Offscreen with Emma Curran

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by on January 13, 2016 Featured

Offscreen lower-thirds

Producer Credits:
Fall at Georgetown
Ask A GU Prof: Star Wars Edition
Happy #HoyaHolidays
Student Profile: Teach for America

When did you know you wanted to make movies for a living?
In high school, I took a TV production class and just loved it. My teacher let me bring home a camera and a giant bubble Mac for an entire summer. Since the 10th grade, I’ve never really thought of doing anything else.

How did you get into higher ed?
I had worked in a live production studio in Boston before doing in-house event videos and interviews at a think tank in DC. From this experience, I realized that I wanted to work closely with clients in a place where I could do more storytelling. Higher ed is the perfect fit because I’m working with all sorts of people doing a variety of work. No two days at Georgetown have ever been alike.  One day I’m filming in a neuro lab and the next I’m dressing our bulldog mascot in a pirate costume.

How do you pick projects at Georgetown?
It’s changed a lot in the last year. When I first arrived in 2012, I was the only videographer on staff. Most projects were self-driven, though I often collaborated with writers to identify story subjects. Now, with the help of a second videographer, we take on a significant amount of client work from other departments in addition to our own internal projects. It’s bustling.

What’s your A camera?
Canon C100

Is there one piece of equipment you’d like to add to the inventory?
DC is a no-fly zone but it’s such a beautiful campus, right on the Potomac. I’m itching to use a drone.

Got any Netflix recommendations?
I like movies (mostly documentaries) that narrow in on someone with a funky story. Check out Tabloid (2010, dir. Errol Morris) and Walking and Talking (1996, dir. Nicole Holofcener).

What recent higher ed video impresses you?
I’m trying to push myself lately to try new styles and be a little more conceptual so this video from BYU  is on my mind: Generation Y: BYU 2014 Message.

I’m also a big fan of Boston College and I know The Journey was done by their in-house producer Sean Casey.

Do you have a favorite Georgetown project?
Georgetown gives out an award every year to a community member who is doing good work for DC. During my first year on the job, the winner was Mary Brown, who co-founded an organization called Life Pieces to Masterpieces. My job was to make a tribute video that would premiere at the MLK Day event, which was hosted at the Kennedy Center. Most of my videos only play on YouTube. To see the finished product (watch Georgetown Honors Mary Brown) on the big screen was a first for me. But the best part of the experience was getting to meet and interview Mary. She was kind and very open on-camera, which isn’t always the case. I just felt so good about that project from beginning to end.

If you could make a movie on any subject (with no time or budget limitations), what subject would you chose?
I want to do a long-form documentary on DC and how it has changed over time. It’s the perfect excuse to get to know the city better.

Where do you go for inspiration?
Lately, in addition to spending plenty of time trolling youtube and vimeo, I’ve been finding a lot of storytelling inspiration in non-video places. I have a super long commute so I’ve become a podcast addict and there are some amazing storytelling ones: The Memory Palace, Snap Judgement, Unfictional, Love + Radio, Home of the Brave… I could go on and on. People are doing such innovative things in that space.

Longform.org is also a must visit for me almost daily. I also will sometimes go through the Pulitzer Prize for Photography archives for a different type of inspiration.

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