I think the use of ethnographic video was a very appropriate way to conduct our interviews. During my interview process, I visited Ziad’s business several times over two weeks. I talked to him about a lot of things on and off camera, and walked around getting to know his customers as well.
By using this approach, I got a really good feel of the place and the way that it works. Just by visiting once to smoke hookah wouldn’t have been enough, I had to walk around and talk to customers and friends to really get to know Ziad and his business.
I see a lot of value in this approach because it gave me an excuse to emerse myself in the place and in the project. I’m sure that it also made Ziad more comfortable being in his regular setting than having him meet somewhere different to talk. By being in the place, he can show me around freely and it leads to much better conversation.
This time around, I feel like the question I had originally prepared didn’t have much to do with what my video turned out to be. In fact, the majority of my video was made during the parts of my footage where I hadn’t asked any questions. Next time, I would be more broad with my thinking and more willing to let my footage go where I had no expected it to. Trying to keep it to a certain format just so it would say what I wanted didn’t work out, but in the long run it was definitely for the better.
Editing the video taught me to pick out footage and put a cohesive story together. Next time I would plan my music ahead, play more with slow motion and video effects. I also think that my transitions could be improved upon. The time limit was a hard thing to deal with because I had a lot I wanted to include, but a decent opening/ending took up a good bit of time away from the content I could fit in. Next time I would also work a bit on editing so that my information is more concise.