Before I was consulting full-time, I was previously on-staff for Girl Scouts of South Carolina- Mountains to Midlands. When I first came onto their marketing staff, the Cathy Novinger Girl Scout Leadership Center was still several years away from becoming a reality, but last weekend, I had the opportunity to video the full grand opening press conference and interview attendees afterwards; talk about full circle. As always, I arrived a little early to check out lighting, plan my shots, and take some stills before everyone filled the space. The newly opened leadership center is right at 32,000 square feet so I had a lot of scouting to do.
Throughout the course of my career in the nonprofit sector I have discovered that the work you do in preparation is just as important, if not more so, than what you do at the actual event. To prepare, I made a list of all the VIP individuals on the guest list such as elected officials, board members, and donors, and created a shot list to get sound bytes from each, and at least one close up shot of each. From there, I made what I like to call a "video map". I do the same thing with photography. I begin by writing out the order of the event, and choosing the key moments I want to focus on, and other moments that will be beneficial to layer in. As an example, I set up a GoPro in the back of the room for the press conference to capture a wide angle shot to toggle between the closeups I was getting, and to also shoot a time lapse of attendees coming in before hand. This plan gives me a better of idea of where to setup my equipment, what kind of audio equipment I need to bring, and what types of shots I need for the video I am envisioning.
In true Girl Scout fashion, girls led the ceremony by introducing each speaker in turn. From Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, to capital campaign leadership, the press conference was stacked with inspiring speakers who perfectly illustrated the purpose of the leadership center: to prepare girls for a lifetime of leadership. With its brightly color blocked walls and signage and dynamic minimalist decor, the leadership center shines not only on camera and video, but to all who enter its doors.
When the event was said and done, I went home with about 3 hours of footage to edit and each shot was more stunning than the next. I'm still going through all the video and stills from Saturday, but I am already so excited to share more. From those 3 hours of footage, I will be able to create 5 or more videos to hit upcoming campaigns for the Girl Scouts of South Carolina- Mountains to Midlands.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest event experience. Have your own event coming up? Let me know what it is in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat more.