It began as a simple idea. An idea described by Oakdale High School Class of 2013 alum Eriksen Dickens as a “hype video” highlighting Oakdale Mustangs Football and the community of Oakdale.
“As we started filming more,” Eriksen said of the five-week project taken on with younger brother Soren, “we realized how special this could be because of the tradition at this school, the community support and the whole ‘Friday Night Lights’ atmosphere.”
The Dickens brothers currently attend college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Eriksen, a philosophy major, is in his fourth year of attendance. Soren is a second year business major with a concentration in marketing. Together they are the founders of “Platinum Peek Productions,” the company responsible for the short film O.K.G. – Oakdale Kinda Guy.
It’s a film which does more than highlight a football team and its coaches, but shows viewers the community of Oakdale, as well as a belief system. To date the short has over 10,300 views since its late September release.
“We decided to make the video into a mini documentary in order to fully do the town and the program the justice it deserves,” Eriksen said. “We started in early August and for about five weeks straight attended morning workouts, practices, games and also followed the players around school as well as organized interviews.”
Neither of the young men are past Oakdale football players. They are, however, former Oakdale athletes making names for themselves respectively in baseball and swimming.
“I got to know the football program well, along with Coach Merzon because I played baseball and the baseball team was required to attend morning workouts every day with the football team,” Eriksen shared. “All of my best friends played football as well, so in a way, I felt a part of the football culture without directly being on the team.”
According to the brothers Coach Merzon was the only person they approached with the idea and he was on board. Merzon came up with the “OKG” (Oakdale Kinda Guy) concept and gave the duo free rein for the production.
Oakdale Joint Unified School District Superintendent Marc Malone was also on board with the idea.
“The Dickens boys are to be commended for capturing the essence of being an OKG,” Malone said. “Our community as a whole is a community that possesses a strong work ethic. Oakdale people work hard at their job and in turn work hard in their many endeavors to support our community.”
Mustang football and filling the Corral is an age old Friday night tradition shared by multiple generations in Oakdale. It is a gathering of community, a sense of pride and scene which could rival any Hollywood production. Quite simply for many, it’s about more than football.
“We really wanted to show how the community as a whole plays such a big role in the success of the Oakdale High sports,” Eriksen said. “That sense of family, unity and togetherness is the main theme we wanted to portray and how with these things it becomes easier to embrace adversity.
“Because that’s what a Mustang is,” he continued, “someone who accepts the challenges and does so without any fear or hesitation. I think there’s something beautiful in the small town culture Oakdale embodies; it’s rare these days to encounter a town like it. It produces a certain sense of pride just being part of it.”
“I thought the video did a great job of not just giving people a glimpse into our football program but a glimpse into our community as a whole,” OHS Head Football Coach Trent Merzon stated. “We are far from perfect and occasionally we may even stumble or fall, but we believe in the process and we know that no matter what people are counting on us to ‘get up’ – no matter what. There are no scoreboards that can truly define an OKG; but everybody can surely recognize one when they see him or her.”
As the views grow and the brothers continue to work on another collaboration one can’t help but raise the question: what are a philosophy and business major doing making films?
“It started as a hobby but it’s blossoming to something more,” the eldest brother said. “The key is just getting out there and get the shots. Most likely, this will be what we pursue post college.”
The brother team is currently working on a video piece for their website www.platinumpeek.com showcasing who they are and what they do. Their next production, however, is one near and dear to their hearts, as well as Oakdale history.
In June of this year, they began working on a full-length documentary highlighting the history of the Oakdale Colts travel baseball team.
“My dad coached this travel baseball team until he passed away in 2009,” Eriksen said of his father, well known baseball coach and community member Mark Dickens. “The documentary will include his influence on us growing up from Oakdale Colts to Oakdale Mustangs. My dad’s main goal of starting this Oakdale Colts team was to develop us into players ready to compete as Mustangs under Coach Hondo Arpoika, so the documentary will follow how this vision played out.”
Release of the documentary is slated for December of this year. Their current short OKG can be found on Youtube.
“As of now, our main passion I would say is story telling in our videos,” Eriksen concluded. “Documentary style films allow us to embrace our creativity to be used as a tool to develop stories people can relate to. That’s our goal as a company.”