Doc Blog 7: Home Again

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Well, this is it. This is the final product. I am pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish. The work was hard, the editing was even harder but I was able to put together something that not only could stand on its own, but that helped me become a better person. I think that it is easy to just slap together some shots and call it a documentary. I am grateful that I was able to pursue a subject that would make me a better person in the end. Was it the best in class? No, absolutely not. Not by a long shot. Some of the projects that were on display from some of my classmates were absolutely astounding. But, that being said, I am very happy with little, quiet, introspective piece. I’m also happy to have learned some skills that I am sure will come in handy for years and years to come.

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Doc Blog 6: In The Beginning

 

Screenshot (22).pngMan, we are getting close to wrapping this whole dang thing up. I am deep within the editing crunch and figuring out how I want to structure things. Truth be told, it is stressful. But occasionally the project starts to look the way I want it to instead of the hot mess that I am sure that it is. The picture for this update is taken from the opening shot/title shot and I am pretty proud of it. I made a pretty late in the game decision to change how the whole thing would open and I am actually happy with it. I think it will bookend the doc quite nicely. I also think that it helps to set the mood for the project as a whole.  Now I just have to make sure that everything in the middle isn’t a huge dumpster fire and we should be all squared away.

Doc Blog: Mini Update

Editing Progress: Things are coming along with the editing. Much of the footage, heck pretty much all of the footage is still raw and uncut. I have been recording small amounts of footage often for the day to day pieces and have yet to record the interview that I have planned. Luckily, the way that I am recording these pieces of footage, I am able to keep a good track of them chronologically speaking. This will be a huge help when it comes time to start plugging them in as I want to show things from start to finish. All of the raw files are named by the date they were recorded on. Screenshot (14).png

Doc Blog 5: Changing Gears

IMG_20170312_103522-2.jpg As things have progressed in this project I started to find myself up against a wall of sorts. I knew what I wanted to do but the energy just seemed to be sapped from me. I was on the right track, I was losing weight (albeit at glacial pace) but I still wasn’t really happy. Things seemed tedious and annoying. I was making progress in the journey but there was no real joy in the journey. That is why I have decided to dovetail another aspect of health and well-being in to this project. I decided that I was going to see if meditation could help give me some of the introspection that I had been missing and hopefully along with that, a sense of not only purpose, but happiness. These two books have been instrumental in helping a complete novice like me to understand the ins and outs of meditation and truth be told, it seems to be working.

Doc Blog 4: Ordering the chaos

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Slowly but surely this documentary is coming along. Because of the nature of the project I don’t have a whole lot of actual footage to show yet. I am trying to do daily updates on my progress and how I am doing but those are all still raw, uncut footage. So, in order to prepare for the update assignment that we had in class I started to put together the introduction in order to get a feel for how things are going to start. I like it so far though I am worried that it might be a little too moody for the overall tone of the project. I have to say though, it feels good to be back at editing. I enjoy the feeling of taking a bunch of raw footage and making something cohesive out of it. Ordering the chaos.

Update 3: Talking to the camera

I think it may have been a mistake to make me the star of my own documentary. I don’t know why but I find myself so boring. Now, I know that the story that I want to tell is interesting so maybe it has something to do with me. Between last time and now has been a lot of leg work and planning. I picked up a new computer camera and am very excited for that. A lot of my documentary is going to be performative and expository so a lot of my time is going to be talking right in to that little guy. I am excited. The weight loss aspect of the documentary is already underway so there have been minor shots and pictures taken but I am excited to get in to the meat of the filming and editing. The activity that we did last week really helped me to wrap my head around how to actually shoot a good doc as I have never had to think about that before. It was a good way to get my feet wet.

IMG_20170212_210232-2.jpgI think it may have been a mistake to make me the star of my own documentary. I don’t know why but I find myself so boring. Now, I know that the story that I want to tell is interesting so maybe it has something to do with me. Between last time and now has been a lot of leg work and planning. I picked up a new computer camera and am very excited for that. A lot of my documentary is going to be performative and expository so a lot of my time is going to be talking right in to that little guy. I am excited. The weight loss aspect of the documentary is already underway so there have been minor shots and pictures taken but I am excited to get in to the meat of the filming and editing. The activity that we did last week really helped me to wrap my head around how to actually shoot a good doc as I have never had to think about that before. It was a good way to get my feet wet.

Update 2: Limping Along

 

I finally figured it out! After a lot of consideration, I have decided that my documentary is going to focus around me. Not just me in general but around my endeavors to get down to a healthy weight. Over years I have worked to lose weight. In fact, I used to weigh about 110 pounds more than I do now. I was fat and miserable. I am now approaching the end of my weight loss journey but I am just now getting to the hardest part. Many consider the final 15 or so percent of weight to lose to be the hardest part. I have 30 pounds left to lose before I am at a healthy weight so I have decided to title my documentary “30 To Go.” I want to chronicle the rest of the semester and how my attempts shake out. Lose it or not I believe that this will make for an interesting film. But coming up with what I was going to do was the easy part. Now I have to get to work.Chub Supreme.jpg

In which Derek may have bitten off more than he could chew.

Truth be told, I am little nervous about this project. I think I have a pretty good idea of what this documentary will be about but it is shaping up to be much larger an undertaking than I initially anticipated. But that is a good thing, right? Should help me grow. It should “build character.” That being said, I think that this project will be big for me. The idea that I have would not only make for at least a mildly entertaining documentary but would make a substantial, positive impact on me personally. Well, if it ends successfully. And that is it. That is what is making me nervous. This documentary is getting made whether I succeed or fail. The documentary doesn’t care if I achieve what I am after or not. It will just be the silent observer. I guess this project has somehow turned in to two.

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Victims of the Bottom Line: Closing The BYU-Idaho Paramedic Program

Story Description:

This story details the closing of the long running paramedic program here at Brigham Young University-Idaho from the perspective of one of the members from the final class to make it through as well as a student who wanted to do the same. It details the sudden decision by the university to shut down the program and how it has had an impact on those who made the program a major part of their lives. Featured in the video are two students who have been directly impacted by the closure and their thoughts and opinions concerning it.

Related links: 

http://www.eastidahonews.com/2016/02/brigham-young-university-idaho-drops-paramedic-program/

http://www.localnews8.com/news/madison-co-fire-losing-valuable-asset-with-byui-program-closure/37914798

Behind the scenes: 

I was fortunate enough to know Hunter from before this semester and was there when the announcement of the closing of the paramedic first hit the students involved. I think the most interesting thing that wasn’t covered in the video was the impact that the closure has had on the staff in addition to the students. While the students counted on the program to help them cement their future careers, the closing of the program means that several university staff members will either be laid off or relocated to other positions. It also bares mentioning that the closure of the program will have a direct, negative impact on the local fire station and hospitals as they used the paramedic students for much needed help (See linked stories.) It was interesting to see just how far reaching the decision to close an entire program can have on the students, teachers and community at large.

Word-For-Word Script:

VO: As a member of the last graduating class from BYU Idaho’s paramedic program, which will be shutting its doors at the end of this semester, Hunter Christensen considers himself very fortunate to have made it through but still feels frustrations towards the university.

HUNTER CHRISTENSEN: WHEN I HEARD THAT THEY WERE SHUTTING IT DOWN, ITS LIKE, THAT IS REALLY FRUSTRATING THAT YOU WOULD TAKE SOMETHING THAT IS SO HELPFUL TO NOT ONLY THE COMMUNITY AROUND THE WORLD BUT ALSO SPECIFICALLY HERE IN TOWN, THAT WAS VERY DISAPPOINTING TO HEAR.

VO: The university has done little to nothing in the way of helping students that have been impacted by the closure leaving many paramedic hopefuls to fend for themselves.

HUNTER CHRISTENSEN: WHEN THE PARAMEDIC PROGRAM WAS ANNOUNCE TO BE CLOSING THEY HAD JUST STARTED A NEW SEMESTER OF EMT STUDENTS. IN FACT, THERE WERE QUITE A FEW EMT STUDENTS WHO DECIDED THAT THEY WEREN’T GOING TO DO THE CLASS BECAUSE THERE WAS NO REASON FOR THEM TO SPEND THE 7 CREDITS AND 15 HOURS A WEEK IN AN EMT CLASS IF THEY WEREN’T ABLE TO MOVE ON TO BECOME PARAMEDICS ANYWAY.

VO: This has left Hunter and many of his classmates feeling conflicted

HUNTER CHRISTENSEN: WE DON’T WANT TO GO BACK ON THE SCHOOL THAT HAS GIVEN US SO MUCH ALREADY BUT TO HEAR THAT THEY’RE SHUTTING DOWN WHAT WAS ESSENTIALLLY OUR LIFE FOR THE PAST 3 SEMESTERS WE WERE ALL PRETTY DISAPPOINTED AND PRETTY UPSET ABOUT IT.

VO: Jordan Forrest is a first year BYU-Idaho student that was hoping to join the paramedic program but now feels he has been forced to go with plan B, a feeling he is sure he shares with many others.

JORDAN FORREST: I KNOW ITS NOT JUST ME, I CAN ALMOST GUARANTEE THERE’S A BUNCH OF OTHER PEOPLE THAT WOULD HAVE WANTED TO DO THE PROGRAM. NOW I’M GOING TO HAVE TO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO.

VO: The closure of the paramedic program is being seen by Hunter and many others as a warning sign for other, less popular majors

HUNTER CHRISTENSEN: THERE’S A LOT OF OTHER PROGRAMS ON CAMPUS THAT ARE BEING REMOVED. I KNOW THAT THE VET-TEC PROGRAM, THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT I THINK GOT REMOVED A LITTLE WHILE AGO, BUT THAT’S ANOTHER EXAMPLE WHERE IT’S A LOT OF MONEY AND VERY FEW STUDENTS.

VO: And while one could argue that these students could just go elsewhere, BYU-Idaho offers an environment that can’t be found anywhere else, a major draw for students like Jordan

JORDAN FORREST:  BECAUSE WITH ANOTHER PARAMEDIC PROGRAM, ITS NOT HERE AND I WANT TO BE HERE AT A CHURCH SCHOOL TAKING IT INSTEAD OF SOMEWHERE ELSE WHERE ITS NOT A CHURCH SCHOOL. SO NOW I’M GOING TO HAVE TO PICK SOMETHING THAT’S KIND OF STILL ALONG THE LINES OF HELPING PEOPLE BUT ITS GOING TO BE TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

VO: The school has been relatively silent on the matter, citing the paramedic program’s high cost and low turnout as the motivating factor behind the closure. But with reasoning like that, it is hard not to see the paramedic program and others like it as victims of the bottom line.

HUNTER CHRISTENSEN:  YOU’RE BASICALLY SAYING TO US THAT ALL THAT STUFF THAT YOU DID IS NOT WORTH OUR TIME OR MONEY. LET’S GET RID OF IT. AND I KNOW THAT’S NOT HOW THEY’RE PROBABLY SEEING IT BUT WHEN YOU ARE FACED WITH THAT, THAT’S HOW IT FEELS.

VO: Reporting from Brigham Young University-Idaho, I’m Derek Prince for Scroll TV News.

Extra Credit Interactive Multimedia Elements:

Opinion Poll: 

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Do you think that it was right for BYU-Idaho to shut down the paramedic program?

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Yes. It saves money.
Yes. It makes room for other majors.
No. They should have kept it.
No. But they should remove a different program to justify it.
Indifferent.

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