Kristen Hartlieb became the star of my first video the second she turned the corner toward the Alumni Memorial Union at 6:37 a.m., suitcase in tow. The sophomore student in the Marquette University College of Education had no idea what she was in for when she agreed to be the muse of an amateur filmmaker throughout her trip to the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice in Washington, D.C., but it turned out to be a growing experience all. A iPhone camera was pointed on Kristen or her surroundings from the moment she joined the group in the morning to the moment the plane took off. My goal was to create a video, using only my iPhone to film and Adobe Premiere Pro to edit, that would seem like Kristen was organically telling her own story of attending the teach-in without me being involved.
The process of working toward that goal ironically resulted in me being heavily involved in the storytelling process and also heavily in Kristen's face. I learned two important takeaways for future filming attempts:
Make better use of the double-barreled questions. I struggled asking questions in a strategic and open way that would encourage Kristen to freely share her thoughts, insight and context to create the full story with a nut graph. This is an area of interviewing that can always be improved upon, and similar to audio stories, it is extremely noticeable and much more difficult in video to have interrupted answers from the subject. I'm so thankful that Kristen was patient with me needing to rephrase questions so the answers would flow.
Shoot more footage than you think you'll need. Speaking of Kristen being patient, she never complained about me filming basically her every move. Her biggest form of rebellion was the occasional silly face in the camera, yet in the editing process I still wished I had more footage to work with. I've heard this before, and I told myself so many times throughout the weekend: film more than you think you'll need. I had plenty of footage to work with, but this process really drove the point home that you can never really have too much.
Editing in Premiere was more time-consuming than anticipated, but overall pretty intuitive and fun. I have a lot of room for improvement in my video making skills, but I'm happy with how my first attempt went. I hope you enjoy it, learn a thing or two about how awesome the teach-in was and think Kristen is as adorable as I do.
I am a senior studying journalism and international affairs at Marquette University. I am a Milwaukee-dweller and a storyteller passionate about exploring the intersection between community-building and communication. I'd love for you to learn alongside me!