Philadelphians’ Opinions on the Keys to a Happy Marriage

I will be conducting one on one interviews with married men and women in Philadelphia, and asking them one consistent question: what do you think the key to a happy marriage is? They will share stories and experiences about their own relationships with their partners, and the general goal of the interviews is to share the advice and lessons that they have learned. The interview participants will be different ages, races, sexualities, etc. and the one thing binding all of the participants together is the loving commitment, and constitution of marriage, that they have in their life. The project is interesting to me because there is currently a trend on social media of people doing a similar style of street interviews with strangers, but I want to put a twist on mine and make it as meaningful as possible. I am pursuing this kind of project because I loved taking film, and although I don’t plan on entering the film industry, I would like one last chance to combine film with interviewing and creativity.

The interviews will be compiled together into three short videos, separated by age group. They will be inspiring, touching, and humorous in their own ways. The participants won’t have any limitations to what their responses can be. They will be asked on the spot, and they will know beforehand that they can be as heartfelt, insincere, descriptive, vague, or sarcastic as they would like to be. They will be providing completely honest answers and the goal is to have such a wide variety of responses that can be applied to many aspects of life, not just love. I also plan to include a picture of the couple together after each participant responds to the question, this will provide viewers a little glimpse into what their relationship looks like, without knowing anything else behind the scenes. The way I want my video to look is similar to this and this .The form of my interviews will be similar because they will focus only on one participant at a time, but I hope to make each one flow a little better and have light background music.

Myself, the participants, and the COM department professors will be the primary audience, and the secondary audience will consist of my classmates, and potentially social media users (which will be decided upon after the project concludes and if and only if the participants are okay with that). This project matters because it will be meaningful and impactful, viewers will be able to learn valuable life lessons from strangers, and each one’s perception varies differently. The responses will be all over the place, but they will be open and have more than one meaning.

I am familiar with film-making equipment and technology from the gear room, thanks to a previous film class I have taken at SJU. During the course I created several different genres of short films, however I have not had the opportunity to make an interview style documentary film before. I will use my interview skills from COM 200 to help me engage with participants and create successful interviews.

I will need to research how content creators have created seamless, interview style series before that flow well and get right to the point. Relevant research content I will use are street interview tips, how to carry out the interviews, tips for how to approach strangers and make them comfortable, the right angles to shoot interviews, and how to get meaningful responses from my participants.

I anticipate having a little bit of a struggle when it comes to finding participants that are willing to be interviewed with their faces shown. I will obviously blur their faces out if they would prefer that. I also think it may be a little hard at first to find a lot of men and women who are willing to participate right off the bat, but once I have a few pre recorded clips to show them as examples, I think it won’t be as hard anymore. The resources I will need will be a tripod, microphone, and camera form the gear room.

I intend to do all of my research and re-familiarize myself with the film equipment, and then begin going out into the city and interviewing people beginning in March. I plan to spend two full Thursday/Friday’s in March interviewing people, and after that I will have a better idea of how many clips are worth keeping. During the first week of April I will spend 1-2 more days in the city getting my final touches. I will dedicate the rest of April to editing the video(s) and tying it all together.