In 2001, Carruthers won best film in Canton Elementary School’s second annual film festival with his project titled “Right Now,” a short film that focused on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The 21-year-old said he has always been fascinated with videography and, from what he remembered, entering the competition in elementary school “just sounded like fun.”
The Canton native went on to take film production classes at Creekview High School, but after taking a break from film while attending Young Harris College for two years, he said he missed working with video cameras.
“There’s something about it being really creatively involved that I like,” Carruthers said.
Once he transferred to the University of Georgia, Carruthers decided to pursue a mass media arts degree from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also currently working on obtaining his certificate in music business.
“Music has always been my No. 1 interest,” Carruthers said. “(The Music Business Program) lets me be creative with film and still be around music.”
As a part of his certificate, Carruthers began a project with three other students at the beginning of the fall semester.
The idea for the project came from Athens musician Dodd Ferrelle, who approached Music Business Program Director David Barbe with a song he had written. Ferrelle wanted to transform his song into the next UGA fight song, with proceeds benefitting the Music Business Program, and thought Barbe’s students could make it happen.
With the help of producer Kameon Prather and Athens hip-hop artist Snipa, the song was converted to hip-hop and titled “Go Dawgs.”
Carruthers and fellow music business students Erin Kemp, Stephen Spink and Kahja Washington then set out to make an accompanying music video in early August, with the goal of having their video played at Sanford Stadium during home football games.
Barbe said that having his students tackle the project benefited all parties involved.
“A lot of things you can learn from a book, but you can also learn a lot from actually doing something,” he said. “If we do something that actually generates income, it comes directly back to the program for funding.”
But the lessons did not come so easily.
“One of the main things you learn in every project is (the music business) is a lot harder than it seems,” Barbe said.
Carruthers and his group ran into several challenges throughout the semester, including obtaining the rights to university-owned images and quotes from former announcer Larry Munson and former athletic director and head coach Vince Dooley.
“What we found was that with the athletic department and other big organizations, there are a lot of roadblocks to get them on board,” Carruthers said. “If 93,000 people are going to see our video every week, they want to make sure it’s how they want it.”
He added that after several meetings with the athletic department, they told him he only had about a day to edit the raw footage to create the final product to be played at the home game against the University of Kentucky on Nov. 19.
However, the video did not get the seal of approval in time and was never played this season.
Still, Carruthers has hope for next year.
“What’s good about it not getting played is we have a whole semester to re-shoot,” Carruthers said. “We’ll have time to film the football players and cheerleaders and come back next season with a better version.”
He also thinks the hip-hop song is likely to catch on among Bulldog fans.
“We actually heard that the players and Coach (Mark) Richt heard the song and liked it,” Carruthers said. “It’s pretty catchy.”
For now, Carruthers will continue working in music through his internship with Transmission Merchandise, a music merchandise company. He plans to graduate next December and hopes to combine music and videography in his future career.
For more information about UGA’s Music Business Program, visit www.terry.uga.edu/music
business. Visit www.itunes
.uga.edu to download “Go Dawgs” for 99 cents.