The trip to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games is right around the corner, and I haven’t been this excited about something in a very long time. As a college student trying to immerse myself in the filmmaking industry, I don’t think that I could ask for a better opportunity. Not many other people can say that they have flown to a foreign Olympic Games host city to shoot and edit video with fellow classmates and friends. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I plan on taking advantage of every single second.
There are countless reasons to be excited about this trip, but one of the things that I’m most excited about is the collaboration with my classmates and professors. For the majority of my personal projects, I’ve been a “one-man-band” and have had to do everything completely on my own. This can have its benefits, but filmmaking is truly a collaborative effort. I feel that I can put out my best work when I have a group of extremely qualified and supportive people around me that can all contribute to the final result.
Even though I love filmmaking, there are certain aspects of it that I don’t necessarily enjoy. One is planning. It can be very tedious and stressful to go through the process of contacting people, setting up interviews, and scheduling shoots. I’m a visual guy, so what I’m most interested in is thinking of better ways to tell stories visually — getting out there with my camera, shooting, and then editing the final piece. This past semester was my first time working in a media production team, which allowed me to do just that. The producers for my group — the Quarteto Fantástico — are Abby Tolar and DeVin Taylor. They are in charge of scheduling shoots with our “talent” (who ranged from a Brazilian musician to a U.S. Olympic swimming coach), and creative director Caroline Henry is in charge of crafting and writing the direction of our stories. My time and energy can be focused on visual aspects. I no longer have to be stressed out about the scheduling/pre-production, and I don’t need to focus on the textual component of the story. Being a part of this group dynamic, where each member is working on what they are really good at and enjoy, allows for a joyful kind of ensemble experience — as well as a higher quality final result. This made me realize a lot about myself in terms of where I want my career path to go, and parts of the industry that I may try to avoid.
Working with a group of highly talented and driven young students, combined with the cultural explosion and atmosphere of the Olympic Games, will provide limitless possibilities. I can’t wait to see what my colleagues and I produce during this opportunity!
Photo: Students Austin Huddy (left) and Caroline Henry of the Quarteto Fantástico production team.