The Experience: A Promotional Video for H2Oi

For my Capstone project, The Experience, I created a promotional video for H2Oi, one of the largest- if not the largest- car shows on the East Coast. This semester was a total whirlwind, with everything that could possibly have gone wrong, going wrong.

I’m an idea girl. I have lots of ideas and projects going at any given time. The project I had chosen to do during the planning semester of Capstone was a short film about Senioritis. This summer I got my first full-time job, which rendered me unable to film, and when the Fall semester started, and it was crunch time, I had no footage for my film.

I was determined to make some sort of video for my project, as my concentration was Strategic Communication, and therefore I didn’t get any studio time or learn anything relating to filmmaking. I wanted to challenge myself, and boy did I ever.

H2Oi is held at the tail-end of September each year in Ocean City, MD, and spans about 5 days, so I would not be returning to school until the 2nd of October. Our first round of presentations was to be held on Oct 31. By the time it was all said and done, because midterms fell in between those dates, I’d have only about 3 weeks to cut and edit all the footage for a film that was supposed to be 20 minutes long.

Needless to say, I was stressed. Combine this with other personal and academic issues, by the time we arrived at the beach I was a total mess. Seeing several other people filming- people who were part of actual production companies- with large, expensive cameras and legit filming equipment, I felt about 3 feet small.

The anxiety consumed me, so much so that I hardly touched the camera all weekend.

When we returned home and I was finally able to look at the footage I did have, I was devastated.

Using some tricks, including footage I got during last year’s event, I managed to scrape together a 4-minute video. When I was done and showed it to my project director, she said I would not pass with that. Mind you, this was with just 3 days left before the first round of presentations.

I spent all weekend starting from scratch, but I am proud to say I made it work.

Next year is the 20th anniversary of H2Oi, but videos of the event, what are called “post movies” or “aftermovies”, have only started to surface in recent years. I spent hours watching those videos, especially the older ones, in order to try and encompass a “vintage” vibe.

This project taught me more about myself than anything. It taught me to be strong, and persevere in the face of adversity. It taught me that not everyone is going to like what you do or understand it; keep doing it anyway, because there are people out there who will enjoy it. It helped me discover a new passion, filmmaking, which I’m excited to pursue more now that I no longer have the threat of deadlines looming over my head. Most importantly, it taught me that, while the professors in this department can be strict, and we may really, really dislike them at times throughout our project, realize that they are only preparing us for the real world which, for me, starts today. So thank you to Monica, Kevin, Matt, and Jason, for teaching us, for helping us, for not helping us, and for loving us.

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