If there has been one takeaway over the past months creating a profile on Jeremy Ault, it is this: He is very busy. From working as the director of international fundraising for Diaconia to raising a new baby to playing weekends in a band, Ault does not stay in one spot for long. Which is why setting a time to do a sit-down video interview with him was pivotal for the project.
A 45-minute bus ride took me to his office, located inside Plymouth Church United Church of Christ. Arriving early was an opportunity to shoot some b-roll outside the office. Camera turned on, tripod steadied, the first shot was perfect, until I pushed record. The screen revealed a haunting truth: "No memory card."
Problems with technology haunted me earlier this year. Again, I failed to check my equipment before leaving. Memory cards were usually included in the past and I was rushing to catch a bus, so I had not double-checked.
The entire project, profiling an alumni of Marquette University's Trinity Fellowship Program, hinged on the video component. This was a chance for audiences to hear directly from Ault about his mission and his family.
Without a memory card, there was no other option other than to improvise. My experience using my iPhone 6 was limited but it was the best, and only, tool available. There is a joy in reporting that my battery did not die, either.
The mission of the piece remained the same: Convey the tension and uncertainty of Ault's work and allow him to speak about his mission. Instead of setting up a camera and tripod, then walking away, I braced my iPhone on the tripod with one arm and sat to the side so that he was not looking directly at the camera. Again, thankful that the phone battery survived a 25-minute interview.
All the footage in this video, apart from a church visit earlier this year, was done on the iPhone. It came with much anxiety but the experience proved invaluable: The story will not stop and wait for you, sometimes you just have to make due.
A chance to see the world from the perspective of a 6-foot-2, aspiring human rights journalist. Will include lessons learned and reflections.