the big IF

Another journey to embark, this time it’s with Youtube, Pulitzer Center, Sony and Intel. These companies have collaborated and put together a video contest for amateur filmmakers and journalists. I, of course, jumped into the chance.

Honestly, every once in a while, I would enter a phase where I doubt if my efforts are going somewhere, but when it all comes down to it, I can’t stop going, I can’t quit. It’s almost something out of my control. This competition is an example of that undying persistence. And I’m not trying to brag, I meant broadcast journalism will always get hold of me, not matter how I suck at it 🙂

The video assignment is to shoot and follow around a person who has done tremendous positive impact in the community. After a week of scouting, asking people for nominations, I’ve found my heroine, Lolita Kintanar.

Lolita is the director of the Canon Kip Senior Center in San Francisco, where she helps low income and homeless seniors. Outside work, she volunteers  for the Gubbio project (homeless shelter program), VEC (Veterans Equity Center), and Mary’s House (in San Pablo, assisting young pregnant women and victims of domestic violence). Needless to say, she also has undying persistence, but ten times greater than mine


One of the challenges making this video is to cramp everything together in three minutes, which was the maximum limit according to the rules. There are so much more to Lolita than what I had shown but it was hard to encapsulate her essence in such short time. If I calculate correctly, I have about six to seven hours of footage. Thankfully, my parents saw my rough cut and gave a much needed critique to tighten it up. Actually, the rough cut did not have any voiceover because I was hoping the footage will speak for itself. But because I  have only three minutes to work with, I added narration to sum up what was going on in the scene.

Even after the final cut, I spot a few things I would have changed. But then again, editing is an endless game and I just have to stop at one point and let go.

The competition has two award categories, the “Community Award”, where people watch the videos and click a “thumbs up” to vote, and the “Semi Finalist Award”, where judges screen the video and deliberate choosing the winner. The winner of the Community Award gets a thousand dollar laptop from Sony. The winner of the judges’ award gets a Sony HD Camera. I’d like to win both or the latter just so I can have something to use for the 2nd round of the competition, which has to be shot on HD. If I don’t win anything, I’d just have to borrow someone else’s HD Camera to shoot for the 2nd Round.

The prize for Round 2 is a ten thousand dollar grant to produce an international story. If I win, I’d go to the Philippines and cover the elections, but that’s a big IF.


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