For the first week in June, I ran around Washington, D.C. answering the question, "Who or what runs D.C.?" for the Hearst Journalism Awards National Multimedia Championship. We were given the prompt a week ahead of time, so that we could start brainstorming and trying to solidify our story ideas prior to landing in the city the next Monday.
Upon arrival and orientation, we had 48 hours to finalize, shoot and edit a 2-5 minute video that answered our prompt in some creative way. I had an idea to visualize the city through the voice of a spoken word poet. After some research, I found out that Twain would be performing a comedic love poem to D.C. during Open Mic Night at Busboys and Poets. Open Mic Night happened to be on the first full night in my 48 hour period, so when I contacted Twain, he sent me a link to a video of him performing the D.C. poem he was to do that Tuesday evening. After making a list of all of the places and people that he referenced, I bought a map of the city and made a timetable of where the light would be, when certain types of people (tourists, commuters, etc.) would be where and where each place was in relation to each other. I followed my shooting schedule up until Tuesday night, still completely unsure if this crazy idea would even remotely work. As soon as I met Twain, he was incredibly helpful and wonderful. It turned out that he was not only performing in, but also hosting Open Mic Night, so the sold out crowd got a taste of his fantastic personality.
This is the finalized piece I turned in. Although it was an honor to have won, the best parts of it for me were meeting all of the people who kindly let me shoot them for the piece and establishing friendships with all of the other contestants. If you get the chance, you should definitely check out the other contestants' beautiful pieces. Despite the brevity of the time period, every one of my friends made beautiful work.