MICHAEL KAUFMAN: How has this class had an influence on your work and on the community?
ANGEL DELICH: This class has had an impact on the way that I approach videos a lot. Instead of just taking it from the story perspective, I’m working with cameras and different equipment and just a variety of ways to edit, which I never really did before. It was just very straight, straight cuts on the video, and now I’m starting to get more creative and look at it more from an artistic standpoint.
So Angel, you had video experience before and you’re still continuing that. What is your video experience currently?
AD: My video experience other than this class is Bath City Beat for the Macomb Cable Network.
What have you learned working there? And how has working here and there helped both things?
AD: Working there taught me the basics. And I feel like this class is just expanding on it. There I learned just the bones of a story and how to interview people and how to talk to people and get them to talk to you when they’re on camera.
MFG (Manufacturing) Day was one of your first out-of-school assignments. What was that like as a school piece for you?
AD: It was really interesting. I really liked being there and it was a story that definitely interested me and I agree with a lot of the concepts of MFG day. It was interesting to hear the people talk about stuff and just being in that environment with all the machinery and everything was really exciting.
Lauren, what about you with MFG Day? This is your second year in the class. How have your videos changed between the first and second year, and was this your first opportunity to video something outside of class that had a greater impact?
LAUREN BAYLESS: From my first year to my second year my videos have definitely gotten more personal, and they definitely have more of my style in them because I had more ability to make videos that I’m extremely passionate about. You can definitely tell that I’ve learned to get better shots that aren’t, like Angel said, just straightforward shots, and more in-depth video making from my first to my second year. That’s definitely the biggest change.
How did Manufacturing Day kickstart your year?
LB: It definitely kick-started my year because it was a big project. It was a lot to take on and getting so much footage and having to condense it all down and make something that I was actually proud of, and working with other people to get something that I’m super proud of, was very inspiring. It gave me a lot of inspiration for the rest of the year to continue to do more things with the community.
How do you think your work on the MFG video will impact the community?
AD: I’d hope that more people would just learn about Manufacturing Day and manufacturing careers and look at it differently than they might have, and with the video getting out there, maybe even start to look at the Pankow Center. Because I feel like, the Pankow Center and MFG Day have a lot in common. [They both feature] careers outside of traditional university, ways to make money or go into a skilled trade or just careers in general. I feel like most people in high school don’t really think so much about careers, it’s just high school and then university and then career. But you can start thinking about careers from high school.
LB: Exactly. I thought our MFG Day video put manufacturing in a very positive light, and maybe if someone didn’t know anything about manufacturing at all, they now have a better idea of what it is. And then like Angel said, could maybe think about going that route in their life.
So you won. So Mark Hackel comes in and there’s a bunch of people and they’re shaking your hands and giving you checks. Tell me about that experience.
LB: It’s kind of surreal. In this class we make a lot of videos and sometimes they don’t go anywhere. And this one, we entered it into a contest and we worked really hard on it so when our hard work paid off, it was really rewarding.
AD: It was really cool to see a lot of people here looking at our video, impressed with all of our work and just for them to see and know how much work we put into it… and it was important people, so you know, it was kind of a big deal.
So you’re both high school students. Do you feel like you’re working in a professional environment or do you feel like you’re working in a high school?
AD: I feel like it’s a combination of both. It’s professional but also it’s still kind of a high school environment. You get grades and you’re around your friends and everything. It’s a nice combination of both, I think.
LB: I think it’s definitely more professional because honestly, I don’t know anyone my age that can do the things I do, and this class has especially made me more open to social networking, which is a big part of the professional world. So it kind of throws you in the water to the transition from high school to professional while you’re still in high school. So you’re already one step ahead.
Lauren, you did the rough cut on the MFG Day video. You had to take hours of footage and chunk it down and then sit through a brutal critique. That’s a tough session. Describe the process and your feelings.
LB: When you first sit down and look at all that footage it’s kind of daunting because you have to go through each person’s shots and pick the ones that stand out the most and will make an interesting video. And then you kind of have a baseline for the video and that would be your rough cut. And then when people look at it, of course you want constructive criticism because you want your video to get better, but also it’s kind of hard to hear some people say, ‘maybe that wasn’t the best choice.’ But overall it helps the process, and I definitely don’t think, without the criticism and the commentary on my video, that we would have gotten the final product that won.
That’s really hard. I think that’s really important, being able to take constructive criticism, because some people can’t. We were pretty brutal as a group on your first cut, and I know how much work went into it. How many hours of raw footage do you think there were?
LB: The day we were there, we were probably there for what, five hours? The whole time we were filming, and so it was a whole lot of footage that I had to look through. But I think that you can’t go farther without editing all the stuff out, and although that might be the most boring part of the video process, it’s definitely mandatory and it needs to be done to get the constructive ideas going.
We had three cameras. One was a drone. About eight to ten hours of raw footage (…) and probably half an hour’s worth of video sound bites? So you had about half an hour of audio, people talking to you, and then you had another six hours, being conservative, of actual video product, and you had to whittle that down to what?
LB: Three minutes.
That’s a ginormous task. How did you tackle that? Did you get some help, did you have other people look at it? I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to take eight and a half hours and knock it down to three minutes, and have a bunch of people look at it and tear you up.
LB: I was working on it for a week straight, and then I came some days after school to work on it. That’s how much footage I had to go through, but then I also had Angel look at a couple clips, I said to pick out clips that you definitely think should be included. And then I had Jack [Braithwaite] say, what do you remember of good sound bites that you got, give me your input. And then of course Jacob [Ashba] helped with the final edit a lot. So all four of us played a major part in getting this video to be what it was.
How has this class taught you how to be more collaborative as a person?
AD: It taught me the benefits of working on a team. I’d never really worked on a team project like that for video before, and it was really beneficial and it was really fun to me to be able to get everybody’s ideas in there, and I think it turned out to be a fantastic video with everybody collaborating in it. It was definitely one of my favorite projects.
LB: One of my favorite things is just working with people and getting their ideas and bouncing ideas off each other to come up with something that’s kind of like the brainchild of the two ideas and get something that each person is proud of, and you might not thought to put in the video, but that person did and it made it that much better. And so you have this wonderful combination of everyone that’s in your group’s video.
Anything you want to add?
AD: It was just really interesting to work with the community and it was just cool to do something and get it out there. For Bath City Beat, my stuff gets out there but I don’t often have people be like, ‘yeah! Your video! That was great!’ other than the people I specifically work with. But to see people like Mark Hackel come and give us the gift cards and say that it was a good video was really cool.
LB: I can’t recommend this class enough. It’s done so much for me in my personal life and in my career. I got a job from this class, basically. It just has given me so much that I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t taken this class. And it’s definitely helped with my career and my future.
Lauren Bayless is a senior at L’Anse Creuse High School - North in Macomb Township. Angel Delich is a junior attending the Frederick V. Pankow Center in Clinton Township.