Editor’s note: Beyond the Call is a new section in Around the O Workplace that highlights the exceptional work of UO employees during COVID-19. Each story features an interview with one employee, in his or her own words, with light editing for clarity and length only.
Photographer and Videographer
How long have you worked at the UO?
I have been working at the University of Oregon since 2016.
Tell us about your work:
I get to tell the stories of campus, which is pretty cool. I think this job is really unique because I get to tell the story of students, faculty members, research and I hopefully get to share that with a very large community, potentially the entire state or world.
Most days, I'll be working doing video editing or production. I just finished up a very large immersive for the College of Design where we produced five videos. Probably 20 to 40 percent is going out and actually filming that content, either photographing if it's for a story or, for video, going out and doing interviews or shooting B-roll.
What does your workday look like during COVID-19?
It's a lot less going out and doing things. It's really hard to tell the stories of people on campus when you can't actually go film what they're doing. The biggest thing that's changed is moving to live productions. I had never really done a live production before.
Now, I've done the virtual town halls and virtual visits. I've been working with enrollment services to help transition Duck Days into a virtual environment. I do the mixing for that, which means, since we all have to be remote, I have to do everything from my one central computer. For virtual visits, we had 14 come through that 90-minute program. I had to make sure that all of them could connect remotely into my computer via a software we use and then I had to take their webcam and mix it into the production. It really is like the back end of a news production or something you see on ESPN. The goal always is to make it look like no effort is being exerted at all, but there's a lot of work on the back end.
What is keeping you motivated during this challenging time?
I'm really grateful to work for the university. I was a nontraditional student. I know how much a college degree can change your life, and not just a college degree, but the college experience. The fact that I get to help show that to people keeps me going.
We got this really cool message after the first virtual visit from parents who said they had seen a few other schools’ virtual visits and then they watched ours. They were so impressed with what we did and how we showcased our campus. They said that had sealed it and they were going to commit. Knowing that something our team had done helped someone hopefully change their life is pretty cool.