Campus Life and the Swansea Bay

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On Monday, we hit the ground running. Our first stop was Prifysgol Abertawe (Swansea University).

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The Singleton Abbey on Campus

Dr. John Roper picked us up a few blocks from were we were staying in Mumbles. He dropped us off at the unviersity. There we met our tour guide, Sarah Charles. As she was showing us around the campus, we decided to record the information she was sharing about the University. We chose to use a lavalier microphone that connected wirelessly to an H4N Zoom recorder. The information that she provided was very useful to us as we would be spending the week at the university. Throughout the tour, we made mental notes about the best locations for interviews and b-roll footage.

After the campus we went to a meeting with Bev Evans who is the Head of Admissions and Marketing. Because of her knowledge in marketing and digital media, her advice was crucial in the success of this project. She offered names and contact information for students who would be good interviewees, she introduced us to faculty and staff who offered time and resources throughout our stay in Swansea, and she offered suggestions to make for the best product we could create. One of the staff members she introduced us to was Suzanne Oakley. We are grateful that she took time to set up interviews with over ten students. One of the faculty members she introduced us to was Pete Jones. He is a professor of digital video production at the university. He offered his time, resources, and knowledge throughout the entire process. He gave us pertinent information about different places on the university to capture. It was really exciting to see the similarities and differences in how Swansea University and UNC Wilmington taught digital video production.

After these very useful meetings, we took a break for lunch and discussed our plan for action for the day. We were constantly watching the weather, as it was raining for the majority of the morning. Pretty soon after lunch the rain stopped and the sun came out. We took advantage of this opportunity to shoot some exterior footage of the different buildings on campus.

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Zach Capturing Exterior Shots of the Buildings

We used both Canon 60Ds in order to capture the vibrant color of the university. For the majority of the exterior shots, we used the 70-200 mm telephoto lens as well as the 16-35 mm wide angle lens.

After we recorded a wide range of exterior building shots, we headed toward the Swansea Bay. The bay can be seen from the campus of the university. As the sun was setting for the day, we wanted to capture a Swansea sunset on the bay.

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The Sun Setting on the Bay

IMG_0606 2Connor and Dr. Bolduc Putting on Rain Gear

The unique lighting that the sun was creating by shining through the clouds on to the rolling waves provided a chance for us to use our creativity.

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Connor Capturing the Waves

Check out some of the beach footage: Swansea Chronicles Pt. 3: Beach Demo. We left the beach soon after the sun set and traveled back to our flat.

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Dr. Bolduc and Connor Waiting for the Bus

We cooked dinner that night and started editing Swansea Chronicles Pt. 2: Travel Days. That evening we were really excited about the interviews with the students on Tuesday.

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Zach and Connor Ending the Day with Editing

Swansea Chronicles Pt. 3: Beach Demo

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The #SwanseaBoysUNCW took to the coastal edge of Swansea University on Day 4 of their trip to capture some amazing scenery, complete with dynamic clouds, a rapidly changing tide, and a solid offshore breeze standing up the two foot swell. Enjoy the coastal landscape Swansea University provided us and offers it’s students by clicking the picture below:

Swansea Chronicles Pt. 3

The Swansea Boys Have Landed

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We just landed in North Carolina after a 17 hour trek back to the US!

IMG_0078.JPGWaiting in the Airport

Visiting Swansea University for the last time on this trip was a bittersweet moment for each of us. We have spent very meaningful time with multiple students and faculty of the university. Each was instrumental to the success of this project. We have captured over 220 gigabytes of footage along the way–ranging from dynamic interviews with 12 students, shots highlighting the beauty of the Gower Peninsula, shots capturing the unique life of the City Centre in Swansea, informative interview footage from the faculty and staff of the University, street shots of the little village of Mumbles that demonstrates the Welsh culture, and shots of the bright rays of sun reflecting off the ever-changing tide.

IMG_0911Riding the Swansea Bus to the University

Words do not do justice to the vast amount of love we have found for the country of Wales and Swansea University. Having the unique ability to experience the genuine people and culture of the University first-hand, has challenged us creatively to preserve the culture in a video format. After talking with countless locals, we began compiling a strategic list of places, events, and people that encompassed the experience of the study abroad program. Each day, we worked from sun-up to sun-down traveling from interviews and locations carrying only the equipment we could carry on our backs. For an extensive list of our gear, click here.

IMG_0829The Swansea Marina

Over the next couple of weeks, we will begin processing each day we spent in Swansea. You will find blog posts, photos, and videos that document each step of the production process. As we enter post production for the promotional video for the Office of International Programs, we will document each step on this blog. We will share with you our creative and strategic thought process behind the decisions that we make in the edit lab. We are also excited to unveil a few creative projects that have stemmed from this trip. Stay tuned for updates so you do not miss any part of the process.

IMG_0742Rhossili Bay

Equipment Inventory

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Tonight, after we got back from the University, we laid all of our equipment out to do a quick inventory and thought we’d share what we brought on the trip. Each day, we packed every piece of equipment into two large bags and a small backpack and walked miles after miles carrying it all! If you are interested in reading the extensive list of equipment in the picture, click the link below the picture for a PDF spreadsheet of our inventory.

EquipmentEquipment List

Day Two: Saint David’s Day

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We got a late start to our Saturday, you could blame the six-hour time change, the lack of sleep over the past 36 hours, or simply forgetting to set an alarm. Nonetheless, the footage we gained on the first day was breathtaking. Our first stop of the day was a bustling coffee shop situated in Mumbles Methodist Church named Theo’s. We each ordered a coffee while we sat down to write some post cards.

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Coffee and Welsh Cake at Theo’s

The roads around the city of Mumbles were full of activity for Saint David’s Day. We gathered some footage of the children who were dressed up, a train giving rides to children around the bay right outside Mumbles and a group of men who drove scooters around the UK.

IMG_9842Connor Shooting B-Roll

As the day progressed, we scouted the best place to set up our cameras to watch the sunset over the Gower Peninsula capturing the beauty of the land along the way. We found the perfect location just as the sun began casting a golden hue on the rolling waves of the ocean.

IMG_9924Zach and Connor Setting up Time Lapse with GoPro

The sky darkened and we were getting hungry for dinner. We packed up our equipment and began our trek back to our flat. We made occasional stops where we deemed appropriate to take a long exposure photographs of the cityscape illuminated in the distance.

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This particular night, we learned something very valuable about the culture of Mumbles: If you have not eaten or made reservations at a restaurant before 6 pm, it is very likely that you will not eat out that evening. Each restaurant that we went to either stopped serving food or was too full to fit more people. By a little after 9 pm, we had a table in a lively restaurant a few blocks away from where we are staying. While we were waiting for our food, Dr. Bolduc challenged us with some music trivia.