By Kayla Sprayue
From the day we started this project, when our first team-building exercise consisted of spending three hours making noodles, bread, alfredo sauce, and salad from scratch, I think we all knew this was going to be a very special semester. When in I was in the midst of kneading bread dough, someone exclaimed that there was an Auburn driving down the road outside. I looked out the kitchen window of the 1920s mansion where we spend each day working on our documentary, and there she was: a 1936 Auburn beauty. We ran outside to the back driveway, where the car pulled to a stop. You would have thought a celebrity had just arrived in a limo the way we fawned over her, snapping photos and climbing into the rumble seat. We examined the engine and cheered when they honked the horn which sounded startlingly close to “AWOOGAH!” I hadn’t realized that horns actually used to sound like that; I suppose I thought it just a movie sound effect cliché, but I guess it had to come from somewhere!
I should mention that I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to cars. I can hardly remember the name of my own car and I know nothing about engines and the like. This semester is definitely changing that. Two weeks ago I knew next to nothing about the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenburg cars. Now, thanks to lots of research, interviews with automobile enthusiasts (including a very knowledgeable 6-year-old), and a week spent filming at the ACD Festival, my love and understanding of classic cars has increased tremendously. In fact, by the end of my week at the festival, I was practically shaking with excitement whenever I got to be around classic cars. I can also now differentiate between ACD cars and other makes, which is something I never would have known before. I appreciate cars as magnificent works of art and engineering, and I am beginning to understand the rich history and significance of the wonderful stories surrounding these classic cars. There were many moments when I caught myself thinking, “I love my job. I love this project. I love these people.” This week really helped confirm for me once again how much I enjoy videography and producing. I love organizing, communicating, and above all, filming.
My favorite moment had to be filming from several stories above the ground in a fire truck basket. I was so excited to get that opportunity; it’s probably the kind of thing that happens once in a lifetime. I’ve also really enjoyed using Twitter and Facebook to share what we’re doing with each other and the community. Our activities even made it into several newspapers and blog posts, and my friend was surprised to spot me filming the Parade of Classics on the evening news. Everywhere we went we were met with so much enthusiasm for our project. It got to the point where I started to feel like a celebrity. People were always introducing us at events and announcing our project, we were able to go behind-the-scenes in many places, and most people had heard about our project before we even met them. I remember on Friday afternoon, walking around the courthouse downtown with my crew, taking an hour off to just enjoy the cars and eat some popcorn, and we must have had over a dozen instances where people stopped and asked us if we were the crew from Ball State. They said they had read about us, and we had several great conversations that day. This festival was an amazing time for our entire team. We met so many people, learned so much history, filmed a lot of footage, and – most importantly – grew as a team.
It was fascinating to watch our group dynamics unfold over the past few weeks. We have grown closer, had a lot of laughter between us, and accomplished so much. We work well together, and we already have plenty of inside jokes. There were tough times as well; many late nights and a few minor mishaps, but for the most part we were very well organized and learned to move on and go with the flow. I believe there’s little point in arguing over little things, or staying upset about some something that went wrong, because nothing can be changed. With fourteen people working together, there are bound to be differences in opinion, but it was wonderful to see our crews working through these and becoming all the stronger for it. Even if several of us caught colds by the end of it, this week was fortunately a very positive experience for us, and we gained a lot from this trip. I’ve now had a couple days off from the project and I am already missing my teammates. I can’t wait to reunite tomorrow!