The Children’s Center Jewelry Luncheon was the first shoot I did as an intern at BW productions. I had worked as a production assistant before, but what was unique about this experience was that it is a medium that I have never done before.
My previous work as a production assistant had been in both narrative and reality tv, but never corporate. Things I noticed were scale, interpersonal interaction, and the fact that storytelling was still the major emphasis of the project, despite the fact that it wasn’t a “scripted story.”
It was a pretty small crew. Two camera operators, a producer (Abby, who is also my assigned mentor for this internship) and me, the trusty PA!
The crew seemed perfectly scaled for the project. Not so many people that some felt useless, but enough that nobody was overwhelmed and the shoot was properly handled. There was enough time that I was able to help with lighting, but wasn’t overwhelmed with the responsibility since there were two freelance camera operators to assist if I didn’t know how to do something.
I enjoyed meeting and talking to the freelance crew members. On any given set there is down time between interviews or takes. Some of the knowledge imparted on me was very valuable.
I talked with one of the operators about a documentary that he has been shopping around LA and got to watch his sizzle reel. It was awesome to hear his experience and perspective on that undertaking because shopping content to networks and studios is something that I’m very interested in. Not to mention, his sizzle was really cool and it reminded me of how talented and creative local filmmakers are.
The two freelancers (Evan and Race), also taught me about networking. The best way to do it is to make friends and connect on a human level rather than a professional level. I feel like I had the opportunity to practice that with them, as we all proceeded to talk about our experiences and interests outside the film world.
The craft and passion of storytelling was something that I noticed in the interviews. There was a story that I didn’t know about, and that nobody else would know about had it not been for this video.
Years ago, a woman, wanting to raise money for this non-profit children's center, decided to organize an event in which women would donate their own jewelry and in the same night, buy jewelry from someone else. The money would then go to The Children's Center. It was an experiment. She had no idea the event would be successful and lead to over a decade of followup events, touching many hearts and lives in the process.
Many women got involved, some of which we were able to interview. Abby was able to craft and present the questions in a way that did justice to this story. Some women were natural and eloquent in front of the camera, while some needed a guiding hand. One in particular was very nervous in front of the camera, but Abby and the team were able to help her articulate her experience in this still unfolding story.
The crew didn’t just show up, point a camera at someone, and tell them to talk. That’s what some people might picture in their heads when they think of a production company, but I didn’t find that to be the case with this experience. I’m sure the crew felt some level of satisfaction in exposing this story that otherwise would go unheard. I definitely did.