Once again the TeensGotCents community has been amazing! Thank you so much to all of you who watched and shared the video that the James Madison Institute produced about TeensGotCents. I am so blessed to be recognized by them and given the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Student Award. If you haven’t seen the video and have 5 minutes you can click right here to take a look. The video is posted at the bottom of the page.
I thought that you might like to get a behind-the-scenes look at how they made the video and how it all came together. This was pretty exciting to me but I have to admit that I was really nervous. I have never been a part of a project like this and it really opened my eyes to everything that goes into making a short film.
The whole process began weeks earlier as my mom and I worked with Bill Mattox and Valerie Wickboldt of the James Madison Institute to come up with a filming schedule for the day. Just getting the schedule down took many hours. We had to figure out where we were going to film, try and estimate how long it would take, and what order we should film in so that we could make the most of the day. Not only were they going to film me telling my story they also wanted ‘b roll’. Of course, I didn’t know what ‘b roll’ is so we looked it up.
‘B-roll’ is just the film that they take of someone doing something while their voice is played. We decided on three locations for ‘b-roll’ footage. My local 121 Financial Credit Union branch, the Chick fil A, and The Edge, my rock climbing gym. All of this was to be done after the interviews were videoed at the house. Of course, having the filming at the house meant major house cleaning for me before the big day!
The video crew from Unknown Media traveled in from Orlando and arrived at my house around 8:45am. They came in and got right to work. And by that I mean that they disassembled our dining area and living room in about 5 minutes flat. Completely rearranged everything in order to make room for the equipment. There was SO much stuff and they kept bringing in case after case. Once they moved all the furniture the crew started setting up lights, arranging the ‘set’, and doing sound tests.
They started with me – which meant I would be done first. (Yay!) There were a number of times I messed up but it was so nice that we could just start again and I could give it another shot. Kevin (the director) and Mr. Mattox would ask questions and I would answer them. He asked in such a way that I could answer and it just seemed like I was talking about the website when I was actually answering his questions. It really wasn’t that bad and we talked for well over 30 minutes. Afterwards they did the interview with my mom. When they were finished up with her, they moved all of their equipment into the back yard in order to speak with Michael, Ben and Genesis.
After Genesis and Ben spoke about the site, the crew moved to a different part of the yard to talk with Michael. It was funny because once he had to quit talking because a plane went over the house and completely messed up the sound. We all just stood there for a couple of moments until it went past, and then they started right where they left off with Mike.
After we were all finished up with filming the interviews at the house it was time to head out to our three ‘b roll’ locations. It was close to lunchtime to we had planned to go to Chick fil A first. We figured we could get the video needed and then sit down and have lunch before we headed to the next place. Joe Mayo, who has been such an encouragement and example to me, was absolutely wonderful. We got everything needed and then had our lunch break.
When we were finished with lunch everything got packed up and we headed over to the 121 branch. Billy Bybee, the gentleman who helped me open my account graciously agree to be in the video. Once everything was set up they filmed me walking up, entering and talking to Mr. Bybee. We had to do it a few times in order for them to get everything they needed from each angle.
Our last stop was at The Edge rock climbing gym. My friends Crystal and Jacob came along to the gym so I would have someone to climb with during the filming. While we were there the cinematographer, Dan, wanted to get up on the wall so that he could film me as I climbed up towards him. If you take a look you will see that shot at the very end of the video. It was a bit strange to climb up the wall with a camera man suspended over my head. I was so concerned about their expensive camera! Of course, he didn’t have any trouble and was able to get the shot he wanted.
Participating in the day of filming was amazing. I had no idea how much time and effort could go into a 5 or 6 minute video. From start to finish the day lasted well over 8 hours. I can’t even begin to think about how long it took to cut down all of those hours of video into a 5 minute film. I assume that the editing process took even longer than the filming itself.
It was certainly an experience I will never forget. I am so grateful to everyone who helped make it possible. I guess that my ’15 minutes of fame’ are over, but it sure was fun while it lasted!