Computer graphics student gains golden experience with commercial

It could be Tré Bennett’s big break. More than 3 million people were watching the NBC broadcast of Purdue’s football game against Notre Dame Sept. 13, when the Purdue University commercial that Bennett worked on aired.

“Pure Gold,” a 30-second spot that premiered during the game, was produced by Purdue Marketing and Media where Bennett is a video intern. The commercial, with a voice-over by former Purdue basketball standout Robbie Hummel, relies heavily on Bennett’s talents in motion graphics.

“We like to provide our interns with professional experience and a sample piece they can use in their portfolio,” said Pam Longazo Anderson, assistant director for broadcast media for Purdue’s Office of Marketing and Media. “Tré’s work is at a level of professionalism that I felt, with direction and working with our video team, we could get the job done.”

To create all of the effects, Bennett used Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects and two plug-ins: Element 3D and Trapcode Particular. As a sophomore in the computer graphics technology program, Bennett hasn’t had much classroom exposure to these software packages yet. Even though he has been actively producing motion graphics for a few years, he is looking forward to his major classes that focus on similar techniques.

“The classes at Purdue can help with fine-tuning and coding. And I’ll be able to work with more 3D interaction, such as modeling a person and then animating them,” Bennett said. “I really like the way our labs work. They highlight the way I learn best. Once I learn the step-by-step process, I can apply it to other projects to make them more successful.”

Bennett’s interest in behind-the-scenes production doesn’t stop with motion graphics. He and two friends started a production company in January 2014 to help create independent films. He served as executive producer and assistant director for a film shot in Indianapolis during the summer, and he continues to assist with video production at Purdue. He is focused on becoming a motion graphic designer for a marketing firm.

“My dream job is to be a director,” he said.

His next chance to network with video professionals on his career path is Homecoming Weekend at Purdue. He’ll assist a video crew as personal assistant and grip as they work on the next commercial for the University.

“Tré challenges himself to find solid and creative solutions,” Anderson said. “In the real-world, deadlines are critical; they can make or break your reputation. He understands the importance of deadlines. We’re lucky to have him work for us.”

See more of Bennett’s portfolio (including the current Purdue Mortar Board cover) on his web site.

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