Performing Arts at Saint Joe’s: Behind the Curtain
My senior capstone will be series of three videos, recorded and produced to promote different clubs and organizations and Saint Joseph’s University.
This will be a video series focusing on all areas of the performing arts at Saint Joseph’s University. Ever since I was in high school, performing has played a huge role in my life. Whether it was performing in the annual musical, singing in a choir or even directing one act plays, I put a lot of work into the arts program in high school. I continued here at Saint Joe’s, joining the student-run theater company Followed by a Bear (now re-branded as Stage Flight) my freshman year and joining 54th and City, the male-presenting acapella group on campus my Sophomore year. Currently, I am the Vice President of Stage Flight, as well as the PR Chair for 54th and City.
I was fortunate enough to go to a high school that invested in performing arts specifically, at least more than what normally is invested. At Saint Joe’s, I found plenty of talented groups and people in the realm of performing arts, but the campus as a whole did not seem invested in it. There are several groups on campus who work hard all semester to put on amazing concerts, plays and recitals, but it’s not something that is focused on for the university. I want these videos to explore what Saint Joseph’s has to offer as far as the variety of performing arts groups. I would also want to highlight the level of talent shown throughout campus, for those who may not have been interested previously. Ideally, this could be taken and used by the university to promote their performing arts in some capacity
In the last couple of years, I’ve realized that I’ve wanted to work for a cause. I want to work on something that I am truly passionate about. With this project, I will be promoting one of my passions, using my skill that I’ve learned as a Communications Studies major. I also think this project will apply different skills that I will want to show off to employers such as camerawork, live audio as well as editing in the Adobe Creative Cloud.
The form of this project will be a promotional video series. There will be three episodes of around 10 minutes each. I would want this to be available publicly, ideally both on Youtube and on Saint Joe’s sponsored website. This way I’d be able to reach anyone who is interested in the topic beyond just a smaller community. I want the audience to be able to be educated and learn from my videos about the different programs. I want them to be excited about what SJU has to offer in terms of performing arts.
Hamilton: Behind the Scenes– This is obviously more large scale than anything I will be doing, but the style is very similar to what I want. It is a behind the scenes look of the process leading up to a performance. You get to know the people behind it and the excitement that surrounds a performance a large performance. Mine would have even more focus on the process and tell more of a story, but this is a good example of how I would want to film and edit my footage.
Billie Eilish Concert BTS– Again this is more large scale, but I think this shows more of the process of what’s going to happen during the performance. It gives background information and gives sort of a story, along with the performance itself. It has “characters” that we get to meet in the video and drive it all forward. We don’t have the star power that Billie Eilish obviously has, so I would need to work to develop some characterization for the character of each episode.
Technology and Materials:
The primary tech I will be using is either DSLR camera from the gear room or a camera from the film department if I would have access to it. Though I will be using handheld for a good amount of the shots, I would need to setup a tripod, especially when doing interviews. As far as audio equipment, I want to use lav mics for interviews, shotgun mics for other shots, and audio recorders for each of them. I would of course use SD cards to save the footage and a hard drive to back it all up. As far as software, I’ve been using Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition, which I already have access to. The platform I will be using to post these will be on Youtube.
Audience and Impact:
The primary audience will be prospective students of Saint Joe’s (or freshmen just starting out) who are interested in joining something performing arts related. Ideally this is to show off that though Saint Joe’s may not be known for their performing arts program, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with some very talented and committed musicians, actors and more. The secondary audience would be for people who may not be interested in joining a group, but are interested in the arts as a whole and maybe attending these events. For this audience, it’s more about giving an appreciation for performing arts and have more of a widespread and diverse crowds for the concerts and shows put on throughout the semester.
While not an exact replica of what I am planning on doing I recorded and edited a mini observational documentary for Digital Filmmaking. It required me to be silent observer and just let the story play out in front of me. This was the first one I had done for the class, so I was still figuring out lighting and focus, but it was something that I worked as the class went on. I also edited it using Premiere Pro.
Working with the Beautiful Research Collaborative and the Free Mind Entrepreneur Network, we combined both visual and audio to create the Free Mind Podcast. We used a DSLR camera as well as two lav mics for the two people on the show. In post-production, we matched up the audio and video using Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition.
This project would obviously show the technical abilities to work with both cameras and audio equipment, as well as using the software. I have learned some of these skills in the core COM classes such as Digital Field Methods and Visual Rhetoric, as well as from elective classes such as Podcasting and Digital Filmmaking. This includes different strategies of filming such as the rule of thirds, among others. Through Non-Profit Communications, I worked with a non-profit as a part of the Beautiful Research Collaborative. In this class, Aimee Knight taught different ways to work with a partner. This included the use of co-creation and design justice. This can be applied in my project if I am able to work with someone from Saint Joe’s and have them use it for promotion of the university.
Most of the research I will be doing is looking at an organizations schedule of events and finding times to film and interview. I will need to make sure the schedule is aligned with mine so I have enough footage for each part of the series. I will also need to research what it takes to have my content used for a client. I will need to be able to jump through the right hoops so my work can be shown and reach its intended audience. I may also look to get some background on each organization I’m focusing on. I think it will be interesting to include when each organization was founded and how it has changed and developed over time.
Obstacles and Resources:
There will be certain organization that will be harder to reach then others. For example, the SJU Theater Company is more formal and harder to get into then other smaller organizations on campus. It is also a program that I am not in. This may require some negotiation with what I will be able to record before and during different performances. I may also run into scheduling conflicts with different organizations rehearsing or performing at the same time.
Some resources I plan on using is the gear room, potentially using it for cameras and audio equipment. I will likely be in Bronstein Hall a lot for this project. I also could potentially go to the film department if I am able to have a film camera built for more professional projects.
Here is the timeline which I will adhere to for the rest of the semester:
Week 3-4: Reach out and confirm with each different organization I plan on highlighting. Also reach out to head of student leadership and activities for collaboration. Pre-production and planning.
Week 4-12: record and edit for Stage Flight Episode. Compile footage and find ones that work best. It will not be over until Night of Scenes
Week 5-14: record and edit for Acapella episode. Compile footage and find ones that work best. It will not be over until concert at end of the semester
Week 5-14: record and edit for remaining episode (To be determined).
Week 14-16: Put finishing touches on editing, get it posted.