Columbia-Barnard 2015 Sexias Dinner

The annual Columbia-Barnard Hillel Sexias dinner held in Columbia University's Low Library honored Michael P. Lustig, Columbia College ’86, President, Board of Directors and Dr. Judith W. Schwartz, Barnard College ’78, Chair, Board of Directors.

This piece was made specifically for Columbia-Barnard Hillel's 2015 Sexias Dinner. The video was projected inside Columbia University's Low Library for the more than 400 attendees on May 14, 2015. 

About the video:

In February, I spent one day capturing the students. I used a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 6D to capture the interviews, and I lit the shots with two LED lights; camera left and camera right. The audio was captured with a Zoom H4n and an external lav. mic. I later synced the audio and video in Premiere Pro. This was one of the first projects in which I captured audio and video separately, and I'm very happy with the H4n's audio quality and ease of use. My usual go-to audio device was the Rode shotgun mic.

For this type of a project, with 8 subjects, syncing audio and video was easy, quick and efficient. In a later a project, involving 30+ students, I learned syncing external audio with video for so many subjects can become time consuming and challenging. Although, there are a lot of tips and tricks you can do while shooting to keep the audio and video closer synced. One of these tricks is having both devices time synced. This allows you to do a general, and very initial "sync" between the two mediums.

Capturing b-roll is where I spent the most time on this project. My idea was to have unique, interesting and relevant content (photos and video) play over the students as they spoke about their Jewish college experience. The content had to be relevant to what each student was talking about and to their "character". In mid-february, when the project began I started capturing b-roll at events, lots of b-roll. 24GBs of b-roll to be exact. However, it wasn't very good. I hadn't whittled down the 42 minutes of rough interview footage and I had not found found my theme.

April arrived and so did the nice whether. I came to the Columbia University campus and the Columbia-Barnard Kraft Center numerous times to capture content. I (finally) purchased a lightweight and inexpensive slider for DSLR video, and I captured a beautifully smooth pan of the Kraft Center's exterior. I emailed the students appearing in the pieces and captured extra footage of them doing that "typical college" stuff. The b-roll made the film interesting and engaging. 

I learned a lot from this one video and I have a lot more to learn.