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Comeback Story Filming in Arlington

This February, Arlington Community Media Inc. (ACMI) hosted The NAN Project for an exciting day of filming and recording Peer Mentor Comeback Stories!

ACMI is an organization that is “dedicated to providing an electronic forum for the free exchange of information and ideas which reflect the talents, skills, interests, concerns, and diversity of the Arlington community.” They have two studios for filmmaking and a podcast recording booth that are open for the community to use. Additionally, they offer workshops and volunteering opportunities for those who are interested in film and technology. We were thrilled to be able to team up with ACMI for this project!

Our day at ACMI consisted of some basic introduction to videography and tips on filming. We worked with Jeff, ACMI’s Operations Manager, Katie, the Production and Media Coordinator, and some other staff and interns. Jeff and Katie showed us how to operate the cameras and gave us a run-down on how to set up the camera, microphones, and lights in the studio. Our Peer Mentors – Andrew, Shannon, and Evan – took turns practicing their stories in this new format, in front of the lights and cameras. We also had peer mentors helping out in the studio, by running the teleprompter and helping the interns with the audio soundboard. Everything went so well during the practice take that we decided to film the real take immediately after.  The ACMI team filmed the Comeback Stories in a very personal style – it really makes the viewer feel like they’re talking to the Peer Mentor. Our Peer Mentors did a great job adapting to this technology, and having these Comeback Stories captured on film really tells their story of recovery in a creative way. Everyone really worked together very well, and we were excited to return to edit the footage.

The next week, Andrew, Ray Evan and I returned for our follow up day at ACMI, the team tried their hand at editing the footage. We worked with Katie and did some editing on Adobe Premiere Pro.  We all learned how to fill in the green screen with other background colors or images and how to combine two shots into one clip and make cuts to get different angles.  The folks at ACMi also showed us a trick to apply effects like a dissolve to start and end the final video.  During our final session, we finished up the last of our edits and exported all of the files to create the final video.  These videos will be useful examples to demonstrate a Peer Mentor’s Comeback Story, in classrooms, in training, or when introducing our programming to a new school!

The NAN Project really would like to thank Jeff, Katie, the interns and all of the staff at ACMI for working with us and imparting some of their knowledge, so that we now have a new way of sharing our stories!

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