Guest post by Slavik Boyechko

Earlier this year, OSU Ph.D. candidate A.J. Fillo had an idea: he wanted to make an educational video series for kids, teaching them complex scientific concepts in an entertaining way (read: explosions).

A.J. has a tendancy to start conversations with, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” More on that in a moment.

After securing a local video team including Travis Gilmour, Yancy Simon and myself, along with some startup funds from the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, “LIB LAB: Library Laboratory” was born. For the pilot episode, A.J. went to his professors and asked, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could film inside OSU’s propulsion laboratory?”

They agreed, and the first episode on rockets was made entirely on the OSU campus, with only minor burns (read: my eyebrow).

A few episodes later, Aaron broadened his scope… just a little. For an episode about vortices, he asked the OSU drum line if they could perform while hitting vortex smoke rings out of custom made drums.

Photo by Lindy Brown


And then, “Wouldn’t it be cool if the drum line could shoot the smoke rings at Reser Stadium?”

That’s one of the really neat things I’ve learned about OSU recently – the staff and faculty are willing to do whatever it takes to help their students succeed, which means supporting their wild ideas, innovations, and experiments. Even if that means a wacky video series with flying smoke rings, or the documentary work that this department is undertaking around the world.

Photo by Lindy Brown


I went to school here a decade ago, and have been lucky to produce videos around the country for many types of organizations. Sometimes it can be impossible to convince big entities like a university to support any kind of project that seems nonessential, especially if it takes up campus resources.


But the support that we’ve received from all levels of OSU staff and faculty, encouraging creative and innovative thinking in media and video production, has been a breath of fresh air. We can be comfortable starting conversations with, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”

Photo by Lindy Brown


Thanks OSU! We look forward to working with you on the next wild project.

Slavik Boyechko is co-owner of Video Dads and writes about video production tips at

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20 thoughts on “Behind The Scenes: Shooting Smoke Rings at Reser Stadium

  1. Brilliant! Could you experiment it with colorful smoke rings and maybe talk with the local NFL team to have it before the game. It sounds a wonderful idea given that it can raise the atmosphere before matches.

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