Since my last progress post, I’ve completed several more interviews, getting me a considerable step closer to my goal of 10+ interviews in total for the documentary. I also met once more with my director for a progress report where we discussed B-roll ideas to make it more engaging and will do so again at the end of next week to present the completed interview footage. Finally, my biggest accomplishment during this time frame was interviewing London-based documentary filmmaker and investigative storyteller, Liz Smith.


For this week’s director meeting, Dr. McKahan and I primarily discussed the integration of B-roll and interview footage in my documentary, specifically, the best way to make them engaging for the viewer. In the end, we settled on implementing a mix of archival footage, animated infographics and other creative tactics such as on-screen picture-in-picture elements and overlays during interviewee shots and masking in various environments with varying screen sizes. Expanding on last week’s director meeting, we also talked about getting more interviews with professionals such as researchers, psychologists, filmmakers, etc., in addition to just the student/Gen Z/digital native viewpoint. In the coming days, I’d like to reach out to a local psychologist, social worker, or other professional to get their views on how social media impacts the mental well-being of young people.

A simple example of masking during the editing process


Next, I made some substantial progress with my interviews since my last blog, interviewing 3 new individuals in total, including 2 new students. I am now nearing the end of the interview process with just one more student and professional interview to go, and then I will move on to the writing and editing process. Throughout this process, I have made an effort to interview a diverse demographic pool of students in gender, age, and racial background and I hope this is conveyed in the finished product. Because diversity is one of the pillars of Gen Z, I felt this was crucial to accurately portray this melting pot of a generation.


Lastly, my progress this past week culminated in the interviewing of London filmmaker Liz Smith on Zoom. This not only got me a step closer to fulfilling the professional interview requirement for my film but also allowed me to get a new perspective, from another filmmaker, specifically one who’d already studied social media and Gen Zers in-depth. Having directed the documentary I Am Gen Z, a film exploring the effects of social media use on Gen Z, I was able to capture so much great information and observations that she gathered during the research and interview processes of her own documentary piece that will serve to enhance my own film. I also had the opportunity to ask her, as a fellow filmmaker, for some advice and tips in creating my project, and she definitely delivered, giving me the needed instruction and motivation to push forward in the pre- and post-production process.

A Zoom conversation with director & filmmaker, Liz Smith.

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