August 20, 2017 marks exactly 5 years to the day since I started working full-time as the first ever video producer at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA (my role has now expanded to video producer & video production manager). When I was hired, it was my responsibility to develop the "F&M style" for video at a time when I was still searching for my own. I moved to Lancaster to start this job and it was, at the time, the biggest chance I ever took.
Although 5 years isn't quite a meteoric achievement for employment, I can safely say this experience and time at F&M (and in Lancaster) has helped me develop my style and voice in filmmaking, and my confidence to a level of impenetrable steel. Confidence is essential in a creative field. You're basically telling people "hey, look at this thing I made because I think it's right and important and worth your time and I know you're going to judge me for it." So I will always look back on my career at F&M as a pivotal time in my life.
So to celebrate this five year journey (and that creative mindset), I wanted to once again risk judgement and pick my personal favorite top 10 F&M videos that I've produced.
My First Ever Video at F&M
For some historical context, here is the first video I ever made at F&M. It was a short highlight video for the annual convocation ceremony. I was still searching for my voice and style. This was from August of 2012.
and now, on with the list...
MY TOP 10 FAVORITE F&M VIDEOS
#10: "i am F&M"
This is the annual video that F&M sends out around the holidays. I was inspired by Pixar's Inside Out when creating this concept. It's basically if F&M was alive and could speak (and acted like 'Joy' from Inside Out). We had a really talented F&M senior do the voiceover. We only did two takes of the whole thing and she nailed it.
#9: Nilaja Sun Gordon Documentary
Nilaja and I clicked immediately. We spoke on the phone for an hour and a half before filming one day and it really helped open her up to me when we filmed together. It was also about 100 degrees that day in New York but we survived. I also loved listening to her describe art, theatre, teaching, and life. This film easily could have been much longer.
#8: Commencement 2015 Highlights
Back when drones were everywhere and rules were nowhere, I got to fly over a huge crowd at commencement.
#7: Convocation Video from 2015
I think this video perfectly captures the mission of F&M.
#6: Glenn Robinson 900th Victory
This was a pretty fun film to make. Glenn is the one of most winningest coaches in Men's NCAA basketball history. After our hour-plus interview Glenn said to me, "That was interesting. I never had an interview like that before."
#5: Richard Camuccio Profile
This profile of F&M student Richard Camuccio won a national award from CASE. Each year CASE has their Circle of Excellence Awards where colleges from all over the country compete for awards in higher education marketing. This won the bronze in "video - student recruitment" among videos from USC, Temple, NYU, etc.
#4: Jin Hwang Student Profile
I got to know Jin so well making this film that we actually became friends (he even came to my wedding). He was also really pumped to have a film made about him, which always makes my job easier. I filmed Jin for something else first and he kept contacting me with questions about filmmaking. I liked his personality so I proposed we make a video about him for prospective students. It ended up winning a CUPRAP award and giving me a good friend.
#3: David Lasky Documentary
I got to travel to Boulder, Colorado to shoot this and it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The day before we filmed this it was negative 10 degrees and snowing. On the two days we filmed it was low 40s and no snow. So it almost didn't happen. David was also one of the most chill guys I've ever met and his story is really cool.
#2: Todd Westphal Documentary
I just made this film but I loved the experience so much. Todd was awesome. A true artist and a fun hippie. I loved his philosophies.
#1: Donnell Butler Documentary
I heard Donnell tell his life story to a group of high school kids in 2013. It was such a powerful story and I remember him really connecting with everyone in that room. There was so much energy. I immediately stored this moment in my notes and knew I would eventually get to it. Two years later, the person we had lined up for an alumni documentary had to back out at the last minute so I called up Donnell. He agreed to share his story with me but admitted that he had a packed schedule with limited time. We ended up meeting at his home in Lancaster at 7am on a Sunday morning. The interview lasted over two hours. This film won the Gold award from CUPRAP at the March 2016 conference.
Well, thanks for reading (or watching). Enjoy some random photos below.