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Info for guests

What this project involves

Video documentary segment

This is not an interview, but more of a one-way presentation where you tell me about yourself, your story, and what you learned.

While I will be present to listen to your story and help prompt you to provide clarification or to cover certain things you wanted to discuss (provided your list of bullet points — see further down this page), I will not be featured in your video segment.

The video segment is composed of:

  1. Introducing yourself & providing some information about your background
  2. Discussing your story (the life experiences that led to your lessons)
  3. Sharing the lessons you learned and any advice & encouragement you wish to pass on to others.

While you may consider this to be your mini-masterclass moment or short TED talk presentation, please know that you get as many takes as necessary to present the information you wish to share as clearly as possible.

Time: 10 minutes to 1 hour

*Audio podcast discussion

This is an audio discussion in which we talk about you and your life experiences. In this segment, I will be asking you questions, but we will also go wherever the conversation leads.

That said, one of my goals is to take an honest & thoughtful look at people’s successes, setbacks, failures, and struggles in life and discussing the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

We will also be discussing topics related to the primary theme of this project: resilience and hope.

Excerpts from our discussion may be used to help supplement your video documentary segment. 

*Audio discussions may be informally documented on lower quality video — and could possibly be streamed as a video podcast.

Time: As long as necessary (expect 1 to 2 hours)

Not available for video? That’s ok!

Being an audio-only podcast guest is ab option available to anyone I’m unable to meet with personally as I travel. To do this, we will record a conversation over the phone using an app/website to facilitate the process.

Order of segments

We may record the podcast first and the video second or vice-versa depending on subjects’ comfort or personal preference.

That said, depending on the type of experience being shared, it’s better — in many cases — to tell difficult stories on camera first, because the emotions captured are raw and genuine and allow an audience to identify with a subject much more than when conveyed through audio alone.

Additional segments

More is always a possibility and will be discussed when applicable.

For example, I will be doing a ~6-month follow-up with a family I already met with to see how things have changed — this is before any of our initial content has even been released.

Things to do & consider

Make a list of bullet points

In preparation for your segment(s), I recommend making a bullet point list of:

  • Things you want to discuss
  • Details you don’t want to forget mentioning
  • Lessons you want to share
  • Organizations, products, resources, or causes you want to draw attention to

We will both use this list to help make sure you cover everything you wish to discuss in your segments.

I’ll be working with you every step of the way to help you convey the message that you wish to deliver with the tone you wish to delivery it with. This should a rewarding experience. Any aspects of your (video or audio) segments that don’t add value to it will be edited out.

Shooting Location

Unless otherwise arranged, video documentary segments are shot in subjects’ residences.

While we will need a small area of tidy space, to shoot you do not need to clean your place. We simply need a comfortable place for you to sit and a non-distracting background (that will be blurred out anyway).

The primary requirement of any shooting location is that it is comfortable for the subject and quiet enough to have a discussion without distractions. This means:

  • No barking, whining, or noisy pets (cat hair, etc is not an issue)
  • Limited hum of appliances like air conditioning
  • Quiet family members or roommates while we shoot & record

If in-residence shooting isn’t a good option, we will consider shooting outside at a nearby location (such as a park) — but we will need to contend with weather conditions as well as noise.

B Roll (supplemental video)

When time allows, will be shooting B roll (video footage) to help supplement the main video. This includes casual or behind-the-scenes footage of you being you. It may also involve following you as you go about your day (work, play…). We will collaborate to come up with fun and interesting things to shoot — but the goal is to shoot things that are authentically you.

Shooting will take anywhere from 1-4 hours (possibly more depending on circumstances — which will be worked out with you). It may also span multiple days & locations depending on what we decide.

Rough-cut excerpts from video and podcast segments

For an idea of some of the types of content already recorded, please see the rough cut excerpt from an early video segment below (and an audio podcast excerpt below that).

Note, the tone & style of individual segments will vary greatly depending on the guests involved.

Long-term goal: Feature length documentary

It is a long-term goal to eventually cut together videos and supplemental material from this project into a feature-length documentary that focuses on resilience, hope, the path less traveled, lessons people have learned, and recurring themes presented throughout this series.

These videos will give you an idea of formats I'm considering...

Please note: THIS IS NOT MY WORK.

Here's another example (again, not my work)