women are celebrating their first trip to the quarterfinals since 2015.

Dialed In: Your Lacrosse Fix For Friday, May 14

Livy Rosenzweig returning, Caton Johnson transferring and a questionable NCAA call.

Dialed In: Your Lacrosse Fix For Thursday, May 13

We welcome the new USA Lacrosse Magazine, PLL announces media schedule, coaching changes in WD1.







Twitter Posts