Picking another topic

One of the most difficult things I am learning about video is how to decide what to record. For my last assignment in this class I have to create an eight to ten minute documentary. Editing will be complicated, but ultimately a breeze. Uploading is no longer an issue. So, the problem I am having is figuring out what in the world I am trying to say with this documentary.
I started out with a lot of different possible topics. Everything from documenting animals at the zoo to documenting my church’s mission trip to Boston over spring break. None of the options I had, however, seemed like viable options. Finding the time to record over spring break, I found out very quickly, was impossible and the zoo idea was already taken. So, what’s left?
My next grand idea was to talk to the local Christian radio station here in Columbia, WMHK, about how Christian media is evolving and changing. Even that idea seemed too broad. I had to think about, in that topic, what really interested me. What do I really love, other than the obvious, about Christian media? Then as I was driving home, with my MP3 player on shuffle, it occurred to me that the one thing i truly adore in the world of Christian media is the music, specifically Christian rock music. I thought about how my musical tastes have changed over the years and about all my favorite bands now. Which led me to thinking about how that plays out in my generation’s “extreme” faith and the movement towards Christianity.
Then after talking to my professor, the idea occurred to me about how this movement in Christian rock, over the last 20 years of so, has shown up in contemporary church services. My own church, for instance, on a regular basis takes traditional hymns and rocks them out, so to speak. So, with this new and interesting topic set, I have an interview set up with the morning personality on WMHK, Steve Sunshine. I hope to talk to him about how he got into Christian radio, what he thinks of the Christian rock movement and how its showing up in churches, and even where he sees Christian music headed in the future.
I hope to include some of his answers in final documentary, but I also want to talk to the pastor of a church that is utilizing this Christian rock movement in its services. I would also like to speak to that church’s music director and possibly some members of its band. I have also been tossing around the idea of speaking to some young Christians about my topic. I want to see if the music is having an effect on their faith and their decisions about going to church. I know for me, i never feel closer to God than when I can sing out loud to really loud music, surround by a crowd of believers doing the same.

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Video 3…my interview with Steve Sunshine.


This video is a short preview of my longer documentary.

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Video 2…Go to College

My second video this semester has been full of problems and roadblocks. I am entering the video in contest called College Access, sponsored by collegeaccesschallenge.org. Entries are supposed to convince people to go to college.

Problem No. 1 was trying to decide exactly how to get that point across. I looked at music videos, top YouTube videos, everything to try and come up with an idea that would be both humorous and appealing to my audience. I also talked to some friends of mine to see what they were watching on the Internet and which videos they found funny. What I eventually came up with was…puppets! The same videos kept coming up in these conversations: Harry Potter Puppet Pals (www.potterpuppetpals.com) and the Fandango commercials (www.fandango.com).

So, I decided to go with puppets. What seemed like a random decision, really saved me a lot of grief. Using puppets meant that I didn’t have to go searching for people to act in my video. Besides puppets are funny, no matter what situation you put them in.

Problem No. 2 was what kind of puppets to use and how to make them. Harry Potter Puppet Pals uses cloth puppets; Fandango uses brown paper bags; and there is always the ever popular sock puppet. None of these options, however, seemed appealing or feasible to me. So, I was off to the craft store.

The script came easily to me, so I had everything in mind for what I needed to buy, as far as props goes, but I still had to figure out how I was going to make the puppets. I searched from aisle to aisle, randomly throwing things into my shopping cart, when at the end of aisle seven I ran into a wall full of Styrofoam balls. That was it! My puppets were going to be 3-D versions of stick figures. The next night was spent making puppets, puppet clothes, and puppet props.

Then came the time to film and problem No. 3. My original puppeteer ran into scheduling issues, so I was stuck with six puppets and 12 un-shot scenes. It is at this point that I became desperate. I grabbed my little brother and dragged him and my puppets into the back yard, found the lighting I wanted, and positioned him on a couch cushion in what, half-way through filming, became a mud puddle. Needless to say, he was paid very well for his time.

The filming is done. I made it through with only a few cuts and bruises. The editing rand so smoothly that I still cannot believe it; the product, I am sure, of a well thought out storyboard. The lesson in all of this seems to be to plan ahead and plan for a plan B.

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Introducing Me…

This video is not only a representation of who I am, but my introduction into video. This video took a lot of time and effort, not only to put it together, but to find out exactly what makes me who I am. Enjoy.

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