by Sandra | 10:37 pm

Before spring break, my team and I checked in with our client, Meghann, to discuss our project plan and set the gears in motion for scheduling interviews. To everyone’s surprise, what we ended up gaining the most from the meeting was a better understanding of Micah’s expectations for the media stories and the importance and impact of our work.

Loving Your Neighbor

I think Meghann is a very accommodating and receptive client. She really wants the project to be a learning experience for us, and is concerned about what we individually want to get out of the media stories. We told her our current understanding of the project as a series of promotional and informational pieces about Micah’s programs, and clarified that ultimately, it was our goal to meet the organization’s needs. This was when Meghann explained that she wants the media stories not to be about Micah, about the people that are part of Micah’s programs, to express the hard work that they have done and how they have changed as individuals. She hopes to share our videos next year on social media, as part of the organization’s Love Your Neighbor campaign. The purpose of Love Your Neighbor is to express the importance and impact of giving love in our community. How do our neighbors feel loved? How does love help people grow?

LOVE sign at Hurkamp Park, Fredericksburg VA. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

As an example, Meghann showed us a touching video she took of a young woman talking about her personal hardships and how she overcame them through love from community members. Meghann said that she has worked with a number of people over the last few months, helping them compose and write down their stories. She stressed that individuals are often grateful for an opportunity to communicate their story. It’s personally significant and empowering. Meghann said that she will get in touch with the people she’s worked with, and see if they are willing to be interviewed.

Drafting A Film Brief

At the conclusion of the meeting, we agreed that we would put together a rough outline of our media stories, describing the video format, examples of b-roll that we want to take, and specific interview questions so that Meghann can have staff help us schedule filming sessions and identify good candidate interviewees. This is what we came up with over the break:

Summary

Students at the University of Mary Washington are working with Meghann to create a series of short video interviews that tell the stories of people within Micah. The videos will work together to form a larger documentary, and will also be shared on social media as individual media stories. We would like you to help us find interviewees and arrange to film Micah centers and activities.

Goal

The film will be used as part of Micah’s “Love Your Neighbor” campaign, in order to show the human side of the individuals that the organization serves. It will tell the stories of the people who are a part of Micah, the goals they have accomplished through hard work, how love from their neighbors has facilitated their personal transformation, and why a strong community bond is important.

Length

We plan on having short clips ranging from 40-60 seconds per person telling their stories (depending on the interviewees).

Interviewees

We would like to interview Micah volunteers or guests (either currently or formerly homeless) who want to share how giving or receiving love from their neighbors have helped them grow as a person and/or overcome a hardship.

Interview Questions

We are looking for individuals who can best answer the following questions. We anticipate that interviews will be thirty to forty minutes long, with an additional twenty to thirty minutes to collect b-roll of interviewees. We will begin filming between mid-March to early April.

Questions for Guests

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.
    1. What is your name? Do you have a nickname?
    2. Where are you originally from?
    3. How did you end up in Fredericksburg (if you aren’t from here originally)?
    4. What is your favorite part about Fredericksburg?
  2. How and why did you become a Micah guest?
  3. What are your hopes and dreams?
    1. What is your dream job?
    2. What is something that inspires you every day?
    3. What is a hobby or talent of yours?
    4. What’s something that you’re most grateful for?
  4. How do you define the word neighbor? What does it mean to be a neighbor?
  5. What does “loving your neighbor” mean to you?
  6. Why is showing love for your neighbor important to you and to the community?
  7. Do you feel that there is enough love in the community, and why?
  8. How has love from Micah or the churches helped transform you?
    1. How has Micah made you feel loved?
    2. How has Micah helped you overcome challenges or grow as an individual?
    3. What can community members do to make you feel more loved?
  9. What advice can you give to people who feel they do not have enough love in their lives?
  10. Is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you want to discuss?
  11. What is the most important thing that you want the community to take away from this interview?

Questions for Volunteers

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.
    1. What is your name? Do you have a nickname?
    2. Where are you originally from?
    3. How did you end up in Fredericksburg (if you aren’t from here originally)?
    4. What is your favorite part about Fredericksburg?
  2. How and why did you get involved with Micah?
  3. How do you define the word neighbor? What does it mean to be a neighbor?
  4. What does “loving your neighbor” mean to you?
  5. Why is showing love important to you and to the community?
  6. Do you feel that there is enough love in the community, and why?
  7. How has your work with Micah or the churches allowed you to give love to your neighbor?
  8. How has volunteering for Micah or giving love to your neighbor helped change you as a person?
  9. What is your favorite part about working with Micah?
  10. What advice can you give to people who feel they do not have enough love in their lives?
  11. Is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you want to discuss?
  12. What is the most important thing that you want the community to take away from this interview?

Introduction Footage

We would like to begin the film with footage of prominent sites in Fredericksburg, which play an important role in our community’s culture.

B-Roll

In addition to filming interviews, we would also like to collect supplementary footage from various Micah centers, particularly locations with active or vibrant backgrounds, and activities that show individuals giving love to their community.

  • People outside of the day center
  • People interacting with one another at Micah sites
  • Interviewees in their work environment
  • People working at the cafe (serving or cooking)
  • The Micah sign
  • Artwork or posters hanging on walls
  • Objects that symbolize love to Micah members
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