2018 Last Lecture – Professor Steve Reed

About this project – turning a live event into a marketing video

Every year at the Law School, students select a member of the faculty to give their Last Lecture, the final academic lecture of the school year. It’s an honor for the faculty member, and it’s one of the fun annual ceremonial events. They usually give a little career advice from their particular perspective. It’s usually the day before Commencement, so students bring their friends and families along if they’re in town. It’s a nice chance for the friends and families to get a tour of the Law School.

This year, in addition to lighting the room to make the live event feel a little more grand, I thought it would make sense to produce a shortened version of the lecture so it could be shared more easily online (the full lecture is about an hour long). There are always requests for a video after the event, but few actually want to see the whole thing. Professor Reed was open to the idea of making a sort of highlights video, so I set up a two-camera interview, asked him some questions, and then we worked together to find some of the best parts of the lecture to include.

Shooting in that room, Lincoln Hall, is always a challenge. Not only are you always half an inch away from tripping on the stairs, but you always want to show a lot of the room, but it’s a very demanding space to light. The way I like to think of it, the room is always pushing back. Just getting gear in and out of the room is a pain. But when it works, it can really look great, and the place has a lot of appeal and nostalgia for people, so it’s worth the effort.