Easter Comes Early For Some Kids

With heavy rain pouring down all last Thursday the prospect of any outdoor event seemed dim. Puddles filled the streets and a dark gray exploded throughout the skies. But just as it seemed like the rain wouldn’t let up, rays of sunshine began to peek through the clouds later that evening. For Columbia Parks and Recreation this meant their 7:30 p.m. flashlight Easter egg hunt could go on. As for me, it meant my second VO patrol was about to happen.

With Easter quickly approaching, Columbia Parks and Recreation hosted an Easter egg hunt at Stephens Lake Park for nearly 150 kids. Not only was the hunt enjoyable for the kids, but it also benefited another group. The MU Parks, Recreation and Tourism students partnered with the city of Columbia to help organize the event. It gave the students a chance to learn how to create a recreational program and work with the community. The students separated into different committees including marketing, developing the donor list and stuffing the eggs. Local businesses pitched in as well by donating prizes for the kids.

Just like my last VO patrol I learned numerous things even though it was a simple event. Perhaps the biggest challenge was chasing after the kids in the dark, trying to come within a foot of them so the light would catch them, and focusing the shot while they searched for the eggs. Lighting was an issue the entire time I was there. I felt I got a few good shots when it was light out and while the kids searched for eggs, but trying to get good shots while the sun was setting proved to be hard. I had to remember to white balance every new shot and by the time I had the camera white balanced and focused the action had already passed by me. This is something I definitely feel I could work on.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this last VO patrol was speaking with the kids. A few ran up to me and asked if they could operate the camera, instead I asked if they’d like to be interviewed. I spoke with five kids ages 3 to 10. It’s always very interesting to see how a child’s personality shines through when asking them questions. I predicted the older ones would be easier to talk with and better articulated, but this wasn’t the case.

Editing took a little longer than expected when I got back to the station. I think this was due to the lighting issues I had. I wasn’t very satisfied with the unfocused shot I had to use while the sun was going down, but without it the video sequence, going from light out to completely dark, wouldn’t have made sense.

Writing, on the other hand, went fairly smoothly. It was a fun, easy and light story to write and since many of the kids’ sound bites were short I decided to string a few together. In the end the entire VO didn’t run, but the experience and skills I learned were definitely worth it…besides who doesn't like a good Easter egg hunt?

To see the story on KOMU.com click here.


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