Laura Deutsch Interview

The interview with Laura was on a short time table so I knew thing would be a little rushed. As I sat down with Laura I was surprised to see how nervous and jittery she seemed. I realize she is used to working behind the scenes and not really being the subject of PhillyCam’s productions. I was very interested to hear about Laura’s thoughts on media consolidation. She explained it to me in a way that made it very apparent how taxing this issue is and will be in the future of media. In terms of the video itself I am unable to use the footage, the film is un unusable due to it being too blurry,. However, I still walked away from the interview with great content, most of which I will use in my Alphabetic text.   A few questions I would like to ask Laura are about what PhillyCams plans to do to fight against media consolidation and how they plan to use the outlet they have.

Looking back on the interview I wish I could have had a longer window of time with Laura, she is very busy and therefore it was hard to schedule a interview. I also wish I would have figure out why the camera was blurry at the beginning of the interview, at the time I couldn’t fix it I just had to utilize the time I had with Laura. In terms of successes, I am very happy with the content I received from Laura, some great notes and background on herself, the community, and PhillyCam’s social justice initiatives.


Field notes Assignment – PhillyCam Day1


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After I parked my car down the street I turned the corner on Ranstead street and saw PhillyCam in my direct sight on the corner. The busy street was filled with cars and trucks switching between lanes trying to get ahead before the red light flashed into their vision. The light stayed red as I walked the wholeblock to the PhillyCam entrance, those in the line at the red light looked at their phones and peered up time to time to check to see if the light had changed yet. A police car was stationed on the adjacent corner from PhillyCam. As I approached the corner where PhillyCam was I saw that there was no police officer in the vehicle, however it seemed to slow traffic goers down as they saw the vehicle ahead at the red light. There was a parking garage catty corner of PhillyCam where I realized I could have parked and saved myself the chance of not putting enough quarters in the meter. There were large windows at the left side of the building which were covered in posters. These posters read ” CREATE” “LISTEN” “PROTECT” in white lettering with a pinkish purple background. Above the posters on the window read “PEOPLE POWERED MEDIA” in the same pinkish purple color. The PhillyCam sign was displayed vertically at the corner of the building about 30 feet up in bright blue and yellow. As I stood at the entrance and look out to the left onto the street I could see what is known as historic Philadelphia close by.

Inside the main entrance old fashioned media images aligned the walls in black and white. The frames themselves were also black and modest, the images themselves drew enough attention. There were two larger doors that at first glance confused me as to which was the main entrance. I found that the main door was the one to the left which two small rectangular windows that you could use to slightly peer into the space. These doors were locked, an intercom and buzzer were positioned on the left side of the door to alert someone that you were at the door, the secretary then buzzed me in.

The information desk where the secretary sat was cluttered with various papers, a sign out sheet was toward the left amongst all the clutter. There were hundreds of city pamphlets activities at the entrance underneath a large flat screen tv. From what I saw the tv had flash ads and event reminders on replay throughout the day. The grand windows to the left lighted the room perfectly, there was no need that day for any other light source. The secretary sat down and got up twice before acknowledging my presence, she seemed to be all over the place. Behind the desk were various odd objects and signs that awoken a lot of questions as my first day at of PhillyCam had just begun.


As I got out of my car I began to feel a little jittery and nervous as cars whipped by me and I realized I would have to begin to engage with Laura who I had been emailing with for some time now. Meeting someone in person is always different then corresponding electronically and I was surprisingly nervous that she wouldn’t be like I expected. I had high hopes for the interview because she seemed very open to talk and outgoing through email, if there is such a thing. As I saw PhillyCam in sight I was surprised at how business like the building looked, large signs and a larger building in general that I had expected. I expected the building to be small and gritty and not so prominently positioned on the corner. People walked the streets and cars waited at the red light, the smell of gasoline and coffee intermingled together as it was 10 in the morning on a Thursday and I can imagine people needed an extra caffeine boost to make it to friday. On goers looked at me weirdly as I carried the camera bag, light kit and tripod on the sidewalk, along with the camera positioned around my neck. As I took pictures and jottings of the outside of the building to begin my visit,  someone stopped me to ask what the building was, another sign that PhillyCam is still very unknown to the public. As I took my first steps into the entrance after observing the outside commotion around the building I was immediately intrigued by the images on the walls and their content. Pictures of people in history producing video publications and broadcasts aligned the walls in black and white. I took about 10 mins taking pictures of these images and going from picture to picture to examine their content. The entrance did not have the street smell that loomed outside and instead smelled like Clorox. I pressed the small gray buzzer at the door, which looked worn down as I’m sure many hands have pressed the button awaiting entrance into the lobby. As I opened the door my eyes darted in all different directions, so much was going on, so many papers, so many objects, even the ceiling had handmade crafts hanging from the rafters. It wasn’t what I expected, it was much much more.


During my first outing at PhillyCam I realized how much PhillyCam was involved with and how much they were promoting for the future. I did not expect how busy the public media access organization would be. After my first outing I was still curious to find out about how many people are involved in the production side of things and how many community projects they currently had going on. I spoke with Lauren, head of the education department, and learned a lot in my first outing. Next I planned on seeing the various production and media rooms including where they produce their radio shows. I overall think I was very successful in my first outing, I spoke with four different people, two of which I looked in interviews with. I wish I would have been able to observe a class while in progress, on my first outing I mainly worked my way around the space and quietly observed the rooms themselves. Radio production was going on at the time and I was able to meet the a lady who worked in the radio department and listened to her give advice to a boy hoping to produce a show in the upcoming weeks. The readings that I mostly looked to during my outings are the Lynch readings and Emerson’s, Writing Ethnographic Field notes, both of these gave me guidelines and things to expect as I observed and spoke with those who worked at PhillyCam the first day.

Reflection Post

My interview with Antoine went as well as expected. I met Antoine previously and I knew he was very comfortable speaking in front of a camera and I knew he would carry on a great conversation. My research on Antoine prior to the interview prepared me to ask specific questions about his history in media and the in community. Antoine added various antidotes to the conversation and really opened up to me about his job, life and his goals. Antoine answered all my questions thoroughly and added a lot to the conversation, I plan on asking Laura more about her oversight of PhillyCam because Antoine has a slightly smaller role.

Otherwise, Antoine gave me great insight and knowledge into PhillyCam. If I were to do something differently I would have set up the camera in a different room, I also would have not conducted the interview with the interviewee on a rolling chair. I first set up the camera in a spot where Antoine was positioned in the right spot but, by the time the interview began Antoine had moved and changed the frame.

**** Laura was unable to meet, I will be interviewing here this coming week (Nov6-Nov10)



Preparation Interview

For the interview today I will be talking with the director of Education and Production at PhillyCam, Laura Deutch and the Membership and outreach Director, Antoine Haywood.  I will be meeting with them today, November 2 at 3 pm, at their facility on  Ranstead Street in Philadelphia. I am interesting in interview Laura specifically because she is a Philadelphia based artist and educator who is known for using media as a tool for social justice and community building. She previously directed the Philadelphia Youth Media Collaborative and holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University. I am also interested in interviewing Antoine because Antoine began working in the community media field as a part-time instructor for the Atlanta mayor’s office of community technology and was hired as People TV’s director of community development in Atlanta in 2005.

I plan to use two important points that Terkel made in his “Interviewing an interviewer”. The points or techniques were making sure you’re not interrogating, make sure the interviewer doesn’t feel like they are being question, keep it conversational. The second important technique I plan to use in my interview today is to end the interview by asking if there is anything else the interviewee would like to say or add. Terkel says that there might be something they hope to talk about and it is important to allow them to do so.

Technique 1:  “The questioning important – but whats the most important is that it shouldn’t sound like questioning.” (Terkel)

Technique 2:  “But they might be saying theres something they’d like to talk about, something they hope you’re going to ask about, so ask them if there is.” (Terkel)

Studs, Terkel, with Tony Parker

Chapter 9

Interviewing an interviewer

The main topics I hope to cover in this interview:

Laura’s story as a communicator, her work with social justice issues, her work and education before PhillyCam, what brought her to PhillyCam and PhillyCam’s involvement with the community and social justice issues.

Antoine’s work in the Atlanta community, the difference in his time at Atlanta’s public access television center from that of his time at PhillyCam and his background in the media field in general.

Wish me Luck!!!!


Field notes – Reflection

At the start of this assignment I was very confused and unsure where to start and what my focus should be. This uncertainty however forced me to just dive into the assignment and begin jotting down everything and anything. The part of the assignment that was most difficult was definitely the start and the finish. With the start I wanted to just sit in campion and observe from one place but I realized that I need to move around in the space to get a diverse amount of jottings. As I began to move around various spots in campion I began to feel more comfortable as time passed. I felt very comfortable observing others, at time people were curious about why or what we may have been jotting but I think the small notebook and constantly moving around in the space made it less creepy for those we were observing. As time ran out I wish I would have taken more jottings about smells and feels and less about the objects or people in the space. I think feels and smells give you a better idea later of what the space felt like, it takes you back, where as objects and people can’t as easily put you into the state of mind you were feeling in the space. I also wish I would have taken more jottings about scenery, not just the space itself but what you could see that was outside the space. I did observe outside scenery from one of the dining halls but I wish I would have added more about what I could see outside the main dining hall. I also could have engaged with my subject I was writing about. This may have made them more comfortable if I had asked them a question or engaged in conversation. Because I didn’t ask questions I became an outsider in the space versus actually becoming part of the observation. Overall most of what I wrote are things that I would not have noticed in my everyday encounters in the dining hall. Finishing the assignment was difficult because you never really felt like you got everything down so therefore the assignment felt sort of unfinished. As I was jotting I did have some judgmental obsrevations, but I tried to see past them and not write them in my jottings. Finding new ways to express what I am observing in  nonjudgmental way is also something i can definitely improve on. I usually am not in campion so this experience was different for me because Im not usually in the dining hall environment. I am interested to know if being in a environment like Hagan arena or one of my classes would have made me more likely to engage and talk to people.

Post 3 – Hair

A student in campion’s hair fell way below his shoulders in messy uncut layers. The length of his hair had to be developed over some time and I would assume he has not had a sizable hair cut in years. Unbrushed and stretching down to his mid back with a dark brown color. His uncut layers were natural and unlike most boys hair very thick from the start of his hairline to his ends. His friend seemed to have the same hairstyle as well, a middle part to separate each side and keep it out of his face. The mid part looked natural as if his hair was accustomed to parting in this way and not specifically combed in this fashion .At the front of his face the strands of hair were shorter so that it did not get in the way of his vision. The brown tone of his hair was complemented with some lighter highlighted pieces throughout, mostly at the front and ends of his hair. These lighter pieces were a very light brown and also appeared natural, without close observation the hair appears to be all one color. His beard is met with his hair line and his sideburns were mostly covered by the length and thickness of his hair. The color of his beard matches that of the darker pieces of his hair. His hair is longer than most of the girls in the dining hall and he tends to flick his hair out of his face with a swift move of his head, instead of moving it with his hand. At one point he does move some of his hair by tucking it behind his ear, but soon after the hair falls back into its original place. I do not see a hair tie on his wrist and I would guess he wears it down for the most part of his day. At the back of his head, in the center specifically, strands appeared to be tangled and intertwined more so that other areas. This may be due to his hair being against his pillow the night before. Other than this particular area his hair appears soft and flows nicely down his back despite it appearing unbrushed or fixed.


Post 2 – Distinct Scenes

The Pod in campion is filled with students killing time before their class or snacking on Einstein’s bagels various food and drink options. The workers yell out orders multiple times before students slowly make their way up to the order area. Most of those who are eating in the Pod are on their phone or computer, most likely checking in with their friends or finishing up assignment that are due for their next class. The volume of the pod is usually low, groups of 2 or 3 chat at their tables but mostly people are in their own space. The pod is unlike campion or the library in terms of socializing, the pod is really a quick place to grab food or finish up an assignment before class. The line itself at Einstein bagels is always fluctuating, usually four or so people in line at all times because the workers keep it moving smoothly and quickly. The workers themselves are always chatting as they toast bagels and mix coffee concoctions asked for by students. The food itself is hit or miss, I always hear a bacon egg and cheese order when I do sit down in the Pod so I assume thats a popular option. The Pod is the spot to grab an iced or hot coffee  before early classes due to its location directly in the center of Merion. There are numerous cushioned seats and a few high rise tables which are always filled before classes. Every hour or so the crowd lessens as students make their way to their class rooms.

Field Notes – Student Center Post 1


I walk into the dining hall on October 4, the first time I’ve been in the dining hall since Freshman year. Nostalgic? Not really, but interesting to see not much has changed. The staff at the dining hall was aggressively guarding the front entrance and sent glaring stares and questions our way as we entered to observe. Also like I remembered, the dining hall is mostly split, boys sit with boys and girls sit with girls. A group a few tables in from the entrance gossip about their friend who is, “whipped”.There are minimal large groups, tables have different groups at them, no table is completely full. To my surprise, there are a lot of people sitting alone, either on their mobile devices or are typing away on a computer. I count 16 people on their phones, as I count this number the smell of syrup fills my nostrils and I am reminded that they serve breakfast till 11. Despite it being breakfast, they are selling cookies, favorite part of my freshman dining hall vistits. As I scan above the tables and out into the back of the dining hall I see that numerous people where baseball caps. As I exit the main dining hall area, I see pumpkins and hay displayed outside of our concession area and make my way past that area toward another dining hall room.

On my walk, I see various promotions for fall break, study abroad tours and weekend activities on campus. There are also T.V’s on the wall which play slide shows of various updates for the fall semester. Ironically there is a jesuit note taking display which reminds me people have been taking notes or jottings for far longer than I’ve been alive. I make my way into the entrance of the next dining hall and the room itself is more illuminated that the previous dining hall. Between the dining halls blue bricks align the walls in the space. There are far less people in this room, I suspect this is because this dining hall has different food options at a higher price. Mostly people are dressed casually, possible due to it being before noon which is early for college students. I do see one girls in heels and question why and where are they going. Those who are eating in this dining hall are mostly alone, there is only one group of people chatting at a back table. I look outside the large windows on the left as you enter the dining hall and as I come closer to the windows I can see the top of Hagan Arena, Bellarmine, the Perch and most of the science center.

As I left the large window area I saw a boy throw his trash in the recycle. I carried on and went back to the walkway between the two dining halls and observed there were various advertisements for big name products, coca cola for example. A midnight bowling trip and hawks on hawk mountain posters also caught my eye and I quickly glanced over them. I then sat in the couch area outside of the dining hall where one of my classmates was sitting, along with a blonde haired boy who was sound asleep with headphones in and his feet propped up. As I sit I took time to solely observe the people walking down the steps and into the dining hall. Three students wore Penn t-shirts and one girl who passed by me wore fuzzy pink flip flops. One students attire especially caught my eye, she was wearing a crop top and had bright blue ends of her hair, more turquoise actually then blue. After observing people entering and leaving the dining hall I made my way back up the stairs into the theater area. As I made my way up the stairs past our few banquet halls in the upper level, there were displays of Jesuit history laid out on the walls, including jesuit service trips to places like Africa and China. I had never noticed these displayed despite being in the banquet halls twice a year for the past four years. As I arrived back to the theater area, our starting point, I gazed upward and saw there were 8 greek life signs hung from the ceiling, all different colors with different symbols. *End Field notes*



Hello world!

My name is Avery Marz and I am a student-athlete at Saint Joseph’s University. For my completion of my Communications Major I am taking a Digital Storytelling class where I will be completing a semester-long investigation centered around PhillyCAM and their social-justice-related work.   The completion of my project will result in a transmediated digital story that brings together alphabetic text, video, audio, photo, and graphics. This blog will present my investigation process work, my social media accounts and my reflections on what I have learned from week to week.