UIF: A Caller’s Playground – Assignment 4 Gibson


Have you ever recorded a great video on your phone? I mean, it could be a video from a concert or just your friends acting silly, but when you rewatched the video you felt like James Cameron had personally mentored you?


That’s how I imagined this project to turn out when it was first assigned. I saw the action and the audio and the transitions flowing together so nicely that I would realize I was way past the beginner stages of filming. But like most things in life, I learned that seeing is not the same as doing and to perfect a skill it takes practice, lots of coffee and a few people willing to lend a hand (or a face) on camera.

Originally, I had the idea that I could record my friend’s radio show. That was my Plan A. After a few mishaps, however, that wasn’t possible and I had to try to find a Plan B that would do this project some justice. Luckily, I found it right away. I would simply document the life as a caller for the University of Illinois Foundation, a life I know very well as an employee.

Perfect plan, right? Not necessarily. For one, I couldn’t record any of the screens because it displayed personal information from alumni of the college. That would limit my shooting angles. Secondly, I had to try to capture the life of caller which, despite my perception, isn’t all that exciting. Yes, there’s some Netflix and great music playing, but the action isn’t exactly “Terminator” worthy. ┬áBut that’s when I learned something deeper about filming in general and future projects that I dream of working on. It’s not all about capturing the action. It’s about capturing the reality of things. Things in life aren’t all explosions and fast paced debates despite what “Scandal” has taught me. Capturing life is capturing the little things that take place during a day. Whether if it is someone entering a building, having a conversation, or texting on their phone while they wait for their shift to begin, it all falls into the category of what life is.

That’s what I tried to capture with this project. I showed a Student Representative talking and people just watching Netflix. I even captured leaving the building. I captured the life of a UIF caller. An occupation not for the weary hearted. (Just Kidding).

You can view my project here.

2 thoughts on “UIF: A Caller’s Playground – Assignment 4 Gibson

  1. Helmuth, Shannon N

    Hey Aaliyah,

    I have never heard of the University of Illinois Foundation calling center. I definitely need to get out more! I think it was a great idea to try and capture how everything works there. It’s unfortunate that you couldn’t get some better angles for your piece because of your limitations. If they had been more lenient about what you were allowed to shoot, I know it would have come out even better. Kudos to you for getting an interview! It really helped tie your story together. I liked how you got shots whenever the room was full in the beginning and emptying out at the end. It was a good comparison and created a smooth ending. As far as recording you leaving, it was a really interesting idea! I think it would have worked better if you took multiple videos and then had them cut to each other a bit faster. Overall, I think you did a great job considering you had to change your topic, and you had a lot of limitations when it came to recording. I look forward to seeing your next project!

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