It started as a show of support for the Saint Mary’s Gaels and became the unofficial anthem for the school and the basketball team. Now, almost a year after its debut on YouTube, the celebrated “Gaels Gone Wild” video has been viewed by over 175,000 online visitors.
“I’m surprised,” said co-director and 2010 graduate Devon Perez ’08, “because Saint Mary’s is such a small school.” But he and brother, Hart, started hearing the buzz just hours after the rap video was posted.
“The next day we went into the city and ran into some Saint Mary’s graduates at a club. I didn’t know these students,” said Devon, “and they were bringing it up.”
The spark that fueled the creative effort was the Gaels’ Cinderella run all the way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA playoffs in 2010.
“We wanted to do something fun to celebrate basketball,” said Hart, who graduated from SMC in 2008 with a degree in communication and a minor in philosophy. “We didn’t really have any guidelines, just that it would be family-friendly and something everybody could get behind.”
Little did they know that the video would promote not only Saint Mary’s, but the brothers’ own business venture, as well. “It was a nice piece to help establish us as creative minds – as film makers,” Hart said. “Before then, a lot of people saw us as technicians, not artists.”
Both Devon and Hart credit their communication professors and Gael Vision for much of their success.
“I learned so much from professor Dan Leopard,” Hart said. “He was my mentor and because of him I went on to San Francisco State and just completed my masters in film study.” Devon credits professor Ed Tywoniak for showing him the importance of technology.
All in all, Saint Mary’s College offered the Perez brothers the opportunity to think big. “In the grand scheme of everything, it’s such a rounded education, it really helped us think out of the box and think for ourselves,” Devon said.