Surprisingly Coming Along

Taylor Swift GIF
Me at the beginning of this project.

At the beginning of this project, I had multiple nervous breakdowns about how I would not be able to finish it and how scheduling interviews with people would be super difficult and how I didn’t know how to use film equipment or how to do anything. Looking at how far I’ve come from sitting in a nervous mess in T’s office, I feel confident in moving forward. I am relieved that this week I am wrapping up all my interviews and then I will be editing and filming additional scenes to break up some of the monotony of looking at faces in the film. 

While I am making good progress, I still have many concerns about my project. A decision I made early on has made the creation of my project site very difficult- I decided that I would draw upon the responses that I got from my interviews in order to build and add resources to my site. However, I feel like there are few opportunities for this and thus I am worried about the future of my project site. I wish I could shake people and make them tell me what I want to hear. But to be honest, I don’t even know what I want to hear. And I want everything to be ~organic~ and ~authentic~. I still have 3 more interviews to conduct so I’m hoping that I’m able to link different topics to the responses I get from those. 

I feel like I probably have more than I think I do in terms of connections to positive practices and mental health. Editing and going back through the footage next week will definitely help me in figuring out my connections. Talking to my mentors in Positive Organizational Scholarship and Wolverine Support Network will also help guide me in my process and steer me in the right direction for research and resources. Part of me wants to turn to them- TELL ME WHAT TO DO. GUIDE ME. TAKE OVER THIS SHIP- but I know I need to steer on my own. 

Going forward, I feel like I’m diving into a second phase of research after my initial phase that shaped my project. This second phase of research will be focused on “how to edit a documentary”, “documentaries for dummies”, “what in the heck do I do in iMovie to make my video do this”. This second wave will also focus on topics that my interviewees have mentioned such as: mindfulness, hygge, and journaling. I feel like I’m learning so much about happiness and I’m also learning about filmmaking floundering in this unfamiliar territory. 

Important research.

I am absolutely terrified that my end product will be boring. I’m so scared that no one will be interested in sitting through my 45 minute – (however long I actually end up making my documentary) minute film. I’m definitely focusing on the content of the interviews rather than the cinematography but that certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t care how the end product looks. 

The task of cutting through 3 hours of 15 interviews is also daunting to me- how will I ever decide what to cut out?? How will I make everything flow together?? What if the audios sound different and what about the coloring changes based on lighting?? 

But at the same time I am so excited. 

I am excited by the responses that my interviewees have given me. 

I am excited by the prospect of sharing people’s stories with others. 

I am excited for people to hopefully learn and gain something from watching my documentary- even if it’s just a smile on their faces.

4 thoughts to “Surprisingly Coming Along”

  1. I love your ~positive~ attitude about this project. On your final three interviews, consider asking questions (on top of your typical interview questions) that are related to answers or themes your other interveiwees have given. That way you might be able to find a thread that links their answers more easily.

    I wish you the best of luck in your documentary research!! Just based on your little fall break video, I have complete confidence that you’ll be able to create a beautiful movie.

  2. It’s obvious you know exactly what it is you need to know to get the result you want! I have complete faith in your ability to create something lovely by the end of the course. Emma’s suggestion to ask more pointed questions during these last few interviews will certainly help more clearly define some threads that exist in the other interviews, but that you may not have picked up on during filming. I’m at a similar point. I know the threads exist, I just need to go back, listen to everything, and figure out the best way to bring it all together.

  3. BIG MOOD. I’m currently boosting a lot of the audio because my headset during the third podcast was beyond meh, but I’m shocked at all the places the conversation went and how much I loved every little bit of it. It makes someone so hesitant to cut anything and loose that “oh that’s REALLY interesting” factor because…all of it is interesting. I think looking into how to shape your narrative is definitely the best way, and that physical, moving outline is your best bet for video I think. Also look into how you can use music and certain color corrections in order to get across a certain mood (hopefully you can find away around the lighting issue…)

  4. Amy,

    Have no fear, I’m sure all of us as a class will be able to help you develop and create a project site that you will be proud of. Just think back to any other time when someone came into class and said, “please help, I am lost.” Every time that has happened, the person walked out of the room with at least 15 new suggestions for questions to ask, places to visit, or books to read. Using your resources will be key…resources being us when it comes to helping you make the decisions that you’re struggling with, your consultants to help you make the connections in your content, and of course the plethora of research that you have already conducted. You got this.


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