My Experience Engineering Creativity

My STEP project enabled me to acquire professional video equipment to use alongside my camera and video editing software to create high quality video projects. My main video project was capturing a video of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps’ drumline performing in Atlanta, Georgia. I was also able to use my new camera equipment to capture time-lapses of Columbus as well as produce several videos for Journey Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. These experiences put me outside my comfort zone by learning unfamiliar equipment as well as sharpening my creative skills in a time in life where my creative opportunities are limited, studying engineering.

What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?

One of the most important lessons I learned was I really didn’t know how to use the equipment I purchased. I purchased a microphone, a tripod, a time interval controller, and finally a GlideCam. Most of these items I had seen utilized in videography before and I knew the benefit they could bring to the content I wanted create for my STEP project. During the creation of almost all of my videos I had to shoot the footage at least two times do to fine tuning the new equipment. I usually made the mistake of only planning on shooting footage one time which caused some issues when finishing my videos.

I created several videos with specific audiences in mind. This led to some transformations because I’ve only really created amateur-level videos for Journey Church. As mentioned before, I created a video project of the drumline of Carolina Crown. Videos of drum corps typically circulate on YouTube regularly during the summer, as young fans take to the internet to see performances that might not be able to see due to travel. I spent many years in high school searching the web for these particular videos and using them as inspiration during the rough times of a high school marching band season. I was able to closely identify the audience when creating my video of Carolina Crown. I even pursued a dream to post the video on YouTube, which is something I had never done because of not having the proper equipment.

This video was very different from anything I had done previously, by mostly focusing on the audio quality. It also changed how I edited and filmed the video as well because the audience was completely different from what I was used to as well.

What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

My experience in Atlanta recording Carolina Crown was transformational for two reasons. First I learned a whole lot about expecting the unexpected. Due to some family events sprung on me, I had to change the destination of my trip from the San Antonio, Texas, which was my original plan. Luckily, my STEP mentor and staff were able to help me change my project and I was still able to have a great experience in Georgia. Then once in Atlanta my footage I took from the event was disappointing, especially the audio quality of the video. This is extremely frustrating because when people watch these videos they are mostly listening rather than watching. I was fortunate that this summer Carolina Crown had planned a show in Massillon, Ohio and so I made the 3.5 hour drive to capture better footage. I used the lessons learned from Atlanta to create a video with much higher audio quality that features scenes from both shows.

I also had the opportunity to create a video for Olivia Hutchinson’s baptismal video. This video was played in Journey Church’s service in which she was baptized for everyone in the church to see her story. It was an amazing experience for me to be a part of this emotional project designed to really let Olivia pour out her heart.

I learned how much emotional power a visual experience like a video can hold when it is created with passion and with the audience in mind. I was honored to have a small part of her experience as she made the courageous decision to pour her story out to the people of Journey Church. The equipment that STEP allowed me to purchase gave me the opportunity to make someone’s experience that much more special.

Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?

I was fortunate enough to travel to Atlanta and experience over 25 drum corps perform. It was a personal dream of me to go to a large regional and capture the video that I was able to with funding from STEP. This STEP project has given me the creative outlet I’ve dreamed of for many years. Certain styles of videos require expensive equipment to really pull them off. The tripod and microphone purchased allowed me to create stable and quality videos for Carolina Crown and Journey Church.

The GlideCam and time interval controller allowed me to make my final project which was extra special to me. Creating high quality videos has always been a desire for me and I’m glad I got to make some for organizations for which I have passion. My final video project of STEP, I was able to create something for myself and truly be artistic. Lapse is a video featuring a combination of time lapses and footage of Columbus. This video is where I was really able to let my creative juices flow.

While I’m passionate about engineering, my current degree track, I have spent most of my college career desiring a creative outlet. The equipment purchased and my trip to Atlanta through STEP provided the opportunity for me to step outside my normal daily routine to truly be creative. I will forever be grateful for the experiences that STEP has allowed me to have as a student at Ohio State.