Columbus in 60: The Sights of Our City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orG5rqt83-w&feature=youtu.be
As a high school senior preparing to graduate from a school located a mere 20 minutes from Ohio’s capital city, I was more than a little hesitant to accept the offer to attend Ohio State. After all, college was supposed to be an exciting adventure, and in my opinion—the same opinion held by many of my Dublin-born-and-raised classmates—Columbus was not exciting and would definitely not be considered a place of adventure.
Nevertheless, I decided to attend, as I knew that Ohio State offered academic opportunities that greatly overshadowed my desire to seek out a more interesting change of surroundings.
Fast forward to August 2013. As I stood in my dorm room, contemplating what to do now that I had unpacked my numerous boxes of pillows, books and snacks, I once again questioned my decision to attend a school located in such a mundane city. “What am I going to do here in Columbus for four years?” I asked myself. “Columbus is the most boring city in the world.”
Oh, how wrong I was.
With each definitive ranking of United States cities published by national news organizations every year, from “Top Cities for Innovation” to “Most Intelligent Cities” and everything in between, it becomes clear that Columbus is in the midst of an important transition period.
Earlier this year, Columbus was ranked as the No. 1 “Opportunity City” in Forbes magazine’s list of “19 Places Where it May be Easier to Make Your Mark.”
The report states: “Columbus is home to a surprising number of major corporations whose employees represent a deep pool of potential customers… It also has a healthy pipeline of venture entrepreneurs.”
Other accolades awarded to Ohio’s capital city include a third place ranking on UBI Index’s list of “Top 10 University Associated Business Incubators in the World,” and No. 6 on Property Shark’s ranking of “Best U.S. Cities for Culture.”
As a student living, working and attending school in this growing metropolitan city, I can say that Columbus is not to be overlooked as a bustling epicenter of business innovation, artistic expression, and cultural exchange. I was wrong about Columbus, but it took a full immersion in this city for me to realize that I had greatly underestimated its true potential.
Every day that I spend in Columbus, I am amazed by the overwhelming amount of opportunities offered here. It is this reformed view of Columbus that I hope to convey to my audience in my Concept in 60 project.
My rhetorical motivation in this piece is to evoke a sense of pathos in my audience of fellow OSU students and Columbus residents. In this representation of Columbus, I hope to show that the city is changing; indeed, culture is thriving, growth is happening, and innovation is possible. In my project, I hope to reflect upon my new view of Columbus by creating a 60-second video that accurately captures the aspects of life that I believe make this city unique.
While creating this video, it was important that along with the emotion I hoped to generate through the images that I shot and included, I also needed to establish a solid foundation of ethos-based rhetoric. It was imperative that I establish myself as someone who knows enough about this city in order to support my argument of its changing identity. For this reason, viewers will see clips of a variety of subjects in my video—not just footage of Ohio State students walking across the Oval or crowd shots at a Buckeye game.
All of the videos included in this project were shot by me on my Canon SX280HS camera, and edited in iMovie. I wanted to include video that I shot myself, since this project is all about my interpretation of changing culture in Columbus. While out in the city filming, I hoped to capture snapshots of everyday life, a visual compilation of the vibrancy of life pulsing through this city’s veins.
While I did not capture as many of these moments as I originally intended, due to unexpected camera battery life issues that occurred when the telephoto lens was used while filming video, I am overall pleased with the variety of clips featured in the final product. I am happy with the juxtaposition of the more industrial clips of buildings’ architecture with the more intimate shots that I did manage to capture.
I chose to make all of the clips grayscale for several reasons. First, I knew that this project was something that would not be completed in a day. In fact, it was over the course of two weeks that I filmed many of the clips that audiences see in this minute-long video. I also knew that these clips would not necessarily be presented in chronological order. To reduce the distraction of constantly changing lighting—going from night to day back to night again in the course of maybe 10 seconds—I made the decision to present the clips in black and white.
The grayscale also serves a more rhetorically thought-provoking purpose as well. While editing, I found that the grayscale video clips emphasized the full-color image of the Columbus skyline with which I chose to end my project. This image was taken off of Flickr. Initially, I planned to just fade into the full color photo; however, I found that this change from grayscale to color was too abrupt. I was inspired to try to show a more gradual illumination by experimenting with the transitions offered in iMovie. I eventually decided to use a gradual fade from a grayscale version of the photo into the full color version. I hoped that this gradual addition of color would be seen as a commentary on both mine—and now, the audience’s—newly “illuminated” view of Columbus.
Finally, I chose this music (downloaded from Free Music Archive) specifically, as I thought it in many ways complemented the images captured in the videos. I tried to sync the music as best as I could to what was happening on the screen. For example, in the opening shot after the title screen, I have footage of cars on a highway approaching the Columbus skyline. I think the almost videogame-like sounds that are included in the beginning of the song emphasize the forward movement in the video, especially when the song speeds up just as the car I was riding in while videotaping accelerates around a bend in the road.
For most of the video, there are no words in the music that accompanies the images. I appreciate this, as I think the music is edgy and modern enough to adequately convey emotion in conjunction with the fast-paced snapshots of Columbus life that I have captured. I think words, combined with this almost dizzying bombardment of images, would be too much of a sensory overload and would detract from my project’s overall message.
At the end of the video, the music does incorporate words, as I thought this part of the song was an accurate summary of my project. “Culture is alive,” the singer says. And it is my hope that by the end of this 60-second concept video, the audience will feel that culture is very much alive in Columbus, Ohio.
jpmueller99. "Columbus, OH Skyline." Flickr.com. 1 Dec. 2007. 8 Nov. 2014. CC BY 2.0. goo.gl/hO65po
Kirk Pearson and BIT. "Skeleton Up." freemusicarchive.com. 30 Aug. 2014. 26 Oct. 2014. CC BY-NC-SA. goo.gl/KYxUhK
Video footage was all taken by me.