This was a fun project to work on!!! It was my first documentary project I completed in my first class in documentary video production at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in 2012. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, but it showed me that I had a lot to learn. I lost a whole night of great footage due to sound issues and it was more challenging than I expected to be “smooth” while operating a camera. But I learned a lot about storytelling, interviewing, and how to “be in the moment” when you are documenting footage.

This short documentary features Dave and Kumar, who hosted a weekly spelling bee at the Lava Lounge, a bar located in South Side, Pittsburgh. It was a novel concept and drew in the college crowds as well as really good spellers and Lava regulars. It was a challenge to figure out how to film in a low-lit place, but digital video cameras have an advantage over DSLRs in that respect.

Enjoy this blast from the past, and I hope it doesn’t conjure up any memories of junior high school or anything lol ~ Chris