My proposal in class must have been persuasive as I suddenly found myself part of a group with five other people. Given that there were only thirteen students enrolled in WRA 417, the success of this project would be the determining factor in the grades of more than a third of our class. I felt weighed down by this new responsibility. I knew the others were looking to me to lead the group, since the project was my idea and I knew the most about our subject. But I didn’t want to take on a dictatorial directorship role. Since Dr. Halbritter had granted us free reign to explore and develop our own ideas and learning outcomes, I didn’t think it was my role to dictate what my group members felt they wanted to learn from the project.
Therefore, in our first meeting, I tried to gauge what role(s) each group member would like to fill. Elyse Kuriata, a journalism major, took on the role of setting up interviews, creating interview questions, giving us tips on proper interview procedure, and collating data about our subjects. Ben Froese, a fantastic musician, brought his musical knowledge to the fore and set about choosing songs for a soundtrack, networking with fellow musicians for potential interviews, and researching copyright for music licenses. Jeremy Harder, a web developer by trade, set about creating a digital portal where we could blog our progress, upload our videos, and eventually host our final product. Nathan Boes acted as group photographer in charge of documenting our process on film. James Jansen volunteered to be the primary videographer. I acted as director.
We had about eight weeks to finish the project. Dr. Halbritter scheduled weekly progress reports where all the groups in the class would present the research and materials they had created up to that point. We identified three major phases of the project: research, shooting, and editing. Given the limited time frame, we set strict constraints on each phase. We gave ourselves 2 weeks for researching and networking with the people we would need to interview. We gave ourselves 4 weeks for shooting the interviews and B-roll, the supplemental video material which is intercut with the main shot of an interview subject. Finally, we scheduled 2 weeks for editing. We used Google Docs, a collaborative document sharing service, to share our notes and keep ourselves organized.
We began our research the old-fashioned way: by scouring the Internet. After collecting as much data as we could there, we began talking to the people who knew Robert Busby well. The following is a brief overview of the few things we learned about him in our short research period.
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