institute for documentary studies

{Week 2: Multimedia}

Week 2: Multimedia


Hi! My name is Alice Quinlan. I’m in the radio track here at Salt. My path to Salt started at Sarah Lawrence College where, in my senior year, I decided to veer away from my major (philosophy) and take a class on writing for radio. My future was sealed! Since I graduated from college I’ve been living and working in the small town of Marfa, Texas, trying to figure out how to make a career out of a love for radio and multimedia work. It’s only my second week at Salt, but I already know I’ve made the right choice – my butt is being sufficiently kicked!

This week, our multimedia class was focused on our Documentary in a Day assignment. Basically, we had one day to get all the content we needed to create a one and a half minute audio slideshow. The inimitable Anne Bailey gave us a central event to focus our story ideas around: The Sebago Lake Ice Fishing Derby. Our task was to research and work those phones to find a good story and a good subject.

For me, the takeaway from week two:

1)   Learn to duck and weave! Two days before the Ice Fishing Derby the ice was deemed too thin and the derby was canceled – cue a lot of students rushing to find new stories and new subjects. Got to go with that flow.

2)   It’s all about the telephone. This was a big challenge for me. I just hate talking on the phone! But it’s really the only way to make the connection you need to make, and people really appreciate a human voice at the end of the line, rather than an email.

3)   People love to talk! I was floored by how open people were to us. The subjects we focused on really brought us in to their ice fishing experience, and even opened their home to us. It was really humbling to see how open and kind Mainers tend to be. It became an equally important part of the weekend to respect this, as well as getting the story.

So far, the one thing we are all feeling right now is exhaustion. The pace here is not to be underestimated – but that’s what makes the work happen. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!

- Al, radio