Blog Archive Posts

vacilando: when the experience is more important than the destination


It is difficult to be creative under time pressure, but the burden is light when you have a great team! Duke Students of the World (SOW) is nearing the culmination of our first project this semester, and I am so thankful for the safe space we have created to make mistakes and learn together. Less than two weeks ago, we were approached by community organizers from the Youth Division of North Carolina's NAACP to create a nonpartisan video about the importance of the youth vote. The target audience? Voters of "our generation" who are skeptical and apathetic towards the voting process. The distribution? A national conference this Friday celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

Now, well thought-out videos with national reception rarely happen overnight, let alone three weeks. So it has been a whirlwind journey to brainstorm a compelling and realistic treatment, partner with other artists to build a creative team, and shoot/edit around the tight schedules of Duke students. I realize I need to learn how to plan a shoot better BUT IT IS HAPPENING and I am so grateful and amazed at all the people who have generously volunteered their time and skills to bring the vision to life. Drawing inspiration from a spoken-word graffiti video I made awhile back, we partnered with student rapper Edgeri Hudlin and graffiti artist WOEM to create a hybrid "graffiti-meets-rap-meets-spoken-word" video at the bridge underpass near East Campus. Street art, poetry, and documentary are well-suited instigators of real and authentic conversation, so why not mix them up? As you would imagine, the process has been a crazy cool combination of personalities, colors, and connections. I can't wait to share the complete video later this week. Very curious to see what kind of impact it makes!

The Timeline August 29: First meeting with organizers August 31: Team agrees to pursue graffiti-poetry idea Sept 1: Edgeri and WOEM join the team Sept 2-7: Edgeri writes rap/poem; statistics are collected to inform his writing Sept 8: Brainstorm visuals Sept 11: Record rap/poem with Edgeri; finalize visuals; contact student volunteers Sept 12: Production Day 1 Sept 13: Production Day 2 Sept 14-19: Edit video and invite feedback Sept 20: Presentation at voting rights conference

Behind the Scenes

Project [1]ntro

2015-05-29_matt-kirk_0135_small-e1434273071140.jpg ...aaand we are officially done with Project #1: Create legendary introduction videos for the new summer interns and staff at 2100! I hope you enjoy our portraits as they roll out on our Facebook page. I had a blast getting to know my colleagues better through this exercise, not to mention the Sony PMW-EX1, audio mixing in Premiere Pro, and the joys of mixed lighting (not). As always, "learning by doing" is the best acceleration for my learning curve. I already feel my eyes sharpening to the nuances of different light, and I am critically learning to TRUST during collaborative production. Given the independent nature of freelancing, I am accustomed to making decisions alone with a client. This project took me outside my comfort zone by inviting me to share directorship with others. We divided up "directing/editing" and "camera/audio" responsibilities among ourselves for half the videos, and I had to (-gulp-) trust another intern to oversee the A- and B-roll for my intro video. (Editing my own video was another beast of a crash-course in core ideas and forced prioritization.) Altogether, there were many healthy and necessary lessons in letting go... and I'm very glad I did! After all, artists have worked in teams for centuries. We were created to create in community, so I am excited to embrace this collaboration in my craft. Intern Video - Ika shoot