The Yellow Springs Community Access Channel is a local Time Warner Channel 5 outlet. They are located in the community center and are a public program. Their mission is “to work with local government, community members, and community organizations to create and cablecast programs that promote a sense of community and celebrate individual expression, local achievements, learning, cultural exchange, and civic engagement.” My role is to create short videos highlighting students in Miller Fellow positions.
I interview the students and shoot some B-roll of the organization. I then try to find a strong narrative among what the students said and edit the footage together into a cohesive story. The resulting video highlights not only the Miller Fellowship but the co-op program in particular. I am employed by Channel 5, but most of my work is actually done through Antioch and my main supervisor is employed at the college.
I did not go into this co-op with much media experience. The first few weeks were composed of me trying to cram as much knowledge as I could into my brain before things started really rolling. I watched tons of tutorials and experimented with the equipment provided for me until I could start to get good footage. Much of my early footage was not exactly useable.
I have always wanted to take a media class at Antioch, but they were always offered either as night classes or conflicted with classes I had to take. This co-op has taught me a lot so far. I really enjoy being able to learn without having to listen to a lecture or doing assignments that won’t be used outside of passing a class. I am able to guide what I learn and have more freedom concerning my pace than I would be in a classroom.
I am mostly in control of what I do. I have a set work schedule, but my supervisor isn’t constantly hovering over me. I am responsible for myself and am, for the most part, independent. But my supervisor is always there when I need her, and we catch up frequently, whether via text or a quick meeting. It is good to have a balance in that sense. I am not stifled, but I know exactly where to turn if I have a question. My supervisor has a collaborative spirit that makes working with her very easy.
Our goal for the quarter is to complete four videos. We are almost done with the first one other than a bit of fine-tuning, and we film for the next one next week. As much as I have enjoyed some of my previous jobs, it is nice to have a job making things. I am a performer, writer, singer, and crafter. I am constantly making things and my other jobs have not really involved much of this.
I enjoyed the other jobs in different ways, but there is something inspiring about knowing that there will be a group of videos with my name in the credits. I will have those videos to look back to for years to come, whereas with some of my other jobs I have nothing but fond memories.
Another thing I enjoy about this job is the flexibility. I was able to craft my own schedule to fit what I needed (as long as I still had the right number of hours). This schedule has shifted a few times already. My supervisor is open to any changes as long as they are communicated clearly. I am also able to work from different locations when applicable. While at the moment most of my work is done in the cave, AKA the media suites at Antioch, where I am editing the videos, in the early days I was working from home, South, or wherever I wished as long as I was able to do what I needed to. I am still able to work from different locations in some cases.
All of our filming is done on location at the organization, so that involves some travel to various places in Yellow Springs. My boss at Channel 5 also wants some footage of the campus and Yellow Springs so when I get sick of viewing the same two seconds fifty times over I can switch to getting nice shots and soaking in the sunshine (it is rather dark in the media suites). While I’m less flexible in location as I was before we started filming, I am still able to do a little bouncing around.
Overall, I am enjoying this co-op so far. The fact that I am able to really learn media in a way I haven’t been able to at Antioch before is incredibly valuable to me. I went from barely knowing how to cut to being able to use multiple visual layers, line up video and audio so everything matches, and even fix the lighting in a clip! It has taken a bit of experimentation, cooperation, and some research on Google, but I feel like I have learned in these past few weeks what might have taken much longer if I was in a class that only met a few hours a week and wasn’t specified to what I would need to know at that moment.
I’ve learned a lot and, hopefully, it will show. The first video is almost done and, when people view it, I don’t think anyone would know it was made by someone who went into this co-op barely knowing how to make a single cut. It looks pretty good to me, and my supervisor loves it and is really impressed. This is the sort of video I wouldn’t be able to produce without something like a co-op to give me both the opportunity and motivation to learn a new skill. I’m not sure yet whether media might be a career for me, but it sure is something that I have greatly enjoyed learning and diving into so far.