According to the Faith Justice Institute’s website, “The Faith-Justice Institute explores contemporary issues of faith and justice through academic courses, public forums and experiential field seminars. These initiatives seek to critically analyze the sources of and reasons for injustice and to actively fashion more just communities at local, national and international levels. Such efforts should be rooted in a spirituality that takes seriously the world as it unjustly exists and that fosters hope and commitment to keep working to reshape that world in the light of Gospel values.”
I have been working as a Placement Liaison in The Faith Justice Institute (FJI) since I was a sophomore at Saint Joe’s. Through this role I facilitate communication via email, phone, and in person visits between Community Partners and Service-Learning students. I was a first year Service-Learning student prior to that, and I learned to love the values of the program from my first semester at SJU. FJI values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and emphasizes the importance of working with and not for Community Partner Organizations. They prioritize reciprocal relationships and finding the strengths within every organization and partnership. To focus my Capstone around strengthening the media and video content on the FJI website would be a privilege. With written consent of participants, I would create a collection of videos (about 3 minutes in length each) interviewing the newly hired Assistant Director of the FJI, as well as the Director and Director of Community Partnerships. Some topics for the interview of these 3 staff members would be, “Why social justice matters to them, the importance of the FJI mission, why they work in FJI” etc. I would also want someone to explain the meaning and importance of Klein Lectures in an interview, to spread awareness of them. As stated on the FJI website, “The Joseph William and Madeline Eberle Klein Fund was established for the explicit purpose of supporting educational events and materials specifically directed toward greater inclusion in the Roman Catholic Church of those groups of persons currently disaffected from it including, but not limited to the LGBTQ community, or gender, racial or political minorities.” These lectures are wonderful opportunities for the SJU community as well as anyone interested in social justice who views the website to learn more about these important topics.
I could additionally create a video for Service-Learning students that tours the library to the student office. Service-Learning students typically have difficulty finding the office, so this content could be useful for them. A QR code would be provided to students to access this new video content on the website at the start of their Service-Learning class. I would additionally create promotional posts on the FJI Instagram to highlight the new content on the website. This could be in the form of posts and stories. I will edit 9 interviews (with 3 supervisors) as well as the tour for this project. My direct supervisor has access to editing the FJI website so I can help direct her as to the best layout on the website for this new video content.
This project will also align with my professional goals because I intend on being in a field that produces video media content in some way. This can help build my portfolio and prepare me even further for my future career.
The form of my project will be 9 interviews and one tour to the student office that will each be edited to be 3 minutes long each. This will help hold the attention of the audience as opposed to longer form interviews. Viewers will see and hear synched audio and video and those who are deaf or hard of hearing can read the subtitles I will edit onto the videos.
Alt text: James McAvoy stands in front of a beige pillar in the outdoors while wearing a black and white tuxedo, and smiling to someone off camera. He has short brown hair, blue eyes, and a short scruffy brown beard. There is grass and trees in the distance to the right of him, and trees to the left of him.
My interviews will be similar to this one from Vanity Fair in that my interview question will appear written on the screen in some capacity. The interview participants in this video were mostly all filmed in a closeup shot, which I will do for my interviews. Additionally, their eye contact was shifted slightly off center from the camera, which I will also implement in my interviews. Some differences between this interview and my own is that I will not have so many interviewees in one interview, it will only be one, and I will incorporate no full length shots, only closeups. My interviews will be about the same length as this interview compilation.
Alt text: Elisabeth Moss sits smiling to someone off camera. She has shoulder length blonde hair, blue eyes, and is wearing pink lipstick. She is sitting in a studio with a black background behind her. She wears a black dress.
My interviews will be similar to this from Entertainment Weekly in that the person will be looking slightly to the side and not directly staring at the camera. My interviews will be from roughly the neck up, so there will be no shots added in from farther back like in this interview. My interviews will be slightly longer than this one as well. There will also not be edited film clips in my interviews, and the interview question will appear somewhere on the screen. My interviews will also have subtitles as an accessibility feature.
Technology and Materials:
The technology I will be using for this project is Davinci Resolve editing software which I learned in my Digital Field Methods course. The materials I will be using are the gear room DSLR camera, tripod, and microphone equipment. I will be using a Lav Microphone and Zoom Recorder to record the audio for the interviews. I had to buy an SD card, but that is all I had to purchase.
The primary audience for this project will be Service-Learning students, as well as any SJU community members interested in learning more about FJI, the mission of the institute, its employees, and other information about the Service-Learning program. This will have an impact because it will be a resource for Service-Learning students to learn more about the program as well as SJU community members who are not familiar with FJI.
The secondary audience would be any person outside of SJU that is interested in learning more about social justice and FJI. This can have a positive impact on them as well because they may learn how to grow in their own advocacy efforts for causes that matter to them. Additionally, any potential new Community Partners researching FJI can watch these videos to learn more about the Institute.
I have prior experience editing film and audio from my previous film and communications classes. I also have experience recording with the camera from my Digital Field Methods class. I posted my interviews from that class on the Faith Justice Institute Instagram page. An example of the interviews I conducted can be seen here: FJI Interview.
My project will be similar in that I will interview the participants, but the interviews will be longer since they are being posted on the website and not Instagram. Also, I will edit the questions being asked onto the screen, but I may not do a split screen format as I did previously. It depends what my supervisors prefer, either the question being its own screen at the beginning of the video for a few seconds only or split above the person being interviewed the entire time. I can edit my videos to be in either format. I created the interview question graphics in Canva, and I intend on doing that again. I will also add the option to watch with subtitles to my interviews. This current project will challenge me in new ways because I will edit longer videos and help inform the layout of the FJI website.
This project will help reflect my educational experience in the COM department and university because it will showcase all the skills I learned in my digital filmmaking and media courses. I learned how to use the film and audio equipment, edit in Davinci Resolve, and work in collaboration with different professors’ requirements as well as my supervisors’ expectations for the videos produced. I will effectively communicate the mission of the Institute I work in, and provide them with useful and updated media to incorporate onto their website. In Beautiful Social, we read a lot about reciprocal relationships from Aimée’s book, “Community is the Way: Engaged Writing and Designing for Transformative Change.” Through this book she taught us a lot about how to work with a partner not for a partner. This aligns with what the FJI stands for, and I intend on using what I learned from Beautiful Social to represent the FJI effectively, as well as work with my supervisors efficiently.
I think for this project I will do research on other universities’ Service Learning program websites to see how ours compares and differs from other schools. I will try to learn from how other schools incorporate video media into their websites. I gained experience doing similar research last semester in Beautiful Social, when I researched the websites of other universities and organizations to see style guides on gardening for the SJU Community Garden project. Here is an example of an article found while researching for this project.
I have experience researching interview strategies for Digital Field Methods. However, I will also do research on best interview practices, since I have not interviewed anyone since my Digital Field Methods class over a year ago, so I want to ensure I am using the most up to date strategies and practices. I will find articles such as this one to help guide me.
Obstacles and Resources:
While I do not foresee any insurmountable obstacles in completing this project, there will be challenges. One particular challenge will be scheduling enough time with my supervisors to film the interviews. They are busy, and I am busy, so finding times when everyone is free may be a challenge. However, my supervisors are extremely flexible and willing to be interviewed so they will work with me for scheduling.
The resources I need are a DSLR camera, tripod, Zoom Recorder, and Lav Microphone, which I will borrow from the gear room. I already have Davinci Resolve editing software downloaded on my computer.
Weeks 4 & 5: Research interview strategies, other university websites, and prepare interview questions.
Weeks 6 & 7: Film and edit the first supervisor’s interviews.
Weeks 8 & 9: Film and edit second supervisor’s interviews.
Weeks 10 &11: Film and edit third supervisor’s interviews.
Week 12: Film the tour to the student workroom and edit that video.
Week 13: Work with supervisor on the layout of the website and where the content produced should go.
Weeks 14 & 15: Add any final touches to the layout of the website.