Braving the cold for a community

Polar Plunge raises money for Special Olympics

Melissa Anderson dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West for the Polar Plunge.

Melissa Anderson dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West for the Polar Plunge.

The cold can’t stop some people from raising money to help their community. The Polar Plunge, held annually across the state, helps raise money for Special Olympics.

In the event, participants get donors to pledge certain amounts to make them jump into water in February and March, no matter how cold the water is. In 2014, 7,352 participants raised more than $2 million for Special Olympics. This money goes to help benefit the more than 21,000 athletes who compete in the Special Olympics.

Well, this is it, my final project. It seems like it’s been a long semester, but it was easy to put together the final after everything we’ve done. Despite not having to shoot the video or do the interviews myself, I felt like this was the most difficult project we’ve done.

It was hard to work with what someone else did and turn it into a complete story. I noticed that I had trouble writing the script, as I wasn’t sure what was the most important thing that happened at the event. I also normally take b-roll for longer than we were given, so it was difficult for me to find solid b-roll for every time I needed it. It was also tough because I wanted to be different than my classmates, who were also given the same raw footage.

What I learned from this project is that I don’t want to be a video editor. I want to shoot everything myself that way I have what I want, and I can make my story the way I want it to be. This project, though, did help me see a lot of different things that we did throughout the semester and blend them into one video. I think you can tell I learned from the other projects I’ve done.

You can check out the final project here!

Here’s my script for the video, too:

Braving the cold for a cause

Polar Plunge raises money for Special Olympics

TRT: 1:27

OUT Q:… Off the Shelf Sigout

Anchor Introduction: The bitter cold didn’t stop some people in Mahomet from raising money for charity. Reporter Johnathan Hettinger has more.


CG LOWERTHIRD- Johnathan Hettinger OTSO REPORTERLocator Lower ThirdShow snow (:02)

Show shirts (:04)

Show crowd 1 (:02)

Show crowd 2 (:04)

Show dog (:06)


Show man holding hat (:03)

Show Irish Girl (:04)


Girls in matching t-shirts jumping in (:05)


Viking helmet jumping in (:05)



Men in speedo jumping in (:05)



Show Wicked Witch standing B-roll (:06)


Lower Third (:05)

Wicked Witch A-Roll (:07)



Show cold child (:04)

Lower third (:05)

Myndie A-roll (:06)



Matt A-roll (:13)

Lower third (:05)




Show people getting out of the water (:07)






TAKE PKG W/REPORTER CG- Johnathan Hettinger


Many community members braved the cold at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet this weekend to help raise money for Special Olympics. The participants took the Polar Plunge in to freezing water, collecting pledges for the organization.  (:12)

Nat sound (:06)


Participants were encouraged to dress up as characters to help liven up the event.

The costumes ranged from matching t-shirts (:07)

Take Nats Full (:05)

Track 3

To Viking helmets (:01)

Take Nats Full (:05)

Track 4

To very little (:02)

Take Nats Full (:05)

Track 5

One woman, dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz, was not worried about the freezing temperatures. (:06)

Take SOT from Wicked Witch (:07)

“I’m just hoping not to melt when I hit the water, so we’ll see how it goes…” (:07)

Track 6

This year’s version of the event was much colder than in past years. (:04)

Take SOT

“Last year it was 70 degrees, and this year they’re breaking ice, so that makes a big difference.” (:06)

Track 7

Participant, Matt Payne, had advice for future Polar Plunge participants. (:04)

Take SOT

“You want to have a hat that will give you support in the water in case you drown, and drink some warm liquids before and you’re good to go.” (:09)

Track 8

Participants survived the bitter cold and said they would definitely be back again.   Until next year, for off the shelf and online, I’m Johnathan Hettinger. (:07)



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