These past few weeks have been a very busy time for our class, conducting last minute interviews, taking B-roll footage, and intensively editing our videos to get them just right. We’ve all put a lot of work into our projects, and it’s crazy that the semester is about to come to a close and our videos will finally be presented to the public. I’m both excited and, admittedly, a bit scared for this rapidly approaching moment.
My fear stems from uncertainty in the reaction our final product will receive. Will people be interested, engaged, and driven to get involved in the cause? Or will they simply observe and forget about the wage gap by tomorrow? Even worse, will they not connect with the message in our vignettes at all, brushing them off as inaccurate or unimportant? It’s so hard to predict how such a varied audience of students, university staff, and community activists will respond.
However, despite this frightening uncertainty, I have a hunch that the other emotion I’m feeling, that excitement and anticipation I mentioned before, is an indicator of something. I think somewhere deep down, I do know how things are going to play out. Before beginning our projects, all of us in Videos for Social Change did a lot of research on the American wage gap. We learned of the incredible hardships that low income workers face each day through readings like Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed. We studied the science and history behind the astonishing unfairness present in our society. We saw first-hand what life as a minimum wage worker is like through conducting interviews. And after making it through all of this, we were touched. We all KNEW that change had to occur; the passionate feelings were clear in our rousing class discussions and in the way everyone set out to make the best video they could.
After witnessing this change in all of us, I am certain that viewers will feel something too. Our final projects are a compilation of everything we have learned, and since it affected us so strongly, it will without a doubt inspire them as well. The wage gap problem in the U.S. is a huge one, and people cannot help but feel something after learning about the reality of it. So in the end, I guess I’m actually not that scared at all. I know that our videos are meaningful and important, and I can’t wait to get our message out.