As I wrap up two and a half days in Chicago, I can see my project starting to take shape.
First, as I carry around an increasingly large number of MiniDV tapes (14 and counting) and think about how to put all of this content together, I’m realizing that quality is more important than quantity. Over the last couple days, I’ve conducted fewer interviews per day, however I’ve also spent more time with each interview, especially with respect to capturing B-roll, or footage of the interviewee’s environment. I think this is really important for my understanding of the person’s context, and eventually for my audience’s understanding of the same.
Second, I feel increasingly confident in my theme: interviewing people who took a risk to follow a passion. Ever since I reframed my project around this question, my interviews have becoming more intimate, insightful, and inspiring. I’m excited to see where this question leads me over the rest of my journey.
Third, I’ve found a rhythm that works for me. Travel days are for just that — travel and refocusing. Interview days are solely for interviewing. While I’ve made a couple of exceptions, I think this delineation is important in helping me to stay focused and have perspective on my work.
I have had a few neat experiences over the last few days, specifically:
– Sue O’Halloran organized a delicious dinner at her place for me and professional storytellers in the Chicago area. The night ended with quite possibly the most intricate edition of two-truths and a lie that has ever been played.
– I interviewed my good friend Matt, who gave up the creature comforts of a successful career and strong network in New York City to start a nonprofit in Mumbai, India.
– I interviewed my good friend Jesse, who balances her work as an economist and TV commentator with running a dance company.
– I interviewed Bogna Solak, a Polish immigrant who, after getting stuck in the US when Poland declared martial law, decided to follow her passion and started a bakery. Today she owns five bakeries under the Oak Mill brand, and her own large-scale production facility.
With that, goodbye Windy City, thanks to the Polish American Association for being incredibly helpful in connecting me with Bogna, and off to Missouri (where I spend my first day camping).