Bailey Cossairt, a junior at St. Cloud State University, is making a documentary. If you’ve been around #VikingsTwitter in the past month, chances are you’ve heard about Wide Left: The Movie, his forthcoming film about the Minnesota Vikings and their fans’ journey from the 1998 playoffs until present day. Cossairt has been making gaming documentaries on his YouTube channel for years, racking up hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, millions of views on the most popular videos. I chatted with him over the phone earlier this week to learn more out about his first foray into the world of sports documentaries.
Vikings Territory: First of all, how did you get into video production? Take me through that if you don’t mind.
Bailey Cossairt: I think it was in ninth grade. I started doing Lego stop motion movies, where you animate it picture by picture. So I started doing that kind of thing, and then I moved to doing a lot of videos with NFL 2K5—I don’t know if you’re familiar with that game.
VT: Yeah, I loved it.
BC: Yeah, so it received a lot of fan-made roster updates through the years, so I would download the newer rosters and make videos of, for example, Cam Newton in his rookie season, but we’re playing on this Playstation 2 game.
Eventually—it must have been my senior year of high school—I got really into watching documentaries, particularly ones about gaming. And I realized I was into watching eSports, and maybe I should try doing documentaries about gaming. The first one I made wasn’t really a documentary; it was only seven minutes long. But then I got into make videos that were a half hour long, 45 minutes long, and eSports were really taking off in 2014 and 2015. So I saw some real success with those. My last was in the fall of 2016, and at that point, I kind of lost interest in playing and watching Call of Duty or some other game—I just felt like I outgrew the whole thing. But throughout my entire life, I had been this huge Vikings fan, so in December I decided, you know what, I could probably make a documentary on the Vikings.