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Quo Vadis staff members, Sebastian Casado and Cassandra Maisonet, won the New Jersey Press Association online video third place award last month for their YouTube video titled “Interviewing Rebecca Lescano”. 

Casado said that he was shocked when he found out that he won third place and was proud of himself and Maisonet. 

“I never thought our video would even be considered to win anything, [so] this really [helped] build my confidence as a journalism student because I am aware that, later down the line, I am going to have to conduct interviews like this. It really showed me that I am able to be on camera and interview these wonderful people,” said Casado.

Maisonet said that she was shocked too and kept asking if it was a joke when she found out. 

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to win. Nevertheless, I’m very grateful for receiving the award along with Sebastian; he’s a great person in front of the camera and I’m a great person to be behind it,” said Maisonet. 

Casado said his process of creating a video begins with coming up with  a few video ideas and playing them out in his head. 

“I create many drafts of what I want the video to be [about], and if I like [the] idea then I grab my phone and start recording myself [speaking] some questions I [came up with] and play it back to see if I enjoy how [they] sound,” said Casado. 

He said he decides who to interview by making a list of people who he believes would be interested in participating in a video. 

Once I [get] the list of people, I start to do research about them  and find out if they do anything outside of campus, or if they have any hidden talents they would like to share,” said Casado. 

He said the next step in his process is coming up with the questions. 

“I always  start with the basics, like their background, but I make sure to do a bit of research on the person I am interviewing [beforehand] because from there I make the most out of the questions I ask. For example, the interview I had with Rebecca Lescano I knew she was a singer, so I looked her up on Apple music and listened to her album to ask music-based questions,” said Casado. 

Casado said, “I like to treat every interview as a common conversation; I feel that the interview flows better when me and the interviewer are connecting.”

He said Cassandra Maisonet is his camera person. She handles the shot and tells him which position is best for lighting. 

“She also edits my videos and I am very grateful for that. She is teaching me the basics of editing [as well,] so hopefully one day I will also be a master of editing like she is,” said Casado.  

Maisonet said she used iMovie for the first time to edit the video. 

“It took me 4 hours to edit it because there was a lot of footage we had, but we had to cut some stuff for relevancy and to save time. It also took that long because the cuts needed to be timed perfectly in order for the dialogue to flow naturally,” said Maisonet. 

She said prior to the interview video, she had only ever edited silly videos she made at home. 

“My older brother is a great video editor, so I was inspired by him to make, record and edit projects of my own,” said Maisonet. 

She said that she learned about lighting and angles when she took her first photography class in high school and the skills transitioned to her photography class at MCC as well as for  Quo Vadis. 

“There’s more things to consider for a video because subjects in your shot move around, so you have to think [about] what works best with that in mind,” said Maisonet. 

Casado said that, unfortunately, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, all of his video interviews were canceled as MCC decided to stay virtual for the rest of the semester. However, he said he does have a couple of videos he plans to release. 

“I have two videos that [will hopefully] help push through the boredom a lot of us are facing stuck at home. They are going to be a different style of video, but I hope you all enjoy them when I post them,” said Casado. 

To watch their award winning video “Interviewing Rebecca Lescano” visit their YouTube channel, Quo Vadis Newspaper, or search up this url, https://youtu.be/muzRF4cATak

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