"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.
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