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Take it With You

In mid-March, just before Spring Break, I unknowingly walked into a classroom at West Virginia University for the last time. As heartbroken as I am to know that my senior year was cut in half, I can’t help but be exceptionally grateful for the knowledge that I was gifted with before we all watched our world change forever. My work with the BrandJRNY team alone has left me with a whole new set of skills. I learned invaluable lessons about myself while simultaneously developing hard skills that are going to guide me through the beginning years of my professional career.

Claire Hemme filming the Point Pleasant Brand Launch. | Source: Seth Seebaugh

Organization

A project which offers so many different benefits requires conscious and consistent organization. Everything from research to personal work and events had to be meticulously organized in order to produce professional results. The massive amount of work that we had also applied to other aspects of the campaign, which would need to be used later. So aside from professionalism, being wildly organized is what kept us all from pulling our hair out.


Groundwork I tend to be the type to go with the flow. I like to get started and figure out problems as I go. Unfortunately, this strategy isn’t exactly cohesive with long-term campaign work. BrandJRNY helped me understand how to teach myself the basics and plan ahead in order to avoid costly roadblocks later in the project. I especially think that this was shown to me through my role as videography because you can’t restage an event to gather more content. You really have to think and create an action plan beforehand to make sure you have everything you’ll need to make a great video.


Composition Both of my roles, Creative Director and Community Videographer, taught me a great deal about composition. I’ve always been an artist, but leisurely art doesn’t always teach you the importance or value of a well-rounded composition. I think that having campaign research, guidelines, and plans set out really aided my ability to be professionally creative. I’m not one to stay inside the box when I’m making art, but there’s quite a lot to be said about the importance of working with guidelines.

Editing

There tend to be two types of creatives, those who enjoy gathering the content, and those who enjoy editing it. Editing has always been a weak point of mine because I enjoy content gathering and creation so much. However, something as collaborative as BrandJRNY requires so much change and attention to detail that I had no choice but to get comfortable with making changes. Now that I’m learning more about it, I’ve actually found myself enjoying making edits and learning more about the tools that are available to me to do so.


Tenacity Above anything else, my roles on the BrandJRNY team have taught me to try again. There is so much to learn from each role on our team, but I think that persistence is a very common theme among them. Each of us faced challenges that we didn’t know how to overcome and were forced to work to solve them. Regardless of our successes, I think we all learned much more from working together to problem solve in order to move forward and overcome obstacles.

No one could have predicted the vast changes we’ve all experienced in the past month. However, I see this time as a gift to reflect and be grateful. As much as I would have loved to continue working in the community with my awesome team, I can honestly say that the time I spent with them was well worth it. Moving forward, I hope I continue to develop these skills on my own. I also plan to remind myself to enjoy every moment of collaboration because it’s certainly a gift, not a given.


My name is Claire Hemme, and I am the Point Pleasant Videographer for the BrandJRNY storytelling team. If I’m not cooking or coffee-ing, you can find me in the woods somewhere. — @shimmyhemme

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Housed at the WVU Media Innovation Center, BrandJRNY is a community branding initiative that is a grant-funded collaboration between the American Electric Power Foundation and WVU Reed College of Media.

The Initiative was previously funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for our three pilot projects.

Original website designed by Mariah Elliott, under the direction of PI and Director Dr. Rita Colistra.

Photos and content may not be used without written permission by contacting brandjrny@gmail.com.

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