My personal growth with What’s the Story

Throughout my entire experience with What’s the story, I have learned many useful learning and life skills that I intend to incorporate into my personal life. Difficulties, obstacles, as well as many prevalences have helped my group and I get to where we currently are with our film, showing us what it takes to achieve an ideal product of something you wish to accomplish. I have predominantly learned communication, storytelling and teamwork skills such as thinking of myself as part of a team, rather than being independently motivated, conveying a powerful story while still remaining informational, and reaching out to adults… (speaking to adults can be scary)

A couple of months ago, I felt a bit hopeless, and I had no idea how we could possibly create even a fraction of what we wanted. We had barely any footage to work with, and barely any idea of what the essence of our film would be. Now, sitting in front of a holy grail of over 1.5 hours of footage, I feel more confident and reassured that we will be able to make the best out of it. Before, I also had trouble talking to adults. I wouldn’t have ever expected that I would be able to reach out to multiple adults that I don’t know, communicate thoroughly with them about subjects that are important to me, and spend hours with them, interviewing them in new places. I felt that I had dived into the unknown, and it all came out for the better. Obviously, communication is quite possibly the most important skill to acquire in the real world, and this experience is a taste of what I will encounter, helping me be prepared for my future. Might I mention how it is sometimes difficult to communicate as a group from different parts of the state as well?

Also, I have learned a lot about teamwork. I am a very independent person when it comes to projects and work, and it is honestly very difficult to incorporate others’ ideas into my own, especially when it is about a subject I care for deeply. However, I have come to realize that 4 brains can be much more powerful than one. My group members can attest, I can get frustrated, but for the most part, I have improved my thinking and empathy in terms of team building. To be honest, after hearing many adults doubt we could work well together since my entire group was friends with each other previously, it will feel even better when we sculpt an amazing film and prove that anyone can be a high-functioning team.

I credit a lot of that growth to our mentor, Kate, who keeps us productive and leads us in the right direction when we feel lost. I feel I can be honest with her about my experience with What’s the Story both when it’s positive and negative.

She has taught me so many important filmmaking skills and tools that will be very useful in my future if I decide to carry out a career involving film. Without her and some other authoritative figures at What’s the Story, I would have no idea how to conduct an interview, tell a visual story with b roll, capture a setting with a 3 shot sequence, and construct an informational film in general. My view of filmmaking prior to What’s the Story was far different than it is now, but what I’ve learned here has only contributed to my interest in a life in film. I believe Kate directs us in a more efficient way than perhaps another mentor would.

Between now and our next meeting on April 4th, I will try to indicate the important pieces of our footage that we would definitely like to include in our final film. I will additionally conduct a final interview to establish a credible source in our film, and further brainstorm our film structure as well. I hope to establish a better understanding of our intended audience, and how our film will be chronologically (or not chronologically). This will further improve my storytelling indicator as well as my effective communication.

Sam Leggett

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