The Course and Program Design team (CPD) has this video that we really like. We use it in a ton of meetings and post it in various online spaces because we think it really helps our partners and potential partners get a glimpse into what working with us is actually about. Around the office we call it the Ainsworth video (since it features Jim Ainsworth) and if you haven’t seen it take a couple of minutes to check it out.
The video is awesome and it’s everything that we ever wanted, but the final product isn’t the only thing of value. With the courses and programs we design often times the process that we go through with our partners is as valuable as the end result and this video is no different.
Let’s Make a Plan
The project started as a few designers wanting to share these great faculty stories that we get to see because we work so closely with them, but we also wanted to share the story of what it’s like for these faculty to work with us. This is something that’s super difficult to capture in an “about our team blurb” on a website due to the types of relationships and work we build with our partners.
Sarah had been working with Jim for over a year designing his online course, so she knew there were plenty of exciting things to share about the journey they went on during the design process. We knew we wanted to use Jim as a focal point for our first story, but we still didn’t know what the final product would look. With an idea of whose story we would share, Sarah and I started taking about the broad ideas and topics we wanted to cover and mapping them to a basic shot list. Jim’s course and the CPD mission are very focused on the local Atlanta community, so it was a no-brainer that this video needed to be shot at various downtown locations for it to be authentic to the story we were trying to tell. Sarah and I knew we could create a broad plan for this project and we also knew executing a production of this size would be far out of scope for our skills. Cue Alec and Garrett from the multimedia design team.
Out on Location
Alex and Garrett work on CPD’s multimedia team and are both experienced videographers. I shared the vision for the project with them along with the shot list Sarah and I had created. Before any filming happened, they provided a lot of feedback on the shot list including some new ideas we hadn’t considered initially. The few days we spent Downtown getting shots with Jim was an excellent opportunity for me to see the multimedia team in action. Jim is very passionate about what he teaches, but he’d never been in front of a camera before let alone for a multi-day shoot. Being in a public place with a camera on you can often be an awkward experience, but Alec and Garrett were able to provide Jim with direction that led to some fantastic shots.
Post (aka where the magic happens)
After filming, it was time to move on to post-production. We ended up with a metric ton of footage and needed to cut it down to a length people would watch. The post-production process was similar to the pre-production process. I’d come up with general ideas and provided thoughts on direction, then Alec and Garrett would use their magical powers to polish those ideas and come up with awesome stuff I’d never think of but were faithful to the atmosphere we wanted to create on screen.
Original Shot Post-Production Shot
This project is absolutely one of my favorites in the past year. Yes, the result was fantastic but even better was the super awesome opportunity it provided for us to work as a team to take a vision and turn it into a super polished tangible product. A lot of lessons were learned and we definitely want to create and share more stories for our faculty.
Have a course or program you’d like to make even more awesome? Shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll have a designer reach out to you. Maybe the next story we share will be yours!
Taylor spends his time at CETL designing learning experiences and eating assorted breads