Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Video: Northeastern University - An Urban Oasis

I just learned that a video I made while in journalism school has over 13,000 views on YouTube!


I created this video as my final project for a photojournalism course, one of my favorite courses I took while completing my master's in journalism at Northeastern University.

Northeastern has a beautiful campus with lots of green plants and meandering brick sidewalks. I lived about a mile from campus at the time and walked to school most days. I always enjoyed that moment when I transitioned from the grey sidewalks and chain-link fences to the outer edges of that bright, green campus. It brightened my day no matter the time of year.

So, naturally, as the time came for us to consider story ideas for our final photo slideshow/video project, I thought about this experience. It occurred to me that the beauty of this campus wasn't random. Clearly someone was responsible. I reached out to Chuck Doughty, director of landscape services at Northeastern, after finding a story profile on him. He is a hidden treasure at Northeastern, at couldn't have been more helpful to me as I worked on this project. He spent considerable time with me, taking me on a tour around the entire campus, and showing me all of the little tucked-away treasures: the banana tree, the green roof, and a veteran's memorial that unfortunately didn't make it into the video. It's clear that he loves that campus, and I couldn't be more grateful for his time.

Everyone I interviewed for the video, especially the students who probably thought I was nuts, was very friendly and helpful. Overall, making this video was a blast for me, and I was very excited and touched to see that so many people have watched it. That tells me I'm (hopefully) not the only one who appreciated what Chuck and his team were doing, and that there was a story there.

Incidentally, when I learned that the video had so many views, I was intrigued: Did someone at sometime link to it (maybe on a recruitment web page, for example) and cause a spike in views? Nope, it's been a slow-and-steady trend, and I think that's pretty cool!