Ryan Spencer

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Propositions for the First Project

Now that we are 3-4 weeks into this class I am beginning to feel more and more confident using the camera.  This is good because the first project is coming up quickly.  This project will combined photos I have taken and an interview into a short presentation a few minutes in length.  I have two ideas for this project in my head right now.

Firstly, I have been thinking about doing the project on a band that WBRS is bringing to campus.  WBRS is bringing two bands, GDP and Deca, to play at Chum’s on September 24.  I know a couple people at WBRS and was hoping that I could use my connections to talk to the band for the interview for my project.  However, this might not be possible in which case I would likely interview people at WBRS about their experience there and their background or interests in radio and/or music.  For the pictures that would go along with the interview I would take pictures of the bands as they play on September 24.  This would be a really cool experience for me because I’m really interest in music and learning more about band’s and their backstory.  I could ask the band about how they got started, what kind of struggles they have gone through to make it as a band, how they all met, and where they plan on going next.  If I can’t interview the band then I would instead interview someone at WBRS and ask why they were interested in a particular band, what they thought of the performance, why they got involved with WBRS, and what they plan to do with/at WBRS in the future.  I think this is a newsworthy story because this band is coming to campus and people will get a better idea of this band by listening to their backstory and their lives.

My second idea is interviewing a friend of mine from high school who came to Brandeis this year and is playing for the Women’s Varsity Basketball team.  In interviewing her I would be able to ask about the Varsity/college experience as seen through the eyes of a freshman.  I would ask her how her life has changed since high school, what is different about Varsity here at Brandeis that it was in high school, how she balances her schedule, and how she plans to spend the rest of her time as a student athlete.  In addition to talking to her I could also probably talk to her coach or a team captain and ask their views on being a student athlete and how student athletes grow over their time at Brandeis.  I think this is a newsworthy story because it offers and inside look at a part of Brandeis which some people don’t often get to see.  In terms of photos I might go to a basketball game or practice to get photos of my friend playing basketball.


  1. Your first story idea is good, Ryan. I might suggest adding some questions about the style or genre of music the band plays, how they see themselves in the context of the local or national music scene, how they’ve tried to build their audience, which colleges they have performed at and what they like or dislike about playing for college audiences. Be prepared to deal with low-light when you go to shoot photos of the concert–try to make use of the stage lighting when you frame your shots. Remember that it’s okay if part of the frame is underexposed as long as your subject is lighted. Take control of the exposure when you shoot.

    If you choose to pursue the second story, I would want to learn what is unique about your friend and her experiences. What differentiates her from other student athletes? What is her story?

  2. Hi Ryan,
    It’s great that both of your ideas relate to your interests. Regarding your first pitch, maybe you could make one band member the central focus of the piece and make the concert at Chum’s part of a larger narrative. If you decide to interview someone from WBRS, you could ask him or her about the role of college radio and its place at Brandeis. I would say that while your piece can include time sensitive details, it should go beyond one concert and convey your subject’s personality. It should be timeless meaning that stays relevant after the concert.
    Your second idea could be good because it focuses on an individual. If you decide to pursue it, I would try to think of an overarching theme or focus of the piece. Maintaining objectivity when interviewing friends can be challenging.

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