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The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Reeling in the views: Rob’s Reels takes off

Robert Grace behind the scenes of a shoot. Photo courtesy of Grace ’25.

Robert Grace IV ’25 picked up his first camera his senior year of high school. Spurred by a so-called “passion project” at the Blake School in Minneapolis, MN, Grace began his video journey shooting spring sports — soccer, ultimate frisbee track, baseball and softball — and making videos.

Three years later, Grace is focused on projects under his business name Rob’s Reels, shooting for Macalester Athletics and creating content at sporting events such as the Twin Cities Pro-Am, Minnesota Twins games, the Blake School, youth soccer tournaments and one-off projects with professional athletes. Grace is certain that his success is more than just a fluke, however, noting the practice and time that went into his growth. 

“At first, I didn’t really know what I was doing [but] I quickly learned,” Grace said. “I started shooting the fall sports here last year, slowly started getting better and better, [and] more people started to see my work which gave me a little bit of encouragement to keep going and keep creating because it’s truly what I like doing.” 

Most of Grace’s education in videography has been self-taught. Since he started shooting sporting events, he has developed a method that allows him to reach thousands of people, including a video that peaked at over 32 thousand views, and another that was reposted by popular sports media account House of Highlights.

“You kind of pick it up and learn as you go — start to learn better composition, color grading, emotion, different angles,” Grace said. “Different angles show different emotions, different perspectives. If you’re shooting down at someone and they’re up, you get a little hero perspective, like they’re on top of the world. You start to learn more about what works and what doesn’t and what tells a story.”

In this regard, Grace has mastered the art of capturing big moments in sports. He knows where the action will be and how to capture it. Of course, he has an advantage in this realm – his own extensive history in athletics.

“I do sports because I understand it,” Grace said, “I played three sports growing up, my sister also played three sports growing up, so I’ve always been around sports. It’s really easy to capture good moments because I know where [they’re] going to happen, where [they’re] going to be.” 

When it comes to his process, Grace shared that he changes his angle depending on the purpose of his videos. Whether for Macalester Athletics or a personal project, the media he produces, while similar in content, has different goals.

“If I’m shooting for Macalester Athletics, they just want highlights and goals [for] the big moments of the game to post on their Instagram for recaps,” Grace said. “It’s a little bit different if I’m doing a passion sports project. Most of the time, I have a song already in mind, envisioning what I want to put together [and then] I get shots based off the audio in my head.”

This past summer, Grace had the opportunity to shoot at the Twin Cities Pro-Am, a basketball tournament in the Twin Cities that features aspiring players, semi-professional and pro athletes. With Macalester Basketball teammate Badou Ba ’25 competing, and an old friend from his time playing basketball in high school running the event, the tournament created a new opportunity for Grace. Over the course of the tournament, Grace posted 13 videos, which garnered almost 200,000 total views, including his most-viewed video to date.

“I was there filming and shooting and I got to know some of the players and creatives [who were] there,” Grace said. “That was a really great networking opportunity for me and I was also able to get a lot of content. It was really cool to be in that environment.”

The videos he created from the Pro-Am, as well as the other work Grace puts out, have not gone unnoticed, which motivates Grace to continue to create and share content.

“I really like to see other people enjoy what I’m doing,” Grace said. “Of course [I’m] not trying to create to please other people, but when [I] create something that [I] truly enjoy and people love it, that’s where all the satisfaction comes from and that’s where the gratification is. That’s really what motivates me and what drives me to keep creating and keep shooting.”

Looking to the future, Grace hopes to continue this trajectory of content producing and connection making, stressing that all it takes is people seeing his work and wanting more. Shooting at the Pro-Am allowed him to create videos of NBA players like Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones and Memphis Grizzlies forward David Roddy, and he expects to have more chances such as these.

“I’m just seeing where opportunities take me,” Grace said. “I want to apply to a couple internships in pro sports [and] I have a couple of things lined up with NBA players which I’m really excited about.”

Grace encourages others to follow their passions, noting that doing what he loves makes all the negative aspects, such as “filming in the cold,” worth it.

“This is truly what I love doing and this is where my passion is,” Grace said. “I found that just doing what you really love and opportunities are gonna come from that.”

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About the Contributor
Lucy Wing, Features Editor
Lucy Wing ’26 (she/her) is a Media and Culture Studies major from Vashon Island, WA (near Seattle). She contributes the lack of bridges in her adolescence to her interest in pop culture and entertainment media, which bridge people together.

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    KmdDec 11, 2023 at 12:20 am

    Dope article. Appreciate the insight.