I just completed another vlog about my study abroad experience in London. It was so great to finally be able to edit all the footage I shot on set. Creating this vlog brought back so many memories, and I've started thinking in a English accent again... I hope to make at least one more video about my time outside of England in places like Scotland and Amsterdam.
The past two summers I've had the joy of working at Quaker Haven Camp as the videographer. Children from elementary through high school come to the camp each summer to experience a time of amazing spiritual and emotional growth, crazy games, and building friendships. It's my job to document their experiences by running around campus filming many of their activities, and then editing the footage into an exciting 20 minute video. I show the campers the video on the last day of camp, and then send home a DVD with everyone. For each week of camp, I get about 4.5 days to film and edit the video.
This is my highlight video of some of my favorite footage for the summer of 2013. Enjoy!
Here it is! A project that has been nearly a year in the making is finally available online! We've already had over 12,000 views on Youtube in just the few days since release! The film has had charity screenings in five cities including Indianapolis and Dublin, and has yet to screen in five more cities including New York and Pittsburgh.
"A Film to Decrease Worldsuck is a documentary in which self-proclaimed "Nerdfighters" explore what and who a Nerdfighter is, where Nerdfighters came from, and what they do. Produced, directed, and edited by Hannah Lindgren as her senior honors thesis, this film, eleven months in the making, is comprised of convention footage gathered by two primary videographers as well as crowd-sourced interviews and video from dozens of Nerdfighters. A play on the Nerdfighters' charity fund, The Fund to Decrease Worldsuck, A Film to Decrease Worldsuck aims to shed light on what this amazing group of young people is doing to help the world. It will screen in ten cities around the world from March to August 2013." - Hannah Lindgren, http://nerdfightersdocumentary.tumblr.com/
The story of my involvement in this project began about three years ago, when my best friend Tara (who appears in the film) introduced me to Hank and John Green's amazing Vlogbrothers channel on Youtube. I became a big fan of their work, especially John's bestselling novels such as The Fault in Our Stars (JUST READ IT.), and Looking for Alaska. You can hear more about my journey to becoming a Nerdfighter in this short vlog I made in the early stages of pre-production on the documentary.
Hannah Lindgren, a fellow Ball State student and friend, knew I was a Nerdfighter, and asked me to be a cinematographer on this film for her Senior Thesis. I was incredibly excited to be involved. As we began pre-production, I filmed this interview/vlog of Hannah talking about our hopes and plans for the project. Then we set about on several social media campaigns aimed at getting Hank and John's attention/permission for the film, and also to raise money through a Kickstarter for the trip to California. Nerdfighters are an incredibly supportive and active community, and within 24 hours of our campaign start, we had received a tweet from John Green giving us permission to go ahead with the project. I helped Hannah with starting and running our Tumblr blog, and did a lot of work on the social media campaigns. It was the kind of thing I love to do, and all of the hard work paid off when we ended up raising over $1500 to travel to Vidcon!
That trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I am very independent and I love to go to new places, so I was excited to get the chance to fly for the first time. On top of that, I was flying across the country, with several thousand dollars worth of camera equipment, all by myself! California was gorgeous, of course, and though we only got to spend three days there, it was a blast. We spent most of our time filming at Vidcon. I got to see, meet, film, and/or interview lots of amazing Nerdfighters and Youtubers, including Charlie McDonnell, Felicia Day, Toby Turner, and of course, Hank and John Green. I could go on and on about all the crazy stuff that happened, from me finding $100 on the ground to all the great footage we captured, but I'll just say that if you want to know more about Vidcon, you can view our very entertaining Vidcon highlight video (wherein I interview Hannah), here.
After Vidcon, Hannah got to work editing, and we continued to spread awareness of the film through social media. We asked Nerdfighters to submit vlogs to us, and we ended up getting submissions from people all over the world. We also had Nerdfighters submit music for the film, and recently released the film's soundtrack, in response to popular demand. I got to see a few early drafts of the film, which really encouraged me about the end product.
Then I left America for three months to study abroad in London! Little did I know I would get the chance to see the Green brothers while there. They happened to be on tour for John's book, and one day while walking through Leicester Square in the middle of London, I looked up and saw Hank Green standing across the street from me. It was the most surreal moment of my life. I had met him briefly the summer before in California while filming the Nerdfighters documentary, and now here he was in one of the biggest cities in the world, and I randomly run into him! I am such a big fan of his; if you've ever run into (or imagined running into) one of your heroes on the street, you'll probably know how I felt. If you want more details on how much I freaked out (and likely freaked Hank out) during this encounter, you can read them in this post on my study abroad blog.
Of course, seeing Hank on the street filled me with an all-consuming need to find a way into Hank and John's sold out show two days later. I considered something along the lines of breaking-and-entering or bribery, but decided to go with turning up at the venue the day of and hoping for a returned ticket I could purchase at the last minute. Surprisingly, that's exactly what happened! I traveled an hour across London by myself to a part of town I didn't know, and then bought my way into the event like an actual law-abiding citizen. The show was amazing, and afterwards at the signing I worked up the courage talk to Hank and John about the documentary. If you'd like to read more about how this was one of the best days of my life, here is another post from my study abroad blog!
And while I was abroad, Hannah was invited to John Green's office to speak with him about the film! When they met, she gave him a poster and DVD, and got her picture taken with him! I was so proud of her and happy for her!
The film was published on Youtube on July 6, 2013. We had over 10,000 views in a week, plus hundreds of wonderful comments by viewers saying how great the film was. Comments such as these made Hannah and I very happy:
And when your favorite novelist/Youtuber/blogger/historian/person reblogs and comments positively on a film you were involved in creating, it tends to make you do stuff like this:
I’ve been home from my semester in London for nearly a month now. Its been quite the upheaval. A few days after I returned to the States, my family and I packed up and moved to a new house about 10 minutes from the one we’ve lived in for three years. We moved because my dad just started a new job, one that allows him to have all his weekends and evenings free to spend with his family - something we haven’t had for years!
Moving is nothing new to me of course; I’ve lived in 5 states and moved about 14 times that I can remember, but for some reason this move was more difficult than the rest. Maybe its just because we’ve accumulated so much over the years, but it seemed to take forever to get everything transferred to our new place. I really like our new house, but its been pretty difficult to find room for everything in a smaller space, and we put quite a bit in storage. We’re still unpacking, but this house is starting to feel like a home.
We live on the edge of a tiny town with a population of 860. There’s a forest in front of the house, and a beautiful field stretching into the distance at the side of the house.We’ve planted some flowers and a small herb garden with chives, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and cilantro that we’ve been using nearly every day. On Saturday I helped my dad plant a box garden that will hopefully produce tomatoes, butternut squash, onions, radishes, and garlic.
Last summer I went to Vidcon in California to be a cinematographer on my friend Hannah’s senior thesis project, A Film to Decrease Worldsuck: The Nerdfighters Documentary. It’s a film that’s close to my heart, since I’m a Nerdfighter myself! Nerdfighters began as fans of The Vlogbrothers – two brothers, Hank and John Green, who have grown to be internet sensations through their Youtube channel. Hank is a musician and John is an author (The Fault in Stars is his most recent work – I highly recommend it!) I’ve been working with Hannah on the social media promotion for a year, and last week I finally got to see the finished product at a screening which I emceed with my best friend and fellow Nerdfighter Tara in Indianapolis. We had about 65 people attend, and each person brought books to donate to the Indy Reads Adult Literacy Charity. It was so amazing to see all our hard work pay off. People loved the film, and there are still charity screenings taking place all over the country and in Ireland this summer.
Since I got home from London, I’ve spent most of my time dealing with the move, but I’ve also been babysitting some adorable babies, as well as working on video editing and updating my website and resume. I leave for my summer job as the videographer at a summer camp in two weeks, and I have to finish editing my London vlogs before then.
On Sunday our pastor’s wife asked me to share my about my semester abroad with her Sunday School class in a few weeks; she says that they are a group of old ladies who like to hear about what the youngsters are doing with their lives, so it should be really nice to share that with them. I had a lot of support from my church family while abroad, and its great to be back with them again.
Sunday afternoon we went to see Iron Man 3 at the historic one-screen movie theatre in our hometown. It was my second time seeing it (the first was at the BFI IMAX in London alksdjf;ladjs) and I loved being able to see it with my family. I also got to go to the premiere in London and catch glimpses of Robert and some of the other cast members on the red carpet! In my opinion it’s the best out of the Iron Man movies – the first two were pretty good, but this one just blew it out of the water.
IM3 was hilarious and the action sequences were so inventive and exciting – even my mom liked them! Robert Downey Jr. was brilliant of course, and after this film he has moved high up on my extensive list of favorite actors. I loved the character development in this film. The writers gave the side characters – Pepper, Happy, and Rhodey, for example – some amazing scenes that actually made me care about them. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley were absolutely fantastic as well. There were some plot holes and a couple small things that stretched the believability, but overall it is a fun, escapist film that I will watch again and again.
I’ll be spending Memorial Day weekend at my best friend’s lakehouse. We haven’t seen each other all semester, so I’m really looking forward to it! The past few weeks have been really stressful because of the move, but also really good because I'm with my family. Its hard to adjust to my life here again after spending 3 months in London; I still feel a bit lost and overwhelmed. I’ve seen and experienced so much in another country, and suddenly I’m thrust back into my old life, but in a new house and town! And I have such a short time left here before I’m back working at camp. After that its my senior year of college. I have many dreams for the future after I graduate, a future that feels simultaneously far away and terrifyingly close. I suppose I just need to take it one day at a time and keep working towards my goals, like I always have.
And I need to go see Star Trek Into Darkness…