On Tuesday evening, our team ditched our regularly scheduled Zoom meeting and took a crash course in all things digital. The group gathered in the media lab to assess our equipment and reviewed essential shooting techniques. 

Professor Guarneri focused on the exposure triangle, white balance, and aperture while providing examples of approaching a variety of production hurdles. The class split up halfway through to put our lesson to the test as we composed mock interviews and captured shots of food courtesy of Kessel dining hall. 

The film squads utilized Professor Guarneri’s lecture and added our own flair as we harnessed the ability to perfect the lighting, camera exposure, and audio. Our documentary team is packed with talent in all different fields ranging from producing and writing, to social media exposure. 

Working within our breakout groups allowed each team member to grow comfortable with our equipment. 

Dara Potts, a first-year graduate student and head of the Facebook division of the social media team, was pleasantly surprised at how much she enjoyed executing Guarneri’s teachings, having not yet worked in the production lab. 

“Professor Lou did a great job explaining the basics and provided lots of resources for us so I can prepare more before we go to France and everyone in class was so kind, patient, and helpful!”, Potts said. “We all have different skills that we can bring to the table…we have a great team!”

Our in-person meeting also allowed the team to get together and communicate how to make a smooth transition into the production phase in France. 

“…the language barrier may be the biggest challenge we face…it could prove to be difficult to film those special sound bite moments if we are unaware of what they are saying”, Brittany Walkingstick commented. Walkingstick is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Communications and Digital Media. 

Along with Walkingstick, many students are channeling in on their prior experiences in foreign language classes and downloading apps like Duolingo. With every obstacle the team may face, each student is confident to roll with the punches.

Wesley Brown, a junior Digital Cinema and Filmmaking major, put it perfectly, stating “… there is definitely some logistical challenges that demand incredible foresight from our team to solve by the time we’re in France…[but] I’m confident in our team and really excited to hit the ground running in because once we’re there, there’s going to be creative opportunity everywhere.”

The team left our lecture feeling energized and excited to get to work.