There is an African proverb that says, "If you want to run fast, run alone; if you want to run far, run together." Despite what others may think, journalism is not all about sitting alone, typing out stories by the light of the computer monitor. In fact, it can be easier to cover large events if done in teams. However, what if the goal is to create a video piece and there is only one video camera?
That was the challenge for the upcoming piece on Marissa Lovell's speech for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Marissa is the daughter of Marquette University's president-elect Michael Lovell. She spoke for nearly an hour about her own struggle with anorexia nervosa and resources for people suffering from eating disorders. Afterwards, there was a panel discussion with Marissa's mother and two eating disorder experts, who answered audience questions.
The event was covered with the help of Maredithe Meyer. During Marissa's speech, I filmed. Moving around helped capture a number of shots from different angles, including Marissa speaking, her presentation slides and the audience. Maredithe sat in the front row, capturing audio and taking notes. Together, we asked for audience reactions, along with interviewing Marissa and her mother.
Maredithe and I alternated filming and asking questions to get audience insights. It almost became a competition. After one of us would get someone to answer questions on camera, we joked, "Alright, your turn" to get someone to agree to be interviewed. Maredithe was much more successful at this than me. It is becoming increasingly clear with each video project that people are nervous about being on camera. However, a reassuring smile that we are not working for TMZ or doing "gotcha journalism" seems to help.
It was a challenge to work together with one camera, when there was a lot of B-roll happening all at once. Between people discussing the topic after the event to Marissa hugging her family, it was difficult not to stress out about capturing everything. In my content paralysis, Maredithe grabbed the camera and captured some great B-roll of Marissa speaking with students and talking with her family. This will help show the personal side of Marissa sharing her story.
Before the event, I sent out this tweet as a joke, but found it to be true:
It was awesome working with such a driven and insightful partner. For a project that required the camera to be everywhere at once, Maredithe was an excellent resource in finding good shots and getting people to talk on camera. We were able to capture a lot of footage, which will make editing easier since there will be no shortage in content. Look for the video in the coming days.
Click here to read Maredithe's take on the event.
A chance to see the world from the perspective of a 6-foot-2, aspiring human rights journalist. Will include lessons learned and reflections.