Hurry up and wait

As I approach my final week of my summer internship at Voices of September 11th, I am working rapidly to tie up all the loose ends for our intern video project.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, the past few weeks have been quite busy. We have been conducting interviews, both in person and via Skype, to use in an upcoming promotional video. I’ve really enjoyed this project but have noticed some areas in need of improvement. Much of it has to do with providing clearer instruction and maintaining a timeline for the completion of the project.


At the onset of this project, we were not given very clear instructions by our bosses, which made the process more chaotic than it needed to be. For example, when we were first given the project, we made a storyboard including potential ideas and a timeline, as well as a list of people we wished to interview in a timely fashion. We gave all these materials to our bosses, including an email draft, as they were the ones who needed to reach out to potential interviewees. Even after several reminders, they did not reach out to the people we needed, which left us with virtually nothing to do for a few days. The development of our project was at a standstill, because we were unable to move forward until we had made contact with the potential interviewees. When they told us they had finally reached out, they had sent the email to a contact list of about 750 people in the 9/11 community, not the specific interview list we had given them. This left us with over 50 email responses from people who wanted to be interviewed. We then devoted too much time to vetting the email responses, sorting through all this extraneous information, researching everyone, and deciding who to actually interview. This step, which took a few days, could have been eliminated, which would have made for a more productive and streamlined process.


As we are now approaching the end of our involvement in this project, we have been meeting with the professional filmmaker, giving her the footage, discussing ideas, and finalizing the next steps. While she is responsible for actually creating the video to present at the gala, all of the content has come from the interns. We have found that it is difficult to collaborate on a project when our work is very separate. After next week, we will simply give her all the videos, and she will create the final product. Our bosses were a bit misleading in the beginning of the internship, when they told us that we would be creating the video. While we did provide ideas, schedule, conduct, and transcribe all the interviews, we are largely uninvolved in the actual creation of the video. That work is all completed by the filmmaker. It seems odd that we will have been working towards this final video for a good portion of the internship, only to leave before the video is even made.


All in all, I have enjoyed the progression of this project, but have noted some important areas to be improved upon for next year’s video.