Since my previous progress blog from two weeks ago, I’ve made some considerable strides in the filming/interview process of my documentary as well as in the research process to prepare to write my script once the interviews are complete. First, I met with my capstone director last Friday, and he made some content recommendations regarding expanding my focus beyond just technology/digital natives and Gen Z, and into more of the social history behind this generational movement. Next, I got in touch with another documentary filmmaker based in London whose film on Gen Z is featured on Prime Video and set up a Zoom interview with her for next month. Finally, I got the chance to interview singer/songwriter Gregoryk at his home and get his perspectives on the digital native generation and technology as a member of Gen Z himself.


During the last meeting with my director, Dr. McKahan, we discussed ways of expanding my project outside the realm of digital natives and Gen Z, to include more of the social conditions that shaped and continue to affect how Gen Z interacts with and perceives society/the world around them. He first recommended that I view some social history documentaries for reference to gain a better insight into the social conditions of the United States and things that changed chronologically during the prime of much of Gen Z’s growth from childhood to adulthood. We examined three possible new subsections in addition to the digital revolution/technology side, including Post-911, the growth of diversity during the Obama administration, and information society natives, that is, the de-industrialization of America and the emergence of an information society.

Gen Z is the most diverse generation and demands more diversity and inclusion from brands.

While I’m not sure that I’ll include all of these subsections in their entirety in the finished film, as I’d like to maintain a technology focus (being that it’s such an integral factor that continues to shape this generation), I do think it’s valuable to tie in these ideas in my description/definition of Gen Z early in the film to explain what ultimately makes them who they are. Finally, he recommended that I interview some professionals on the topic in addition to just members of Gen Z, including those who have studied this generation extensively. This led me to my next step – reaching out to Liz Smith, a documentarian and investigative storyteller, and securing an interview with her scheduled for next month.


I got connected by Liz Smith almost by mistake in a sense. I loaded up Prime Video to watch the documentary I AM GEN Z and to get inspiration/ideas for my own film. However, to my dismay, upon purchasing it as a rental and attempting to view it, I soon learned that, for some reason, only the first 20 minutes of the film was available on the platform with the normal runtime being 100 minutes. I went online to the film’s website and reached out to the support email address to express my concern. Soon, I heard back from the director herself, Liz Smith, who apologized for the inconvenience and offered me a direct link to view the film in its entirety. I responded back, expressing my gratitude and asking if she’d be open to being interviewed for my own film on Gen Z, to which she said yes. I believe having the perspective from not only someone with an expansive knowledge of Gen Z being an investigative storyteller but a fellow filmmaker, will elevate the interview sections of my film and diversify the responses outside of just those that are part of the generation.


Over these past few weeks, I also got the opportunity to interview two more subjects, namely Professor of Communication at Shepherd University, Kevin Williams PhD, and student and singer/songwriter, Austin Gregoryk. The first interview took place on campus in his office and will serve a more minor role as excerpts intercut between my narration. However, Austin’s interview was more extensive as he is one of the “profile interview” candidates, a name I gave to represent those that will have their own unique section of the documentary as someone that represents the generation. This interview took place at his home and took several hours in total including setup, outdoor B-roll and informal interview shots, and the formal indoor interview. All in all, both provided some great insight into the lives and plight of Gen Z.


Next week I plan on gathering two more profile interviews of Gen Z students, with the goal of completing the necessary amount of interviews for the documentary by the second week of February so that I can begin writing and editing. All in all, I feel confident and eager to continue this project, continuing to push forward little by little before the March deadline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *