Leimert Park Workshop #3: Ready to Press Record

The third workshop with the Leimert Park students began with a review of the photography concepts they had explored during the previous week -- composition, focus, depth of field, light, and exposure -- all in preparation for the students to jump behind the video camera and practice conducting interviews.

Once the students had explored the basics of the video camera, they practiced using the wireless lavalier microphones, placing them on the interviewee and reading and adjusting the sound levels. Sound can often be dismissed as secondary to the visual, so it was vital to emphasize the importance of recording good audio and capturing the subject's thoughts and ideas clearly.

Once they felt relatively comfortable with the camera and sound equipment it was time to put these new skills into action by conducting a few practice interviews with each other. The students worked from a list of sample questions regarding Leimert Park in their production notes, and then added some of their own follow-up questions. In the video above the students describe what Leimert Park is to them.

The students then followed-up with questions about the future of their neighborhood -- what they wanted to preserve, and what if anything they would like to see changed? Their answers offer unique insight into their concerns as young people and how they see their roles as community members now and in the future.

Some of the students were more comfortable behind the scenes, and chose to focus on camera, light or audio. Although some were a bit hesitant at first, they all did a great job exploring and practicing various aspects of production.

For the following workshop, the class will go more in depth with the equipment and interview strategies as they move out into the field to record interviews with community members and experts. Keep an eye out for some sneak previews.

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