Natalie Wartew | Week 7

For me, week 7 marks 7 weeks being away from Australia, and approx. 12 weeks being away from the U.K. This has now translated into a Facebook explosion of people wondering where am I, how am I doing, am I still alive? etc. etc. The result was that I ended up on Skype every day this week to try to accommodate everybody, which was a bit intense, and was starting to take all this communication for granted…until Friday night. I was chatting with a friend in Australia, and then part way through the conversation I started ‘zoning out’ (sorry James) as I realised that I was watching him speak about his week from another continent, on a different side of the world, in a different time zone, in full colour, with motion, and with sound. Not to mention the fact that the call was free. That’s pretty freaking amazing. It got me thinking about how much advancement there has been in technology – how rapidly it has developed even just in my lifetime. How things, such as Skype, which were once just an awesome idea, have now actually been created and incorporated into everyday life.

This week in the office I have been working predominantly on the media platform, which fits in with the fact that these advances in technology now make it possible to communicate not just face-to-face, not just in written word, but through the medium of film. I love it because I think it is the closest form of communication to everyday life. Some people hate using the phone because they can’t really gauge the other person’s reaction. Some people hate writing letters or emails, because there is such a margin for error in the communication of the tone. But with film you get it all – the message, the tone, and the facial expressions. Of course it has to be clear, because there is no opportunity for the viewer to ask real time questions, but through a combination of words, images and music you have the rare opportunity to ‘say’ exactly what you mean to say.

However, one of the frustrating things about working on media is that when you get to the end of the day and someone asks you what you did, the answer is always ‘I worked on a video’. This in no way does justice to the fact that you just sat for 6 hours working repetitively on teeny tiny pieces of the same 1.5 minutes of footage. Layer upon layer – the images, then the image transitions, then the sound, then the sound transitions, then the text – rendering each change as you go. And that’s kind of the same with this blog: “This week I finished two videos”. But I guess the thing to remember is that in this case, oddly, the value is in the finished product rather than in the process.

At one point while I was searching for some footage, I came across an interview from one of the previous fellows who was describing why he chose to work on the ‘media’ platform with NFS. He spoke about the power of effectively broadcasting the truth about human trafficking, to bring awareness, and to be able to emotionally engage people at the same time through what they were seeing. I agree, and so I think that although it doesn’t sound very impressive to say that I spent a whole day doing one thing (and it’s still not finished – slacker!), that if the end result is focused, targeted, effective, and far-reaching, then it still counts ;)

Natalie x

One response to “Natalie Wartew | Week 7

  1. That 1.5 minutes can change the world. And look how it has shaped YOUR world. I watch how even Kru Nam’s story has been recorded over time. her smile brightens with each video, each frame and each success. When I started working at NFS I watched some of the early videos, some of which make the staff cringe, and I was floored at how NFS’ media team conveys such emotion and passion about this issue. I shared it with my colleagues in the field and they all wrote to me about how jealous they are that I get to work with an org and with people who are so creative and so well spoken. So my dear your work makes the leaders in this field PROUD and JEALOUS (in a good way) of NFS. You’re changing the world…1.5 minutes at a time. Every second, every frame and every hour of the Fellows’ work—YOUR WORK— makes us successful. MWAH! ;)

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