The clicking of freewheels and whir of drivetrains filled the Pentacrest as RAGBRAI passed through Iowa City July 25, 2015. Get a taste of the excitement and hear from some of the University's students and alumni who participated in the event. See the full Iowa Now feature here.
RAGBRAI, or the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is the biggest bicycle touring event in the world. Every year 10,000 registered riders and thousands more unregistered riders make their way through Iowa towns, cities, and countryside making new friends. enjoying the scenery, tasting local cuisine, and indulging amply in libations.
"Embrace fear and failure. Embrace it. If you don't embrace it, you'll never reach your full potential because you'll hold back," says Leslie Jansa Williams UI’82BSN. Williams is President and CEO of ImmusanT, a biotech company working on an immunotherapy for people who have celiac disease.
The UI's 2015 distinguished alumni were leaders in medicine, finance, renewable energy, and the blues. I felt so privileged to meet and interview these dynamos.
For the first time ever, my footage made it into a national news reel. I shared a few selects with NBC for their commencement coverage video and at least five shots made it in! One of my shots, pictured above, was the second shot in the piece. Excitement, jubilation!
Can you catch any of the others? Blink and you'll miss them.
The videos series I was most excited to become involved in when I became part of Strategic Communications at UIowa was The Student Experience. I was rolled into production from my first week. I haven't been part of a Student Experience video form beginning to end, yet, but I did adopt two projects that were in progress when I arrived and I was a contributor on a third. Here are the videos that have been published so far.
Jessica Pray was a remarkable person to get to know. She is the kind of person who makes people happier when she enters a room. Once her video was completed, I found myself trying to make up reasons to keep working with her. She's headed to Yale to get a Master's in Music (one of eight awarded this opportunity this year). Pray is a former Miss Iowa, and she's completely changed my idea of who beauty queens can be.
Read Christopher Clair's full story about her here.
Brian Wall impressed me with his dedication to being civically engaged. After editing this project, I wondered, "What am I doing for my community? How can I give back more?"
Read Anne Bassett's full story here.
I got to work around large computer-numerical-control (CNC) machines at Kirkwood. The technology allows people like student Alex Zeppieri to program a massive machine to shape or cut materials. This machine, which blasted water and fine garnet sand with a force that can cut through seven inches of steel was really something else. I provided Matt Jansen, who edited this story, with the visuals from the cork cutting session.
Read Gary Galluzzo's full story here.
This year, I was charged with creating a highlights reel for commencement at the University of Iowa.
"Commencement" is misleading, more accurately, there are 12 commencements—plural. The commencements happen Thursday through Saturday all over campus. I knew there was going to be some culture shock starting work at a Big Ten university after having worked at a small, private women's college and a large community college. So far, commencement at the UI has been the biggest shock.
Luckily, I was able to pick one—graduation of half of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday morning—and build the video off off that. Despite narrowing down the reel to only one event, I still ended up working a 12-hour day. What could have been exhausting and draining day turned out to be exhilarating because of the awesome teamwork within the Office of Strategic Communications.
Here are some of the contributors to the highlights reel:
Nick Tolmonovic was tasked with live-streaming and capturing all of the commencements, which meant he essentially worked two work weeks in one week. As far as I could see, his pro-level team of students and he did an amazing job during the CLAS commencement. The live-switched event looked awesome on the jumbo screens in the arena. I pulled heavily from his master cut for my highlights reel. Nick also provided pizza at a critical juncture, keeping my blood sugar where it needed to "keep up the good work."
Justin Torner was there shooting stills, and I kept an eye on him to get ideas for cool shot angles.
Anne Bassett had my back when I was exhausted and overheated after the commencement ceremony (can you believe Carver isn't air conditioned?). First, she perked me up with notes from the commencement speeches identifying possible soundbites for me to use in the video. Next, she helped identify students to interview for the video and conducted the interviews. I would have had a much more limited piece without her help. What blows me away even more is that no one had even asked her to be there. She volunteered to help me out and our managers didn't even know she had offered to do so.
Kirk Murray set up an awesome time lapse on the Pentacrest which made a sweet opening to the video.
Tim Schoon provided a perfect still for the video thumbnail.
Aaron Blau, the office's social media guru, provided awesome attention to the weekend, honoring graduates in a really beautiful way. He put out the piece on FaceBook Saturday night.
I also drew motivation from the amount of work Matt Jansen put into producing other materials in support of commencement.
Finally, I appreciate the support and leadership of Ben Hill the week leading up to the event. He would pop into my office offering ideas of different angles I could take with the piece and making sure I was prepared as much as I could be for the event.
There are plenty of people who put in long hours this weekend that I haven't mentioned, and I am grateful to them all. I've already grown so much among these titans of storytelling. I can't wait to see what other fun and exciting projects we produce as a team.
See additional content here.
Leading up to commencement, there has been a push to get loads of high-quality content out while eyes are roaming the University's site to find commencement info and watch live-streamed events. Here's one of many projects I'm working on at this time. You can see the full story here.
I started as Creative Media Manager/Producer at the University of Iowa on March 31, 2015. With three weeks under my belt, and a first piece published, I am starting to feel settled. The Office of Strategic Communications has definitely made me feel welcomed.
I am so excited to be part of a ridiculously talented video team led by Ben Hill and to be capturing stories in the rich setting of higher education. Today I got to film a water jet CNC cutting machine that easily makes clean cuts through 7 inches of steel. I look forward to similarly unique opportunities and experiences while I am here.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Patricia Tippie and Bob Bodnar to document the Henry B. Tippie Annex in Belle Plaine, Iowa. Mr. Tippie was an archivist from a young age and carefully organized and kept documents and objects, standouts among which included his grade school report cards, a match book collection, and his World War II uniforms.
World of Bikes has been offering women's-only fat bike rides through the winter because mostly dudes ride fat bikes, and what's up with that? In addition to thoroughly enjoying myself on a fat bike last Sunday, I brought along a camera and snapped some shots during the ride.
Fat bikes extend the biking season through the winter, tackling ice and snow with 4-inch tires and gnarly tread. World of Bikes has a particular fondness for the bikes and has them for sale and rental. A $50/day rental will also go towards your purchase of one of their brand-new, beautiful bikes.
I produce concise, authentic video stories that help small businesses and nonprofits engage online audiences, disseminate brand messages, and fundraise.