ZEEME is a GREAT idea. However, the pitfalls are analogous to the issues surrounding essays.
1. They aren’t looking for the next Steven Spielberg. Don’t get caught up in the production value. Don’t overly produce this….you run the risk of losing YOU behind special effects and “clever” camera angles.
2. A rose is a rose is a rose so don’t make it symbolic….you run the risk of losing YOU behind symbolism or a “story” that becomes too detailed and drawn out.
3. If you want to show a college that you play the piano, basketball and video games as well as spend time with family and go to a house of worship and love sushi and BBQ…… THEY DON’T CARE. It’s painfully cliché and your video will be turned off as soon as they get the point… “I see. He has a full life. He and the other 38,000 applicants.”
4. Everyone is an expert. I am expecting a flood of self-proclaimed experts who with help you write, direct and shoot these videos. OH GOD NO. Please don’t try to turn this into a manufactured and manipulative way to impress a college. It won’t work. They aren’t idiots.
Before ZEEME, parents asked me if their teen should include a DVD of the violin concert or photos from an art portfolio. My answer applies here as well: Only if it’s damn good.
When I was working on my MFA, my playwriting professor said that a playwright’s job is to move an audience member three inches (From still back to sitting forward). The same here…when the admission person hits play, you better be immediately engaging and interesting or you wasted a lot of time.
Unless you have a clever (but not pretentious), creative (but not overly produced) and fast placed way of explaining YOU in a visual medium, don’t waste your time and the time of the admission person. If you can’t create a strong VISUAL…than don’t ZEEME. Just make something nice for your granny.