Laramie Musician Shawn Hess: Final Video Project

For our final video project, we had to choose an event or a feature and make a short little video on that topic. With that in mind Jamie and I wanted to do something related to music. As writers/editors for the Branding Iron on campus, we exhausted just about all of our options for local bands. We knew Shawn Hess was in Elk Tongue and his other band 10¢ Stranger. When we asked him if he was in any other bands, he mentioned he was starting a third band, so we thought it would be interesting to do a feature video on him as a local musician who plays in multiple bands that have such different backgrounds. Our video can be found here.

Local musician Shawn Hess.
Local musician Shawn Hess.

I honestly loved this project. It was so fun to try a new form of journalism and I think that working with Jamie on it made it more fun because we’re so close. The project made me to step out of the box and try something new that I didn’t really know much about. I loved showcasing Shawn’s talents in our video because as we talked to him and really learned about his background in music, I was really impressed. He juggles a couple jobs on top of these three bands, so I was blown away by his ability to make music such a huge portion of his life on top of it all.

As far as things that I didn’t enjoy, it would probably be editing to some degree. We didn’t face a lot of major challenges necessarily, but there were times when things just weren’t flowing, so we really had to think of the best way to present the video footage we got. It worked out in the end of course, but there were parts of the video that took us awhile to find the best way to make things flow. Overall, we spent a lot of time on perfecting our video. I think that finding different angles was another challenge that took us awhile to achieve. This is because the spaces we had to film B-roll were very small, so we definitely had to adjust to that.

A few things surprised me about this project. First, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it because I was very nervous going into the first time we filmed. I didn’t know too much about video so I was very scared that I wouldn’t get the footage we wanted or that I wouldn’t be good at it. I was shocked to find that I actually really loved doing it. I also was surprised by how it turned out. When we first saw the footage, some of it was fuzzy and I was worried, but then as we watched all our videos, it actually made for a great aspect of the film. Shawn has this personality that matches the look of the video, so it ended up being a great quality to parts of the video.

If we could’ve done things differently, I would’ve chose to interview Keaton in a different spot. Though he chose Coal Creek and wanted to be there, he mumbles on occasion, so it was tough to hear him in parts and we tried our best to fix that in editing. I knew the atmosphere would be a little louder, but I figured it would be fine because we had an actual camera to video with. Though this was a challenge, I think we edited it enough to where you can understand him.

As a journalism major, using video in my future career wouldn’t be surprising. I have always wanted to start a YouTube channel since I became so interested in concerts and journalism, but I lack the resources to do so. I hope to get a professional camera in the near future, so if that happens, I definitely see video playing a huge role in my future career. When I get a job in journalism after college, I would love to do video work, honestly. I think it’s so fun and a great way to showcase people and the cool things they can do. I hope I get a chance to do this style of journalism in the future.

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